FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state is expanding its efforts to eradicate invasive pythons in the Everglades and is working with the federal government to get snake hunters to remote areas of Big Cypress National Preserve.

DeSantis announced Wednesday that Florida will double its resources for python removal and that the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Agriculture have a new agreement to begin hunting pythons in 130,000 acres (52,610 hectares) of state parks.

He's directing the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Florida Water Management District to work together to research ways to eliminate pythons and to make a python challenge an annual event instead of once every three years. The challenge awards python hunters who capture the most snakes, which have decimated native species.

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