Everglades National Park will be open for snake hunting in the next Python Challenge

A Burmese python crawls along the ground during a news conference in the Florida Everglades, when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission announced the snake hunt for 2010.
Florida is asking for some public assistance in dealing with invasive Burmese pythons.

Authorities announced Tuesday the next “Python Challenge” will run from Jan. 16 through Feb. 14, 2016. The last challenge was in 2013, when 1,600 participants showed up — but only caught 68 pythons. The Python Challenge will also be expanded into Everglades National Park, which was not included in the last contest.

“We look forward to expanding access into the Park and to providing more opportunities for members of the public to become approved authorized python agents,” said park superintendent Pedro Ramos. “I hope that our increased participation this year will engage the public and highlight the scientific work that is being done to care for our public lands.”

If more people become involved, it could help with programs to remove pythons year-round from the park and state lands.

Training events are planned to teach registered participants how to identify and safely capture pythons, and educate them about invasive species. State wildlife commissioner Ron Bergeron said officials hope the hunt increases python sightings and removals in the wetlands.


Bill Booth of Bradenton, Florida, wears a dead Burmese python he caught on Jan. 19, 2013, in the Florida Everglades as part of the monthlong “Python Challenge.” Booth’s snake measured an unofficial 11.59 feet.


Scientists say thousands of pythons are to blame for the decline of native wildlife across Florida’s Everglades.