The results are in and it looks like the Florida Everglades are still swamped with wild Pythons, however, a Feb 16, 2013 announcement from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will have Floridians sleeping a little easier.
FWC issued a press release Saturday announcing that a total of 68 pythons had been captured in the 2013 Python Challenge™ which ran from Jan 12 to Feb 10. Officials from the FWC made the announcement at the Python Challenge Awareness and Awards Event at Zoo Miami earlier today.
The winners of the event were announced on Saturday for both the permit and non-permit holding competitors.
In the General Competition (non-permit), the $1,500 Grand Prize for harvesting the most Burmese pythons went to Brian Barrows who harvested a total of 6 pythons.
In the Python Permit Holders Competition, Ruben Ramirez earned himself $1,500 and the top spot for most pythons captured with a whopping 18 pythons captured in the month long event. Ramirez also scooped up a 10-foot, 6.8-inch-long python in the Python Permit Holders Competition, earning himself another $1,000.
The $1,000 First Place Prize for capturing the longest Burmese python went to Paul Shannon, who harvested a 14-foot, 3-inch-long python in the General Competition.
“Thanks to the determination of Python Challenge competitors, we are able to gather invaluable information that will help refine and focus combined efforts to control pythons in the Everglades,” FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley said. “The enthusiastic support from the public, elected officials, conservation organizations, government agencies and researchers gives hope that we can make progress on this difficult conservation challenge by working together.”
The competition brought in nearly 1,600 competitors from 38 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
According to the FWC website:
Florida prohibits possession or sale of Burmese pythons for use as pets, and federal law bans the importation and interstate sale of this species.
If you need to report Burmese Python sightings call 888-IVE-GOT-1 or go to the website www.ivegot1.org.