They tried hiring professionals. They tried training people to compete in a big roundup. They even brought in tribesmen from India.
Now Florida wildlife officials who want to rid the state of invasive snakes are trying something even more offbeat: prizes for anyone in the public who picks up a python.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Monday that it's launching a "Python Pickup Program," in which anybody who captures a python in the wild can simply submit a photo of the snake he or she caught in order to win....
ST. PETERSBURG — Florida scientists will ride their research vessel to Cuba next month to take measurements of its coastal waters before any oil spill ruins them.
One of the major problems with the 2010 BP oil spill, scientists say, is that no one — not the government, not the oil companies, not even universities — had taken baseline measurements of what conditions were like in the Gulf of Mexico before the Deepwater Horizon disaster....
Deepwater Horizon: Seven years after explosion and oil spill, study finds cleanup workers got sicker04/20/17Environment
On the seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the health impacts that the spewing oil had on the people who came into contact with it are still raising questions about how the cleanup was handled.
The latest studies by the National Institutes of Health found that the thousands of workers who came into contact with the oil that coated the coastlines of four states in 2010 were more susceptible to health woes during the cleanup, according to Dale Sandler, chief of the NIH's epidemiology branch....
Florida will not hold another bear hunt until at least 2019, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission decided Wednesday.
A motion to hold a hunt this year failed on a 4-3 vote. Then the commissioners voted unanimously to ask their staff to update the agency's bear management plan, including a possible hunt, two years from now.
The votes came amid the continued uproar caused by the decision in 2015 to approve Florida's first bear hunt in 21 years after a series of bear maulings. That hunt went forward despite overwhelming public opposition and repeated questions about whether the science behind the decision was adequate....
UPDATE: Florida will not hold another bear hunt until 2019 at the earliest, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission decided Wednesday.
A motion to set quotas for bear hunters in each region of the state for this year failed on a 4-3 vote. Then the commissioners voted unanimously to ask their staff to report back with an update on their bear management plan, including a possible hunt, in two years. That motion passed unanimously....
On the eve of a Florida FIsh and Wildlife Conservation Commission meeting where bears are on the agenda, the federal wildlife agency has weighed in with an announcement that Florida's bears do not qualify as endangered....
Florida's drought has become so dire that the Southwest Florida Water Management District is about to alert homeowners to watch for watering restrictions.
The board, also known as Swiftmud, is expected next week to declare a phase one water order. That means it will alert the residents of the 16 counties it oversees that they should get ready to scale back their water use.
In the Tampa Bay area, a drought such as this one used to mean pumping more water from the aquifer to replace the lack of rain. The result would be dried up lakes and wetlands, sometimes causing permanent damage....
PLANT CITY — In a quiet pasture on peaceful Saturday afternoon, a simmering family dispute erupted in gunfire.
When the shooting was over, two brothers lay dead and a third person was wounded.
Hillsborough County deputies, who were called to the scene about 2 p.m., said the two brothers were Milton Varn, 62, and Perry Varn, 66. George Terrell Long, 71, took a shot to the shoulder, and 61-year-old Joanne Varn witnessed the shooting. She was not hurt....
Florida's manatee population is likely to double to 12,000 over the next 50 years, according to a controversial computer model — a sharp departure from the days when biologists feared manatees might go the way of the dodo.
The latest forecast, released Tuesday, comes from a U.S. Geological Survey computer model that led the federal government last month to take manatees off the endangered list and instead classify them as threatened....
Last year, Florida was waterlogged. This year, Florida is on fire.
More than 100 active wildfires are burning across the state right now, according to the Florida Forest Service. Twenty-seven of them are scorching more than 100 acres each.
"We're usually not this active this early in the season," the service's assistant fire chief, Ralph Crawford, said Monday.
So it has gone in Tampa Bay, where firefighters spent Monday battling brush fires that flared up in Hernando and Pasco counties. A fast-moving grass fire Friday in St. Petersburg shut down the Interstate 275 interchange at Gandy Boulevard just as rush hour started, tying up traffic for hours....
Bears are back on the agenda of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission when it meets this month in Tallahassee. But whether that means a return of bear hunting remains to be seen.
In 2015 the FWC held its first bear hunt in 21 years,, a controversial decision prompted, in part, by a series of maulings The hunt was supposed to last a week, but wildlife commisison officials ended it after just two days because hunters killed so many bears so quickly. Among the dead: 36 lactating females, meaning they were still caring for cubs that were now orphaned....
LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's detectives didn't have to look very hard to find the man they contend cooked up a scheme to use fraudulent credit card transactions to buy supplies for jail inmates.
He was, they said, pulling off the scam while he was an inmate at the Pinellas County jail.
Detectives on Tuesday arrested the inmate, Robert Bryan Kinzinger, 47, and his girlfriend Theresa Farr, 56, of 1219 Rosewood St. in Largo....
Fight over building Lake Okeechobee reservoir shows how delay in Everglades restoration has hurt Florida03/31/17Perspective
The Everglades goes by several names. The Seminoles called it Pa-hay-Okee, meaning "grassy waters." Marjorie Stoneman Douglas dubbed it "the River of Grass."
These days legislators are probably calling it the World's Biggest Headache.
On the one hand, politically powerful Senate President Joe Negron wants to pass a bill that would acquire land owned by sugar companies to build a reservoir to hold excess water from Lake Okeechobee, using it to bring a better flow back to the Everglades....
Florida's most famous endangered species, the manatee, no longer deserves to be called endangered, say federal wildlife officials.
They announced Thursday that they are dropping manatees from the endangered list and reclassifying them as merely threatened.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took this momentous step the day after celebrating "Manatee Appreciation Day" on its social media accounts....
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday that the federal government are taking manatees — which have long been considered endangered since the first endangered species list came out in 1967 — down a notch to merely "threatened."
Federal officials called it a success story for the Endangered Species Act. The action was driven by a lawsuit by the libertarian group Pacific Legal Foundation, representing a group in Crystal River that opposes new protections for manatees there....