The state of Florida is set to open its second Python Challenge, which is a public hunt in the Everglades that aims to kill off as many of the invasive snakes as possible.
The first Burmese python hunt was held in 2013 and attracted almost 1,600 participants. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, one of the organizers of the challenge, 68 snakes were removed from swamp ecosystem.
The four week hunt is scheduled for January of 2016, and will award cash prizes to participants who collect the most snakes the longest snake. It costs $25.00 to register and participants must complete an online course.
The large non-native snakes are believed to have been part of the pet trade, which either escaped or were deliberately released. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it began receiving reports about the snakes in the wild in the 1980s. Today, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are between 5,000 and 100,000 snakes in the Everglades. Read more.