As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Florida Snake-Hunting Competition Targets Growing Problem for Birds and Other Wildlife

(Washington, D.C., December 11, 2012) There’s a new twist in the long-running battle to control the Burmese pythons spread through the Florida Everglades: a state-sponsored python hunting contest, open to the public, with cash prizes for the winners.
Florida officials say the so-called “Python Challenge” will pay $1,500 each to the amateur and state-licensed snake hunter who catches the most pythons between January 12 and February 10, 2013. The beginner and licensed hunter who pulls in the biggest Burmese python will be paid $1,000.
By all accounts, there’s no chance that the month-long hunt will rid the state of Florida of all its unwanted pythons which are thought to number in tens of thousands. But sponsors and supporters of the hunt say it will help draw attention to the damage these big snakes are doing to the state’s native ecosystems.
“There’s a need to raise the sense of urgency here,” said Darin Schroeder, Director of Conservation Advocacy for American Bird Conservancy, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation groups. “These snakes multiply quickly, are highly adaptable to new environments and they consume a large quantity and wide variety of prey, including mammals, amphibians, lizards, and threatened and endangered bird species.”

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