TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida’s great snake hunt is coming back.READ MORE: As US Confirms First Omicron Case, CDC Works To Step Up Testing Requirements
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission this week was presented with plans for a month-long public hunt starting in mid-January for invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.
Caroline McLaughlin, representing the National Parks Conservation Association, said her group supports the agency’s efforts to reduce the growing python problem but also has concerns about the hunt.
“We want to ensure there are no negative impacts to the national resources of our national parks that result from this event,” McLaughlin said.
Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley said the agency intends to emphasize training that will include how to strategically target the hunt.READ MORE: Arrest Made In Miami-Dade In Connection With Murder Of Palm Beach Gardens Boy
Registration for the “Python Challenge” opens in October.
Kristen Sommers, leader of the commission’s Wildlife Impact Management Section, said there may be “tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands” of pythons in Florida, and they aren’t confined to the Everglades.
“We know they’re expanding in their range,” Sommers said.
Sommers noted that while the snakes can grow to 20 feet, they are difficult to recognize in the wild. A similar month-long hunt in 2013 had nearly 1,600 participants who were able to remove 68 pythons from the Everglades.MORE NEWS: Asian American Artists Celebrated During Art Basel: 'Through Hardships, We Could Look At Diversity And See It As Strength'
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.