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1 December 2016 Implications of the 2013 Python Challenge® for Ecology and Management of Python molorus bivittatus (Burmese Python) in Florida
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Abstract

The 2013 Python Challenge® provided an opportunity to learn more about the ecology and management of Python molorus bivittatus (Burmese Python). Goals of the 2013 Python Challenge were to raise awareness about Burmese Pythons, remove pythons, increase public participation and agency cooperation in removal and reporting of pythons, increase knowledge of python ecology, and examine effectiveness of incentives to increase public participation in invasive wildlife management. Over 1500 participants registered for the competition. Sixty-eight Burmese Pythons were removed during the Challenge. Thirteen females (19%), 54 males (79%), and 1 young-of-the-year (1%) python of undetermined sex were captured. More pythons—73 (68 from the Challenge and 5 incidental)—were removed during the 2013 Python Challenge period than during similar time periods during 2008–2012. We found no evidence of unintended consequences such as removal of native species. We identified 13 prey species: 6 mammals (46%), 6 birds (46%), and 1 alligator (8%). The potential of recreational-harvest incentive programs to impact python populations is uncertain. Incentive programs are potential tools in invasive-species management programs, but they should be managed diligently and evaluated for effectiveness.

Frank J. Mazzotti, Mike Rochford, Joy Vinci, Brian M. Jeffery, Jennifer Ketterlin Eckles, Carla Dove, and Kristen P. Sommers "Implications of the 2013 Python Challenge® for Ecology and Management of Python molorus bivittatus (Burmese Python) in Florida," Southeastern Naturalist 15(sp8), (1 December 2016). https://doi.org/10.1656/058.015.sp807
Published: 1 December 2016
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