In Florida (for good or bad), they have opened up the season on a new game species: Python.
Florida has set March 8 through April 17 as a special python-hunting season in an attempt to control several species of invasive reptiles, which are wreaking havoc on the south Florida ecosystem.The whole article is from Scientific American.
Species to be targeted include Indian and Burmese pythons (Python molurus and P.m. bivittatus ), African rock pythons (P. sebae ), green anacondas (Eunectes murinus ) and Nile monitor lizards (Varanus niloticus ).The animals have all been labeled " reptiles of concern " by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). It hopes the hunt will help control the eight-meter-long Burmese python, in particular, which has spread out of control throughout the state with populations growing into the thousands since the snakes first escaped from cages[?? FROM THE ZOO?; PET SHOPS?] during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Yes, wild pythons in Florida have bee talked about quite a bit lately. But much of the science in estimating their numbers is shaky, so how big a problem they are is debatable.
I lived on the edges of the everglades when I was younger. We even had a good size python living in my house while I was there. It wasn't mine, but we had it for a couple of months. I can see how pythons could be successful in that environment. Those Muscovy ducks are everywhere.
If they want to open a hunting season - great! I have no problem with that - as long as the hunters can accurately identify what they are killing. Way too often I see people indiscriminately killing snakes, simply because they are snakes, with no idea what species they are.
Good luck to Florida - any you guys who live down there - let me know how it turns out.