The state agency overseeing Everglades restoration projects plans to pay people to kill Burmese pythons in the wetlands.
The South Florida Water Management District said in a statement Thursday that 25 people will be selected for a 60-day pilot program that aims to remove the invasive predators from state-owned lands.
Officials say pythons are decimating populations of native Florida mammals, which deprives panthers, alligators, bobcats and birds of their primary food source in the Everglades.
Starting April 1, participants will be given special access to python-infested district property in Miami-Dade County. They'll be paid minimum wage ($8.10) up to eight hours each day, plus $50 per python. They'll receive extra money for snakes measuring longer than 4 feet and for eliminating python nests with eggs.
To be eligible for the job, applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver's license and email address, posess a smart phone that can be tracked through GPS, have not been convicted of a felony or wildlife-related offense within the last five years, and must submit to a criminal background check.
Participants are allowed to use firearms to remove pythons, said South Florida Water Management District.
Registration begin Friday at https://www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/python-program