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Special Everglades python-hunting season created

A 12-foot Burmese python that was captured in the backyard of a home in Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced the opportunity for hunters to access state-managed lands around the Everglades in order to capture and remove reptiles of concern.

The specially created season will take place March 8 to April 17, after the close of small game season in the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land, and Rotenberger wildlife management areas.

"We are once again engaging our stakeholders, in this case, the hunting community, to help us reduce the number of reptiles of concern in the Everglades," said FWC chairman Rodney Barreto. "Our hunters are on the front lines, and we hope, by tapping into their knowledge of the Everglades, we can make significant progress in this effort."

Hunters must possess a valid hunting license and pay a $26 management area permit fee to hunt the regions for pythons, green anaconda and Nile monitor lizards, all invasive species that are threatening native wildlife. The reptiles may not be removed from the wildlife management areas alive.

Before this announcement, only those with special reptile-of-concern permits were allowed to hunt for the snakes.

Florida is facing a troubling situation, believed to have been caused by snake owners who released pythons when they became too large to manage. The snakes, which are reproducing in the wild, have become a threat to native wildlife.

The National Park Service reported the removal of 311 Burmese pythons from the Everglades in 2008. The constrictors can measure 26 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds. The largest captured in the Everglades was 16 feet and 150 pounds.

Wildlife officials say they could number in the tens of thousands in the South Florida region -- mostly in the Everglades.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A 12-foot Burmese python that was captured in the backyard of a home in Florida. Credit: Robert Sullivan  AFP/Getty Images

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Comments (1)

i have been in southwest fl naples and i know the land very well i would love to help can u send me something in righting so i know all the laws and i get what is needed so i cant be arrested i would like to hunt these animals because they are a threat i live in massachewsetts now and run a non proffit reptile rescue our problem is red tail boas alot are just given to mw because of there agreshion berms. are no diffrent the bigger they get the more balls they have it will become a problen to people if not already i realy miss the swamps and see i can make some money on these skins all of them the more the better so if you still need help please contact me back jamie mallett sr at [email protected]


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.