5,000 invasive Burmese pythons have been removed from the Everglades in South Florida. CONTRIBUTED

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District, recently announced the removal of 5,000 invasive Burmese pythons from South Florida’s Everglades ecosystem.

“We’ve learned through the Python Challenge that experience counts when finding and removing Burmese pythons,” said FWC Commissioner Rodney Barreto. “We can’t win the battle alone. It’s one team, one mission. We need the support of these experienced python hunters as well as the partnership with the South Florida Water Management District and the ongoing support of Gov. Ron DeSantis.”

“Another win for the Everglades. This is what agencies like the South Florida Water Management District and the FWC, focused and working together, can accomplish,” said SFWMD governing board member “Alligator Ron” Bergeron. “Every snake counts. Each invasive python eliminated represents hundreds of native Florida wildlife saved. With Gov. DeSantis’ continued leadership, Florida is doing more than it ever has to remove pythons from the Everglades and protect this ecosystem for generations to come.”

The public can help control invasive wildlife by reporting sightings to the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IveGot1 (888-483-4681), online at IveGot1.org or by using the free smartphone app IVEGOT1. If possible, take a picture and note the exact location of the sighting. Python Action Team and Python Elimination Program members respond to reports of large constrictors and other priority species to remove these harmful invaders from the wild.

Burmese pythons became established in Florida as a result of escaped or released pets. It is illegal to release nonnative species into the wild and can hurt Florida’s native wildlife and habitat. The FWC’s Exotic Pet Amnesty Program allows pet owners to surrender nonnative or exotic pets without penalty. Visit MyFWC.com/PetAmnesty for more information.More information about the FWC’s Python Action Team and the SFWMD’s Python Elimination Program is at MyFWC.com/Python and SFWMD.gov/Python.

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