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The Almighty Buck Science

Money Python: Florida Contest Offers Rewards In 2013 Everglades Python Hunt 132

Posted by samzenpus
from the badger-badger-badger-badger-mushroom dept.
Press2ToContinue writes "Dubbed the Python Challenge, the month-long contest will award $1,000 for the longest python and $1,500 for the most pythons caught between Jan. 12 and Feb. 10 in any of four hunting areas north of Everglades National Park and at the Big Cypress National Preserve. Pythons have been spreading through the Everglades for years, posing a threat to the sensitive ecosystem by preying on native species. Some estimates put their number in the tens of thousands. Last year, 272 pythons were removed from the wild, state figures show."
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Money Python: Florida Contest Offers Rewards In 2013 Everglades Python Hunt

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  • Cobra effect (Score:5, Informative)

    by andy1307 (656570) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @04:53PM (#42236157)
    Florida should read about the Cobra effect [wikipedia.org].
  • by mirix (1649853) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:00PM (#42236213)

    They're sort of... living legends... An alpha release snake.

    Later species are much more streamlined, and have dropped some of their dual organs to make room. (Newer snakes only have one lung, for example. well - they usually have a second joke-sized vestigial lung as well). Fat snakes like pythons and boas have two, still.

    Another neat thing about pythons is they have little.. claw like things, near their exhaust pipe. Remnants of their hind legs. :)
    Reptiles lost in time...

    I understand why they have to go in Florida (which seems hopeless at this point, anyhow), though.
    The first time I saw a Burmese Python (like those in Florida) in person I was just amazed at the size of the thing... A snake that weighs more than me.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:12PM (#42236343)

    Making it legal to sell snake meat would help too.

    Yeah, but before you chow down on some snake, read the Florida Fish and Wildlife site: http://myfwc.com/license/wildlife/nonnative-species/python-permit-program/ [myfwc.com]

    "Permit holders may sell the hide and meat, thus providing a type of compensation (note: Burmese pythons from Everglades National Park have been found to have very high levels of mercury and may not be recommended for human consumption)."

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:39PM (#42236519)
    I used to keep pythons. They're surprisingly intelligent and even have personalities. I had a 10' albino that was my favorite. He'd curl up in my lap while I watched TV. I think they are a terrible pet for the average person but the laws they passed are ridiculous because they force most owners into a situation of either having their snakes put to sleep or releasing them. What people don't realize is Florida is the only state in the union that they can survive in. They are extremely sensitive to cold and don't like dry conditions. Banning the transportation in the other lower 48 is nuts. Ban importation fine, ban the sale in Florida fine. In Florida they need a system where people can turn them in no questions asked and hopefully to wildlife rescues and not to be put down. Owners can grow really attached to them and may foolishly release them so they aren't killed. Also ban the breeding of Pythons in Florida. The problem could disappear as in new releases if they aren't allowed to breed. Unfortunately they should have never been allowed in Florida. Now the situation is nearly impossible to control. Florida is still dragging their feet on the solution. There's hunting restrictions in many areas where as they should be encouraged. It'd be worth putting a bounty on them and it could even be partly paid by the sale of the skins. When I was in New Zealand they were selling items like fur covered notepads made of Opossum fur. They imported a type of Opossum from Australia a 100 years ago to start a fur industry. They population is out of control so they are trying everything to irradicate them. Florida needs to get aggressive. Sell python based products and use the money to fund hunts. It may be impossible to get rid of them but you can seriously reduce the numbers.
  • Re:Cobra effect (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @06:15PM (#42236825)

    Bounties don't always fail; according to my grandfather there used to be all kinds of rattle snake dens, but a bounty on rattlesnakes earlier in the century essentially wiped them out. I think the trick was that the bounties were handled at the township level, and thus it ended up being mostly locals hunting snakes part-time or on weekends. Some random asshat walking in every day with a truckload of snakes would have been figured out pretty quick Plus the local farmers wanted the things dead to make the area safer anyway, so the bounty served more as a way to get people out the door and actually do something about the problem.

    I should qualify these were native snakes, and the terrain was a little more forgiving than I imagine the everglades is. And to finish the story, in the last handful of years our local conservationists had the bright idea to try re-introducing rattlesnakes in the wild. I guess rattlesnakes must be more fun to have around when you don't have to constantly be afraid that the next piece of wood or bale of hay you move is going to reveal an angry poisonous reptile.

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