Researchers In Florida have captured the largest python ever recorded in Florida, or anywhere outside its native range, for that matter, weighing 215 pounds and measuring nearly 18 feet in length, according to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Snake Captured In Florida Breaks Records At 215lbs, Researcher Says “There’s A Larger Snake Out There”

Researchers In Florida have captured the largest python ever recorded in Florida, or anywhere outside its native range, for that matter, weighing 215 pounds and measuring nearly 18 feet in length, according to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

The female python, which was captured in the Everglades, had 122 developing eggs, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida said in a news release.

The researchers used radio transmitters implanted into male “scout” snakes to study python movements, breeding behaviors, and habitat use, said Ian Bartoszek, wildlife biologist, and environmental science project manager for the conservancy’s program.

Researchers Ian Bartoszek (left), Ian Easterling, and intern Kyle Findley (right) transport a record-breaking female Burmese Python—weighing 215 pounds and measuring 17.7 feet in length—to their lab in Naples, Florida, to be laid out and photographed.
©Provided by National Geographic: Researchers Ian Bartoszek (left), Ian Easterling, and intern Kyle Findley (right) transport a record-breaking female Burmese Python—weighing 215 pounds and measuring 17.7 feet in length—to their lab in Naples, Florida, to be laid out and photographed.

Scout snakes can lead biologists to breeding aggregations and large, reproductive females, allowing researchers to remove breeding females and their developing eggs from the wild.

“How do you find the needle in the haystack? You could use a magnet, and in a similar way our male scout snakes are attracted to the biggest females around,” Bartoszek said.

“We knew he was there for a reason, and the team found him with the largest female we have seen to date.”

Biologist Ian Easterling and intern Kyle Findley helped capture the female snake and haul it through the woods to the field truck.

Since being introduced in Florida in the 1970s, the invasive pythons have bred successfully in the southern regions of the state, where they prey on many native birds, as well as the alligators and deer.

Researchers In Florida have captured the largest python ever recorded in Florida, or anywhere outside its native range, for that matter, weighing 215 pounds and measuring nearly 18 feet in length, according to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Screengrab from press conference

“Large reproductive female pythons are very important to remove from these ecosystems,” because they are disproportionately capable of producing many offspring, Sarah Funck, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told National Geographic.

According to Bartoszek, there’s a larger snake out there in the Everglades, but they just haven’t found it yet.

“It’ll come across everyone’s radar screen sooner or later,” he said. “But if they’re getting to this size, what do you think it took to get to be this size? These are big game hunters.”

On June 16, Florida Governor DeSantis announced the 2022 Python Challenge.

Members of the public are now able to take the required online training and register to compete to win thousands of dollars in prizes while removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. The competition is open to both professional and novice participants.

“The Everglades is one of the world’s most prized natural resources, and we have invested record funding for Everglades restoration projects, including record funding for removal of invasive Burmese pythons which wreak havoc on the ecosystem,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Because of this focus, we have removed record numbers of invasive pythons from the Everglades. I am proud of the progress we’ve made, and I look forward to seeing the results of this year’s Python Challenge.”

“The Florida Python Challenge® provides an opportunity for people to actively participate in Everglades conservation by removing the Burmese python, an invasive species that is actively damaging our native wildlife populations,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Executive Director Eric Sutton. “We are grateful for the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, who continually demonstrates his commitment to combating invasive species which is a critical component of conserving our native species.”

Visit FLPythonChallenge.org to register for the competition, take the online training, register for optional in-person trainings, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to South Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge®.

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.

Visit Tampafp.com for PoliticsTampa Area Local NewsSports, and National Headlines. Support journalism by clicking here to our GiveSendGo or sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Android Users, Click Here To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. Follow Us On Facebook Here Or Twitter Here.

Copyright 2022 The Free Press, LLC, tampafp.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Advertisement

Login To Facebook From Your Browser To Leave A Comment