FLORIDA — Hunters participating in the South Florida Water Management District ongoing Python Elimination Program have eliminated 1,711 invasive snakes in 18 months.
According to SFWMD, an average of about three pythons have been eliminated per day since the program began in March 2017. The amount of snakes eliminated stretch more than two miles in length and weigh more than 10 tons.
Species such as the Burmese python pose a threat to the rare Everglades ecosystem, and this has prompted the SFWMD's program.
NEWS: https://t.co/ur5C8mtPa2 | Hunters in the SFWMD Python Elimination Program have reached another milestone by eliminating enough invasive pythons to stretch more than two miles in length and weigh more than 10 tons. pic.twitter.com/pJynL07YVx
— South Florida Water Management District (@SFWMD) October 5, 2018
Hunter Brian Hargrove, a Miami native, has dispatched the most pythons, with 235 snakes eliminated.
"This program continues to be proven successful over time because of each and every dedicated member of the team, from the Governing Board members who continue to fund it to the staff and the python hunters who work long nights to rid the Everglades of this snake," said SFWMD scientist Mike Kirkland, project manager for the Python Elimination Program.
Florida taxpayers have invested billions of dollars to restore the water quality and hydrology of the Everglades, SFWMD said, and reducing the populations of invasive plants and animals will ensure this investment meets the goals of the restoration plan.