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Let’s Talk About Pythons

Burmese pythons

The invasion of exotic Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades has created monumental problems for native fauna.

Ian Bartoszek, a biologist with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, has extensive experience in the collection and identification of amphibians and reptiles across the Greater Everglades ecosystem.

He will be speaking as part of the 2016 Ding Darling Lecture Series. His two “Pythons in Paradise: Collaborative Burmese Python Research in SW Florida” presentations begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, March 25, 2016, in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center.

To tackle the lack of information on the natural history and behavior of the apex predator that has limited effective Burmese python management strategy, Bartoszek joined forces with Dr. Paul Andreadis of Denison University, land managers at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey. The goal of their collaborative research project is to develop a strategy to control python population levels in Southwest Florida based upon research results from telemetry tracking and other wildlife ecology investigative methods.

Admission is free, and seating for the lecture is available on a first-come basis. Please plan to arrive one hour early to assure seating. Early arrivals can save one seat each and then may explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time or risk reassignment.

Wildlife Drive is closed on Friday, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center, Indigo Trail, and recreational opportunities at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official concessionaire located at its Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.

For more information, call 1-239-472-1100 ext. 241 or log on to dingdarlingsociety.org/lectures. For the schedule of the 2016 DDWS Film Series, please visit dingdarlingsociety.org/films.

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