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Additional Efforts

Python reserach team with tracked pythons

Image courtesy of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Scout Snakes

Scout snake projects utilize radio-telemetered pythons during mating season to lead researchers to other pythons (Smith et al. 2016; Bartoszek et al. 2021). This tool is a useful method for locating pythons in the interior of the landscape where dense vegetation, standing water and solution holes make detection even more difficult. As of January 2023, there are three active Scout Snake Programs in south Florida: 1) Conservancy of Southwest Florida, 2) National Park Service and US Geological Survey (USGS) in Big Cypress National Preserve, 3) University of Florida and USGS in Everglades and Francis S. Taylor WMA.

Detector Dogs

Detector dogs are another tool that have shown some success in locating wild pythons using scent and could be deployed for targeted removal of pythons from biologically sensitive areas, for surveys to better understand the distribution of pythons, as well as in Early Detection/Rapid Response (EDRR) efforts (Romagosa et al. 2011). As of January 2023, The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge both have active detector dog teams.

A trained python detector dog enjoys a tennis ball toy

Image courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission