Monday, February 16, 2015

Citizen scientists learn how to snag a snake

On the first of February, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission conducted a training session to teach 20 volunteers how to identify and capture invasive snakes that are plaguing Florida.  An important part of the training involved teaching the differences in native and non-native snakes, since only the invasive snakes are causing issues in the ecosystems.  Using poles and bags, the volunteers were shown, and later supervised in, how to capture the several pythons that were brought in for the workshop.  The training workshops are part of the permitting process that volunteers can apply for to capture non-native snakes on certain FWC-owned properties.  This program is not without its critics, as some believe that it is a dangerous to send non-professional out after large constrictors and that the program may not even be effective.  However, this program will also serve to educate the public on the presence of the various non-native snakes that now inhabit Florida.  To read the article on the training.