Dirty Challenge: Pythons in Peril

PawsDown

Burmese pythons are a threathened species in Southeast Asia.

Burmese pythons are a threathened species in Southeast Asia.

Paws Down!
To the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for supporting the killing of Burmese pythons in that state.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has a partnership with the Python Challenge to remove Burmese pythons from the Florida Everglades. At first glance, this looks to be a noble attempt to save the Everglades, but what is not said is that the snakes will be killed. National Geographic News has commented that Florida’s great snake hunt is nothing more than a cheap stunt. The Burmese python is a vulnerably threatened species in Southeast Asia and is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Relocation is the best alternative to repopulate the species in Southeast Asia.

The Python Challenge website states, “Increasing public awareness about Burmese pythons and how this invasive species is a threat to the Everglades ecosystem, including native wildlife, is the goal of the 2013 Python Challenge™.” Increasing public awareness is an immense goal, but this Python Challenge is similar to a canned hunt and is an unwise way to broaden awareness about Burmese pythons and native wildlife.

The FWC is also offering prizes to the public for the killings of these pythons. The Python Challenge website continues, “The public also is invited to this upcoming free educational and exciting event in south Florida: The 2013 Python Challenge Awareness and Awards Event on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at Zoo Miami.” The website also encourages people to share their Python Challenge photos.

Instead of killing pythons, the FWC should be capturing and relocating them to their native environment.

Take Action: Contact the executive director of the FWC and urge him to discontinue the Python Challenge’s current method of removal. Encourage the FWC to relocate these beautiful snakes back to their natural habitat to help Florida’s Everglades and the conservation status of the Burmese python.

Nick Wiley, Executive Director
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

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