The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced a Burmese python hunting contest to keep the python population under control, CNN reported.
Wildlife officials have organized the contest in hopes that the public would see the threat this nonnative species has on the Ecosystem, Fox News reported. Data will also be collected to further investigate the python population.
"We are hoping to gauge from the python challenge the effectiveness of using an incentive-based model as a tool to address this problem," Florida Wildlife Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson told CNN.
A prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the person who kills the most pythons, CNN reported. Another $1,000 will go to the person who kills the longest.
The Burmese pythons have destroyed almost 99 percent of the fox, bobcat, and possum populations near the Everglades, according to Slate. They are native to Southeast Asia, but have been brought over to the United States and sold as pets.
According to Fox News, it is currently against federal law to import or sell Burmese pythons.
The challenge begins Jan. 12 for all Floridian permit holders, Fox News reported. Participants will have to pay a $25 entry fee and take an online training course before participating, Slate reported.