Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Learn how to catch a python with free hands-on training in Fort Myers, Naples

People who live in southwest Florida can learn to identify and safely capture Burmese pythons at upcoming 2016 Python Challenge™ in-person training sessions in Lee and Collier counties.

Training for Lee County is on Dec. 20 at the Olga Community Center in Fort Myers, with both morning and afternoon sessions. Can’t make it to the December training? You can still sign up for training in Collier County on Jan. 19 at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples. For those who can’t make the west coast trainings, more sessions are offered in different locations throughout south Florida in December, January and February.

Training includes an overview of the 2016 Python Challenge™ and will help teach participants how to identify, locate, and safely and humanely capture Burmese pythons. Each training session begins with a classroom presentation followed by an outdoor hands-on session with live, wild-caught pythons.

There is no cost to attend the sessions, which last approximately two hours and are available to anyone who is interested; they are optional for competition participants.

All training participants must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes in order to participate.

To register for 2016 Python Challenge™ in-person training, visit PythonChallenge.Org and click on the “training” link at the bottom of the page. Space is limited so register early.

If you haven’t done so yet, register for the 2016 Python Challenge™ Python Removal competition to see if you can harvest the longest or the most Burmese pythons. The grand prize is $5,000 for the team category and $3,500 for the individual category. All participants are required to take a free online training session before registering for the Python Removal competition, which begins atnoon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, and ends at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016.

The 2016 Python Challenge™ is a conservation effort that includes public outreach on invasive species and a month-long competition to remove Burmese pythons from public lands in south Florida. The aim of the 2016 Python Challenge™ is to engage the public to participate in Everglades conservation through invasive species awareness and removal.

Visit PythonChallenge.org for more information about 2016 Python Challenge™ registration and training opportunities. You can also learn about Burmese pythons, the unique Everglades ecosystem and details about the 2016 Python Challenge™, including information about registration, competition rules, online contests and more.

To report nonnative fish and wildlife, call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681), report your sighting online at IveGot1.org or download the IveGot1 smartphone app.

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