Invasive Burmese pythons are a grave threat to Florida's birds and other wildlife, and the state is planning a new python hunt in an effort to reduce the snakes' population. According to Fox News, the 2013 Python Challenge will kick off in January, with competitors seeking to capture the longest snake as well as the most number of snakes. Wildlife officials plan to use the opportunity to study the pythons' regional effects and raise awareness of its impact.
Burmese pythons are native to Asia but are popular pets worldwide. Unfortunately, these snakes can grow to unmanageable proportions for most pet owners, and the invasive population in Florida has evolved largely from abandoned pets as well as pet shops and breeding facilities damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, when escaped snakes were never recovered.
Do you agree with the planned python hunt? Do you think this tactic should be taken toward other feral or invasive species? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Photo © Susan Jewell / USFWS