This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis launched the latest effort to remove pythons from the Everglades.
At a media event on Wednesday, DeSantis announced the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) will ramp up another round of efforts to remove the invasive pythons. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein, FWC Commission Executive Director Eric Sutton and SFWMD board member Ron “Alligator Ron” Bergeron joined DeSantis at the announcement.
“I’m excited to announce our efforts to more aggressively tackle the problem of this invasive species and to further protect the Greater Everglades,” said DeSantis. “Pythons are a threat to native wildlife and removing them is an important component of Everglades restoration.”
“I’m happy to join Governor DeSantis in celebrating another bold action for Florida’s environment,” said Valenstein. “Many Florida ecosystems are threatened by the effects of the Burmese Python. The governor’s leadership in coordinating state agencies, the South Florida Water Management District and researchers to address this issue will help prevent further infestation and preserve the state’s native ecosystems.”
“We are grateful to Governor DeSantis for his bold leadership on this issue,” said Sutton. “We will work closely with our partners to increase our efforts and exhaust all possible methods to address the threat of pythons to our fish and wildlife resources.”
“Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for your commitment to Everglades restoration,” said Bergeron. “Harmful pythons disrupt the natural food chain and prey on native wildlife that depend on the Everglades. Together, with the governor’s focused investment in saving the Everglades, we can help preserve this incredible ecosystem for generations to come.”
The governor’s office highlighted the threat pythons pose to the Everglades.
“Pythons are an invasive species that disrupt the natural food chain balance and have no natural predators, causing them to multiply without impediment and further threaten endangered species. Pythons also decimate other animal populations, disturbing Florida’s delicate ecosystem and threatening the biodiversity in the Everglades and surrounding areas,” the governor’s office noted.
DeSantis ordered the FWC and SFWMD to work on interchangeable python removal training,
explore new technology to detect and remove pythons, hold the Python Challenge event removing the snakes every year instead of every three years, work with local governments, launch an education and outreach campaign and create more incentives for veterans to remove pythons.
In the meantime, DeSantis is working with the U.S. Department of Interior to do more python removal on federal lands. DeSantis is also backing python removal in all state parks as well.