Florida forms task force to battle invasive species

(NBC) - More pythons have been caught in Florida's Collier County in the first three months of this year than in all of 2009.

The invasive snakes are reproducing faster than it is being killed and state wildlife and conservation agencies say something needs to be done about it.

"We don't know exactly how many of these snakes are out there, they are getting big enough that they are a threat," said Mike Knight.

Knight is the coordinator for Southwest Florida's new Invasive Species Task Force. The regional group is made up of state agencies including the Audubon Society, Florida Fish and Wildlife and Rookery Bay.

The task force will focus on all invasive species but the Burmese python is at the top of the list.

"We're not going to be able to eradicate these. These snakes are here to stay forever," said Knight.

The Invasive Species Task Force held their first meeting last week.

The group outlined plans for an educational campaign geared toward the public as well as plans to create a 911-style python hotline.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.