Tampa, Fla. (970 WFLA)- The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board is taking aggressive action to protect the Everglades and eliminate invasive pythons from its public lands.
The Governing Board has approved a pilot monetary compensation program that will incentivize a limited number of public-spirited individuals to kill pythons.
The program will give participants unprecedented access to SFWMD lands in an effort to remove these destructive snakes, which have become an apex predator in the Everglades.
The District will select 25 participants to work with land managers to implement the program from April 1 through June 1. Each participant will be provided with procedural instruction and field identification guides. Access will be given to SFWMD lands infested with pythons in Miami-Dade County.
Participants will be paid:A minimum wage hourly rate up to 8 hours daily. Time spent searching for pythons on SFWMD lands must be verified by a GPS tracking app installed on each participant's iOS or Android mobile device.
An additional on-the-spot payment of $50 for each python measuring up to 4 feet plus an extra $25 for each foot measured above 4 feet. An 8-foot python would pay out $150.
An additional $100 for each eliminated python found guarding "nests" with eggs.
Anyone is welcome to apply to become a participant by submitting an application.
To be eligible, participants must:
Be at least 18 years of age
Possess a valid driver's license.
Possess a valid email address.
Have access to an iOS or Android mobile device that allows for download and utilization of the required GPS tracking appConsent to be tracked using the GPS tracking app
Have not been convicted of a felony or wildlife-related offense within the last five years
Consent to submit to a criminal background check
The District reserves the right to select applicants that have demonstrable experience or other relevant qualifications over other candidates.
Photo Credit: SFWMD