MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Snake hunters are needed in the Sunshine State.
The South Florida Water Management District is looking for 50 more hunters for its Python Elimination Program.
Those who sign up are called ‘python removal agents’. The program pays trained python contractors an hourly wage and a bounty based on the size of snakes to find and remove Burmese pythons from the Everglades. Burmese pythons are an invasive predator not native to South Florida that have become a severe threat to Florida’s native ecosystems. Pythons prey heavily on Florida wildlife, like rabbits and birds, and directly compete for food with native predators such as bobcats and Florida panthers.
People who are interested in taking part must be at least 18-years-old, must not have a recent criminal history, and have proper identification.
The Python Elimination Program first started in March of 2017 and has removed more than 2,540 snakes so far.
Last Thursday, the South Florida Water Management District announced that it was expanding the program at the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis.
To pay for the expansion, the District’s Governing Board voted to triple the funding for the program.
It also authorized the District to contract with the University of Florida to perform scientific work to aid the python removal effort. The work would potentially include reptile monitoring and assessments of the impact of removal efforts on the python population.