March 9, 2017
West Palm Beach, FL - One species, the Burmese python, has a stranglehold on the Everglades ecosystem, and it isn't letting go. In response, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board today approved pilot program funding designed to incentivize private parties who are prepared to help eliminate these snakes from public lands. The monetary compensation program is a bold new action plan giving participants unprecedented access to District-owned lands in an effort to remove these destructive snakes that have become an apex predator of the Everglades.
"Anyone who has seen the now famous python vs. alligator video can attest that the fight for survival of the Everglades is real," said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O'Keefe. "This Board is taking appropriate action to push back the infestation of these invaders. Floridians should have no sympathies for this notorious strangler, and this latest initiative should pave the way for further exotic elimination efforts."
On April 1, 25 participants will be selected to work with District staff to implement the program to kill pythons over a 60-day period. Participants are encouraged to register at www.sfwmd.gov/pythonprogram. (Registration begins on March 10). If retained, each participant will be given instructions and field identification guides allowing access to District lands infested with pythons in Miami-Dade County. Participants will be paid minimum wage hourly rate up to eight hours daily. Depending on the size of the snake presented, there will be an additional on-the-spot per python payment of $50 for pythons measuring up to 4 feet and an extra $25 for each foot measured above 4 feet. An additional $100 will be given for each eliminated python nest with eggs.