» The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is offering 56 in-person training sessions for the upcoming Python Challenge, which attracted more than 1,600 hunters from around the world in 2013.
The two-hour training periods begin Saturday at Big Cypress Swamp and run through Feb. 6 at multiple South Florida locations, according to the FWC. The Python Challenge will expand into Everglades National Park for the first time in 2016. Registration for the hunt and an online instruction course is required.
The popular python hunt is scheduled Jan. 16 to Feb. 14 and permits will be issued in the fall.
Also, a new documentary by a Miami Beach filmmaker was just released that spotlights Ground Zero for the ecological evil-doer. "Exotic Invaders: Pythons in the Everglades explores the challenge conservationists face in South Florida and features veteran snake hunter Ruben Ramirez.
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» Captive breeding may be the last chance to save Florida's grasshopper sparrow, North America's most endangered bird. (Via Audubon)