Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the 2022 Python Challenge in the Everglades Thursday morning.
The 10-day event will run from August 5 to 14, with prizes going to participants who catch the most and the biggest pythons. The prizes include $2,500 for the most pythons captured and $1,500 for the longest python caught.
The event began as a way for hunters to help control the population of the invasive Burmese python in the Florida Everglades.
"It's just unbelievable what they will ravage when they're there, they're not native here," DeSantis said at a news conference Thursday. "The reality is they can exact serious destruction on the overall ecosystem."
Participants in the 2021 Florida Python Challenge removed 223 invasive Burmese pythons from the Everglades, more than double the number that was removed in 2020. Over 600 people from 25 states registered to take part in the 10-day competition in 2021.
DeSantis said the budget he recently signed included a record investment of up to $3 million for python removal efforts. The investment includes funding for research and development of innovative technologies that detect and remove invasive pythons.
The competition is open to both professional and novice participants who register and take required online training.
For more information, visit FLPythonChallenge.org.
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