Python Patrol is a training program that teaches individuals to identify Burmese pythons, safely and humanely capture these invasive snakes, and properly report the data to FWC. The goal of the program is to create a network of trained individuals throughout south Florida who know how to identify Burmese pythons and how to report sightings, which will help FWC respond quickly when these snakes are encountered.
Two types of free training workshops are offered:
- Python Patrol training
The Python Patrol training includes information on Burmese pythons in Florida, rules and regulations, permits, python detection, species identification, data reporting and safe capture techniques. Participants also receive hands-on experience catching wild caught Burmese pythons. Python Patrol trainings are limited to 20 people and are 3 hours long. This training is for people who work or recreate outdoors, are likely to encounter pythons, and are interested in learning how to safely and humanely capture them.
- Reptile Identification training
The Reptile Identification training includes information on Burmese pythons in Florida, rules and regulations, python detection, species identification and data reporting. There is no hands-on component. Reptile Identification trainings do not have a limit on the number of participants and can be modified to be 20 minutes long to 1.5 hours long. This training is for people who do not wish to capture snakes, but who want to learn about pythons, how to identify them and what information to collect and report if they should see one.
Workshops are offered in south and southwest Florida. All participants are encouraged to take the free online REDDy (Introduced Reptile Early Detection & Documentation) training. The REDDy training is required to qualify for a permit to transport live Burmese pythons and to remove pythons from FWC Wildlife Management Areas. Participants that are interested in applying for a permit can do so at Python Patrol trainings (not Reptile Identification trainings) and should bring a copy of their REDDy certificate with them.
If you are interested in attending a Python Patrol or Reptile Identification workshop, please see the list of scheduled dates below.
FWC will consider requests for workshops from interested groups of 8 or more people. Contact the Python Patrol program coordinator for more information.
Upcoming Python Patrol Workshops
All events listed below are open to the public but participants may need to register online or RSVP to attend. Unless noted, all events are free of charge.
September 19, 2014
Python Patrol training, 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Gasparilla Island State Park, 880 Belcher Rd., Boca Grande, FL 33921
Participants must print out their registration ticket and display it on the dash of their vehicle to avoid paying the park entrance fee. There will be signs directing participants to the Amory Chapel, which is where the workshop will be held.
For more information, contact:
Python Patrol program coordinator