Florida’s 2020 Burmese Python Challenge Dates Announced
December 6, 2019
The state of Florida today announced January 10 through January 19, 2020 as the dates for its annual Python Challenge Python Bowl, an event that is designed to help cull the invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) from the Florida Everglades.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The Burmese python is well established in the Florida Everglades.
“The protection of our environment and natural resources is critical,” Governor DeSantis said in a news conference announcing the dates. “Invasive Burmese pythons have decimated local wildlife and pose a massive threat to natural food chains and flora and fauna. The 2020 Python Bowl is sure to be a great success, and I look forward to the positive effects it will have on preserving and protecting the Everglades ecosystem.”
Hunters will now have access to more than 150 miles of secondary trails in Big Cypress National Park as well as the designated areas in the Everglades.
Those who wish to enter the Python Challenge and hunt these invasive reptiles must first complete online training. There is also optional in-person training that teaches folks to identify pythons and practice safe handling and capturing techniques. If you wish to participate, you can sign up at the Florida Python Challenge Python Bowl website.
This year’s Florida Python Challenge 2020 Python Bowl is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops.
Since the The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District combined efforts to remove Burmese pythons from the Everglades in 2017, more than 3,600 of the invasive snakes have been taken out of the Everglades. When the Python Challenge was first launched in 2013, a total of 68 snakes were captured. The 2016 Python Challenge resulted in more than 100 of the invasive snakes removed from the Everglades.
The Burmese python is one of many invasive species that are running wild in Florida. The species is well-established in the Florida Everglades and authorities are actively trying to reduce their populations. It is also one of the most popular of the large constricting snakes that are kept by experienced reptile keepers.