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Hunt to kill Pythons

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Sometimes I must admit I wonder about the Americans. This obsession with killing animals and the odd human.

From the Miami Herald/

Python Challenge 2013, aimed at culling South Florida’s population of invasive Burmese pythons and raising awareness about the hazards posed by non-native species, has claimed 11 snakes since its Saturday kickoff.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson said she got the number from biologists from the University of Florida Research and Education Center, who check in the snakes turned over by hunters. Segelson said she did not have specific information about the sizes or locations of the animals harvested, nor the names of hunters.

More than 800 people from more than 30 states have registered to compete in the month-long challenge, which will award prize money for the most and largest pythons harvested.


The Times take on this.

One of the odd things about hunting deadly Burmese pythons in the Everglades is that you don’t really need to worry about the Burmese pythons.

The main threats to your life are the rattlesnakes, water moccasins, alligators and about 800 untrained and heavily armed Americans.

The state of Florida has opened an unprecedented month-long bounty hunt worth thousands of dollars to those who kill the most pythons.

Officials have invited the expert, the brave and the foolish to descend on one of the world’s richest wetlands to tackle an epidemic of giant non-native snakes.

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Best way to kill invasive pests IMO - tap into the human beings animal instincts to defend itself of predators, and to create the allure of natural adrenalin rush, and to offer prizes for it.

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Sadly the large No. of Burmese Pythons released both by Hurricane Andrew's impacts on a research institute (thousands released in one go) and owners releasing when the pet has 'outgrown' it's welcome, has had devastating impacts on local wildlife.

Egrets/Herons/Racoon/Gators are but a few of those worst impacted by this non-native inhabitant. Conditions in the everglades are even better for the snake than it's home with far more prey items and so larger snake growthy potential than in it's native jungles.

The winter of 09/10 did have an impact with cold snaps taking their toll on the population but only weeded out the sickest/oldest member Strengthening the overall breeding population.

The the hurricane Andrew population is now the base of up to 5 generations of Pythons topped up with a population of large , Healthy 'released' snakes.

Some of the initial fears were that AGW could facilitate their spread as far north as New York but i have not heard of any spread beyond S. Carolina?

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