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Winners of Florida Python Challenge Celebrated by Lt. Governor Nuñez

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez recently announced the winners of the 2023 Florida Python Challenge. This year, Florida had 1,050 participants from 35 states and Belgium remove 209 Burmese pythons from South Florida during the 10-day competition created by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and partners to increase awareness about invasive species and the threats they pose to Florida’s ecology. This year’s winner removed 20 Burmese pythons, taking home a $10,000 ultimate grand prize.




“Removing these invasive pythons is an important part of our efforts to protect the Everglades, and this competition allows people to get involved in Florida’s conservation efforts for one of the world’s most prized natural resources,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “I thank everyone involved in making the Florida Python Challenge a successful event year after year, and I congratulate the winners of this year’s competition.”

The winners of the 2023 Florida Python Challenge were announced at an awards ceremony at the Long Key Nature Center in Davie, FL. The Ultimate Grand Prize Winner was Paul Hobbs, who removed 20 Burmese pythons, winning $10,000. The Ultimate Grand Prize Runner-Up, Ronald Kiger, took home $7,500 for removing 14 pythons. Additionally, the winner in the military category was Justin Morgan, who took home $2,500 for removing seven pythons.

Here are all the winners:

2023 Florida Python Challenge$10,000 Ultimate Grand Prize – courtesy of Inversa Leathers 
Paul Hobbs, 20 Burmese pythons removed

$7,500 Ultimate Grand Prize Runner-Up – courtesy of Bergeron Everglades Foundation 
Ronald Kiger, 14 Burmese pythons removed 

Military Prizes – courtesy of Edison National Bank 
Most Pythons, $2,500
U.S. Army veteran, Justin Morgan, 7 Burmese pythons removed 

Most Pythons Runner-Up, $1,500
U.S. Army veteran, Thomas Aycock, 4 Burmese pythons removed 

Longest Python, $1,000
U.S. Army veteran, Jeff Lince, Burmese python length: 7 feet, 9.5 inches 

Professional Prizes – courtesy of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida 
Most Pythons, $2,500
Quentin Archie, 13 Burmese pythons removed 

Most Pythons Runner-Up, $1,500
Richard Catrambone, 12 Burmese pythons removed 

Longest Python, $1,000
Tom Rahill, Burmese python length: 8 feet, 3.6 inches 

Novice Prizes – courtesy of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida 
Most Pythons, $2,500
Bob Blank, 7 Burmese pythons removed 

Most Pythons Runner-Up, $1,500
Michael Clem, 4 Burmese pythons removed 

Longest Python, $1,000
Amy Siewe, Burmese python length: 10 feet, 8.6 inches 




“The success of the 2023 Florida Python Challenge would not have been possible without the dedication of over 1,000 competition participants, efforts from staff, support from our partners, and the strong leadership of Governor DeSantis,” said Rodney Barreto, FWC Chairman. “This success has a direct positive impact on the Everglades and our native wildlife.”

“It is great to see so many people participate in this year’s Florida Python Challenge that brings awareness to removing invasive species from Florida’s environment,” said Roger Young, FWC Executive Director. “Thanks to Governor DeSantis and our many partners, we have the privilege to reward the public for their interest in getting outdoors and helping to conserve Florida’s natural resources.”

“Congratulations to all of the 2023 Florida Python Challenge winners,” said South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Member “Alligator Ron” Bergeron. “The iconic Everglades is a national treasure, and I am proud of all of our python hunters who are so dedicated to improving Florida’s natural resources. The great partnership between the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission remains critical as we work together to combat invasive pythons. Long live the Everglades.”

Burmese pythons are not native to Florida and negatively impact native species. They are found primarily in and around the Everglades ecosystem in South Florida, where they prey on birds, mammals and other reptiles. A female Burmese python may lay 50 to 100 eggs at a time. Since 2000, more than 19,000 wild Burmese pythons have been removed from the state of Florida and reported to FWC, including more than 11,000 Burmese pythons removed since 2019.

“Thank you to all of the staff from the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who worked to help facilitate this year’s Florida Python Challenge. Over 1,000 people participated in the annual Python Challenge and experienced the magic of the Everglades this year,” said South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Drew Bartlett. “The annual python challenge is a great way to get the public involved in understanding the unique Everglades ecosystem. We continue to expedite Everglades restoration efforts thanks to the support of Governor DeSantis and Lt. Governor Nuñez, and we’ll continue working to protect South Florida’s natural resources and combat invasive species like Burmese pythons.”

Under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, FWC, South Florida Water Management District and the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida host the Florida Python Challenge® to continue raising awareness about invasive species in Florida and their impacts. The annual competition encourages people to get directly involved in Everglades conservation through invasive species removal.

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