Florida Trend's Floridian of the Year
Fla. Newsmakers of 2009
People who made an impact in business, economy, science, environment, government, education, sports, philanthropy, media and our fallen soldiers.
Burmese Python: Bad
African rock python: Worse
The state has been ringing the alarm bell — mostly quietly — about invasive species in Florida for at least 15 years. This summer, it began taking action — tepidly — to constrain the growth in the python population, issuing special licenses to snake hunters who subsequently killed 37 of the constrictors. State wildlife officials hope to issue even more licenses next year. Meanwhile, sportsmen with regular hunting licenses can kill any snakes they come across in certain areas of the Everglades.
A note of irony: According to National Geographic, "habitat depletion, continued demand for Burmese pythons in the pet trade and hunting for their skins and flesh ... have landed these graceful giants on the threatened species list" in their native environments in Southeast Asia and Africa. — Mark Howard