I got some chuckles early on out of Florida’s plan to throw open the Everglades to anyone who wanted to try their hand at capturing a Burmese python. I also figured the cash incentive would draw Bubbas from all over who were short on both beer money and kicks.
As odd as the whole thing seemed at the time, the Great Everglades Python Hunt has turned out to be a boon for the folks who study the ecology of the ’Glades and the impact the non-native constrictor snakes have had. In time, the hunt may lead to increased knowledge of just how the invasion of the pythons are altering the ecological balance of the River of Grass, a remaining wild frontier you should visit if you haven’t already.
The Florida Python Challenge ended last weekend with the round-up of a mere 68 snakes, Florida Trend magazine reports. Officials held the snake hunt because the pythons have multiplied into the thousands in the Everglades and have become a threat to native species.
“We’ve never collected so many pythons in such a short period of time. It really is an unprecedented sample,” Frank Mazzotti, professor of wildlife at the University of Florida who helped organize the challenge, told ABC News.
“It provides us with a sort of autopsy of the wildlife. There’s going to be recommendations coming out of this that will help us be able to remove more snakes from the wild.”
The next stage of the research hinges on the pythons’ instinct for love.
The two men who caught the largest Burmese python collected a $1,000 prize. The giant snake was released back into the Everglades. And Florida wildlife experts expect the python — outfitted with a pair of transmitters — to show them where to find the thousands of snakes hiding in the wild and lead them to breeding females.
Two other pythons were also implanted with transmitters and sent back into the wild.
“It’s breeding time and females attract males and we have three eager young lads sitting out there with radio transmitters on them who can lead us to the breeding female and we can catch her,”
Yes indeed, love truly does make the world go round.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info