Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Annual ‘Python Challenge’ – Catch a Snake and Help Protect Florida’s Ecosystem

Toby Hazlewood

Investing in Florida's environment
Governor Ron DeSantisTwitter of GovRonDeSantis

On June 16, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis launched the annual Florida Python Challenge. The 10-day event will be held between August 5-14, 2022.

During that time, registered members of the public must complete the necessary online training before competing to win thousands of dollars in prizes by removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. 

The competition is open to both professional and novice participants and during the 2021 event, 600 people from 25 states took part, catching and removing 223 Burmese pythons from the Everglades.

Burmese pythons aren't native to Florida, breed prolifically and prey on many native species, hence why there's a desire to reduce their numbers. Over 16,000 Burmese pythons have been removed from Florida's ecosystem since 2000.

The governor is "proud of the progress"

Joined at the announcement by representatives from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC), the governor had this to say:

“The Everglades is one of the world’s most prized natural resources, and we have invested record funding for Everglades restoration projects, including record funding for removal of invasive Burmese pythons which wreak havoc on the ecosystem. I am proud of the progress we’ve made, and I look forward to seeing the results of this year’s Python Challenge.”

More investment in Florida's ecosystem

Earlier this month, Governor DeSantis announced a further $1.2 billion of state funds that are being invested in the Everglades restoration project as part of Florida's 2022-23 'Freedom First' budget.

And in May, the governor announced that $30 million had been provided to projects intended to save Florida's manatee population. The iconic creatures that are native to Florida are endangered and the situation has been worsening in recent years after 1101 of the animals died in 2021.

These investments, together with initiatives like the python challenge demonstrate that Florida is trying to ensure that the state's wildlife and ecosystem are protected and preserved for generations to come.

Do you think enough is being done to protect Florida's wildlife and natural ecosystem? Should more be done or are there bigger problems facing the state? Let me know in the comments section below.

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