Photo courtesy of Edward Mercer
FWC issues permits that allow people to capture and remove Burmese pythons and other exotic reptiles from Everglades and Francis S. Taylor WMA, Rotenberger WMA and Holey Land WMA. Permit holders may also capture and remove pythons on certain properties managed by the South Florida Water Management District. Applicants must be Florida residents, possess a digital camera and GPS unit, and have experience capturing wild snakes, handling aggressive snakes and working in remote areas.
Permit holders may sell the hide and meat, thus providing a type of compensation (note: Burmese pythons from Everglades National Park have been found to have very high levels of mercury and may not be recommended for human consumption).
All conditional reptiles and tegus may be taken under this permit. The snakes can be captured by hand, with nets or snares, or with firearms on some properties. Pythons may be euthanized onsite by humane methods, taken to a veterinary office for euthanizing by a veterinarian, or dropped off live at several approved facilities. All python removal permits expire Dec. 31 each year.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Be Florida resident
- Possess a digital camera and a GPS unit
- Have experience capturing wild snakes
- Have experience handling large constrictors
- Be knowledgeable about proper and humane methods of euthanizing reptiles
- Have experience working in remote areas
- Photograph and mark GPS locations of captured snakes
- File trip reports with the FWC within 36 hours of capture
*The FWC is currently not accepting applications for the Python Removal Program. We are working with the South Florida Water Management District to address program improvements and enhancements during the first part of this year. New applications may be available as soon as early April.