Thought this interesting. Kind of shines a light on what happens when you turn loose non-native species and how quickly and prolifically they populate.
"According to News Channel 4 out of Jacksonville, hunters killed over two miles worth of snakes with a weight approximately 10.4 tons. In total, 1,711 snakes have been captured during the program which is attempting to get rid of Burmese pythons that continue to do severe damage to the Everglades ecosystem.
Hunters were paid $50 a snake and $25 dollar bonus per foot for snakes over 4 feet. So an 8 ft snake would be worth $150 bucks. Also, a snake found guarding a nest with eggs is worth an additional $100.
The largest python ever killed in Florida was a female that measured 18 feet in length and weighed 128 pounds. If that snake was captured by one of the hunters it would have netted them a cool $400.
Brian Hargrove of Miami captured 235 snakes, the most of any hunter in the program."
A bit more at the link and I think I saw where there is a few youtube videos on it.
Our fly fishing guide on a trip to LA told us that when he did a camping trip to the Everglades that he read that raccoons were a problem for campers. He asked about it when he was about to set-off after grabbing a few supplies locally and the guy laughed and said there were no more small mammals left in the Everglades due to the snakes.
I watched a documentary on what stealthycat touched on. They use chipped males and track them during the breeding season. The “Judas” males oftentimes lead the researchers to one or more breeding females. Very interesting show.
No idea who you're "contrary-ing".....people all agree it's a serious issue. The only way to get the eco system back into whack is to remove the uninvited, invasive species.
The bounty is enticing, but bear in mind that people hunting these snakes are hiking through some damn dangerous turf. From what I've learned from these TV shows, everything in the Glades wants to eat you, starting with the mosquito's all the way up to alligators and cougars.
Got no problem living around bears and a few cougar's, but Y'all can keep those bug infested swamps and big-assed snakes for yourselves..:)
I think if you've ever spent any time in the Everglades, you'd know how silly it is to think that snake hunters could have any significant impact on snake numbers there. It's 7800 square miles of some of the most remote and inaccessible wilderness there is.
The wife and I watch a couple of episodes of some guys and of course a nice looking woman, catching the pythons in the Everglades. Of course they had to instill drama by catching the snakes alive and by hand. When they take them in they are all dead. I couldn't figure why they weren't just whacking them where they found them.
rooster, a lot are shot and left where they found them. But there is a group of people who are trying to find a way to make a living hunting these snakes,These folks tell me there is value in the skins, there is value in having the heads intact for taxidermy products, There is folks who even eat the meat so it makes sense to capture them alive and control how and when they kill them. The problem the way I see it we are only making a small dent in the population, To really get deep in the everglade on a regular bases requires that sometimes you need an airboat, sometimes a swamp buggy, sometimes a small boat, sometimes you use all the above on the same day depending on water height and where you are. So serious snake hunting can be expensiuve and hard to make the numbers work. Most snake hunting is along roads and anyplace you can gain entrance to the everglades and remain on land. I have been spending my winters in south Fla for the last 20+ yrs and have spent some time in the everglades. Its a beautiful and unique eco system that is in trouble.
Here's the problem with the eradication program as I see it.
First, the biological estimates for python numbers in the Glades ranges from 30,000 to 300, 000. That tells me they don't have a clue how many there really are. Second, there is only a relatively minuscule number of hunters who have any desire in this type of hunt. Third, even if there were enough hunters to eradicate the population, the ecological impact of that many hunters in the Everglades would likely be worse than the impact of the snakes.
According to the article, they've killed 1700 snakes since the program started over 2 years ago. I doubt the program is even scratching the surface of reproduction rates. There's a limited number of hunters who are rewarded a permit to hunt the snakes. Currently, the program has reached its quota of "removal agents", and they aren't accepting any more applications.
Like I said, it's a nice program that provides a select few hunters a little extra income, but I highly doubt it's having any significant impact on python numbers.
I have been driving across on highway 41 annually for the last 4 years and have only seen 1 roadkill. I am pretty good with swamps and all that but the everglades is a beast. They will only be able to manage the situation at best going the bounty route. Not many folks are gonna go out in that stuff to hunt them.
I grew up in Homestead Florida right next to the Glades it’s incredible the damage these snakes have done.One was killed with a 76 lbs deer in its belly.Most small mammals are just about gone.A farmer I know disked 2 fields a couple of miles from my former home killed 9 in one and 11 or 12 in the other these were 5 acre fields.It is a major mess.Lewis
I saw some snake hunters using a drone to hunt Pythons at night. A special camera on the drone showed the snakes almost glowing. The drone would hover over the snake. The guy with the controls had a gps reading that would lead them to the snake if it was too dark to see the drone. When they got there the drone turned on a really bright light and they could see really well to get the snake. It also showed other smaller snakes.
It would be interesting to know what the camera on the drone was keying in on, to be able to pick the snakes up. Temperature differential possibly? I would think the snake’s body temps would be pretty close to the surrounding environment.?
Guardians of the glades, guy gets paid for each snake, then sells the skins ,meat and the gallbladder for medicine. Each snake is valuable. Mother Nature will have to step in and take these snakes out with a massive cold spell, maybe a week of freezing temps?
We never have or never will have a week of freezing temperatures in South Florida. I was there in77 when it snowed a day or so later back in the 70s.A few years ago we had a severe cold spell that killed a lot of fish and actually a few crocs did not faze the snakes.Lewis