Registration is open for Florida's 2022 Python Challenge

Ready for the challenge?

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in the Everglades on Thursday to kick off the 2022 Python Challenge.

DeSantis held a news conference to begin registration for the annual event that will take place from Aug. 5 through Aug. 14.

The Python Challenge is an initiative from the Sunshine State to share information about Burmese pythons in Florida while educating on the threats they pose to the ecosystem. The event allows citizens to sign up to hunt the invasive snakes and help control their population in the Florida Everglades.

"We do this as a challenge. We understood that there have been some efforts in the past, but we really want to supercharge those efforts and get more and more pythons out of the Everglades," DeSantis said.

According to the United States Geological Survey, non-native Burmese pythons have established a breeding population in South Florida and are one of the most concerning invasive species in Everglades National Park.

“The Everglades is one of the world’s most prized natural resources, and we have invested record funding for Everglades restoration projects, including record funding for removal of invasive Burmese pythons which wreak havoc on the ecosystem,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis recently signed the "Freedom First" budget,  which makes a record investment of up to $3 million for python removal efforts, including supporting research and development of innovative technologies that detect and remove invasive pythons.

Members of the public can now register as novice or professional. All participants must take the required online training. DeSantis says there will be cash prizes for those who catch the most and the longest pythons.

To register for online training or find out more information, you can visit this website.

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