Invasive Species

State Program Records 500th Python Kill

Aug 18, 2017

With the state trying to reduce invasive species in areas such as the Everglades, a hunter Thursday killed the 500th Burmese python in less than five months under a South Florida Water Management District program.

A Florida congressman helped catch and kill five invasive Burmese pythons during a nighttime hunt in the Everglades.

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney joined hunters hired by the South Florida Water Management District in the wetlands Thursday night, the Naples Daily News reported.

Photo: Journal of Economic Entomology

An harmless-looking species of Asian wood-boring beetle, previously unknown in the western hemisphere, could spell disaster for the U.S. forestry industry. Researchers at the University of Florida's IFAS School of Forest Resources say the beetle, nicknamed the sweetgum inscriber for its endless appetite for the American sweetgum tree, is 100 percent lethal when exposed to otherwise healthy trees or forests, could cost the hardwood timber industry millions.

Florida wildlife officials say lionfish harvesters are crucial to getting rid of the invasive species. But, lionfish removal divers are urged to safely remove the fish without causing any natural habitat damage.

Photo: Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Few animals arouse the instinct to hunt quite like the Burmese Python. The invasive species has slithered across the Everglades and into every corner of South Florida, taking over habitat from native species and consuming thousands of pounds of prey animals.