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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Registration is now open for South Florida’s Burmese Python hunt which will return in January, 2016.

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Hunters who want to kill or capture pythons in the Everglades for cash prizes can register at pythonchallenge.org. The event is a month-long competition sponsored by the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and is meant to reduce the impact of the invasive snake that scientists say is altering the balance of the Everglades’ unique ecosystem.

The challenge begins at noon January 16th and ends at 7 p.m. on February 14th.

The commission is offering cash prices to the teams and individuals who capture the most pythons and the longest python.

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Participants must first take a required online training course. The commission also offers in-person training sessions that teach how to identify Burmese pythons.

The 2016 challenge will take place in a larger geographic area than the one held in 2013.

a href=”http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/02/16/python-challenge-competitors-turn-in-68-snakes/” target=”_blank”>The 2013 hunt netted 68 of the invasive snakes and raised awareness about Florida’s problems with pythons.

It’s unknown how many pythons live in Florida’s Everglades. Researchers say the large snakes are among the invasive species that are eating native wildlife at an alarming rate.

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