For August's Citizen Science Saturday, we are partnering with University of Florida and National Park Service to offer an Invasive Reptiles Class and Handling Workshop!

Invasive species are non-native species that have been introduced and whose populations cause ecological and/or economic damage and may impact human health and safety. Some invasive species may pose a threat to small pets, destroy gardens, prey on native wildlife, and compete with native species for resources. Once established in a new location, they are very difficult to eradicate. Therefore, it is very important to detect these species before they establish a breeding population and to make an effort to control the population once it has been established. REEF works to combat the invasive lionfish in Caribbean and Atlantic waters, but there are many land-based invasive species that are wreaking havoc on the environments and native wildlife of south Florida and the Florida Keys.

 

Join us to learn about what is being done to control invasive reptiles and how you can help! National Park Service (NPS) and University of Florida’s Invasive Reptile BioCorps interns will share a presentation about the adverse impacts of invasive reptiles in south Florida, how to identify them, and what you can do to make a difference. NPS has partnered with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and U.S. Geological Survey to train and enlist scientists and the public to detect these species and remove them from the wild. NPS runs a Python Removal Authorized Agent program which authorizes volunteers to catch invasive pythons and remove them from the environment.

 

Following the presentation, participants may join a FWC Python Patrol Training and take an important step towards becoming an authorized agent and removing pythons from the wild. The location for the hands-on portion of this training is to be determined.


Schedule and Details

Classroom Session

Location: REEF Interpretive Center (98300 Overseas Hwy. Key Largo, FL 33037.)

Time: 9:30-10:30am

Cost: Free to attend. Suggested $10 donation to REEF at the door.
 

FWC Python Patrol Training

Location: Key Largo Ranger Station (98710 Overseas Hwy. Key Largo, FL 33037)

Time: 11:00-1:00pm (approximate)

The Python Patrol Program educates the public on Burmese pythons and what is required to capture and transport them (permits, regulations, capture techniques, etc.). Anyone attending the training will get hands-on experience catching live pythons (to be provided by FWC.)

Important Information: All participants must wear closed-toed shoes and long pants. It is suggested to wear clothes that you don't mind getting a little messy. The training will last at least one hour and will be held outdoors in a grassy area, so it is highly suggested to bring water, sunscreen, and sun protection (hat, sunglasses, etc.)

Members of the public should not bring their own pythons to the training.


Please pre-register to attend. For any questions or to reserve your space, please e-mail brittany@REEF.org.