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To Fight Invasive Species, Florida Makes It A Competition

In South Florida, bagging some snakes could win you some money. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be cracking down on invasive pythons in South Florida in the New Year. The agency and its partners will be holding the 2013 Python Challenge to catch as many snakes as possible.

The first ever python challenge starts in January and runs until mid-February. It’ll focus on Burmese pythons and the person who catches the most wins 1,500 dollars. And Florida Fish and Wildlife Spokeswoman Carli Segelson says the Python Challenge is about invasive species education as much as it is a competition.

“One thing I think that is an important point for us to make is for people to understand really the negative impacts that can be had when you release nonnative species into the wild. This can be very detrimental to Florida’s nature ecosystem and native wildlife.” Says Segelson.

Segelson says if people have nonnative pets they can no longer care for; they should give them to the agency instead of releasing it into the wild.