From Island Sun, photo courtesy of SFWMD
Chauncey Goss, governing board chairman of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), recently participated in a python hunt with SFWMD python hunter Geoff Roepstorff.
“The hunters are focused on removing the hatchlings during this time of year as they compete against our native hatchlings and will continue to decimate our mammal populations if not captured,” said SFWMD Project Manager Mike Kirkland.
Roepstorff was successful in removing two python hatchings during the hunt. His captures represent the 2,345th and 2,346th pythons removed by 26 SFWMD hunters in just over two years.
“This successful program has been a great way for SFWMD to exercise stewardship over the Everglades and the native species in that habitat,” said Goss. “I am sincerely appreciative of the opportunity to see the hunters in action, especially as the district moves forward with the governor’s new initiatives for the SFWMD Python Elimination Program.”
Goss’ first ever python hunt followed the recent announcement by Gov. Ron DeSantis regarding the expansion of Florida’s python eradication program into 130,000 acres of state parks. Gov. DeSantis also called on the SFWMD and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to bring greater resources and collaboration, enhancing the python removal efforts begun in March 2017.