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New High Tech Camera Could Help Florida In Fight Against Invasive Burmese Pythons

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) — Snake hunters will soon have a new tool in Florida's fight against the invasive Burmese python in the Everglades.

It's a new high tech camera that uses special wavelengths of light to expose the snake hidden in the River of Grass.

Researchers at the University of Central Florida and the non-profit company Imec developed the camera to help expose the snake.

The python is typically very difficult to detect because of its camouflage markings. Thermal imaging doesn't work because pythons are cold-blooded and adopt the temperature of their surroundings.

Python High Tech Camera Pic Imec_2
Image of Burmese Python with Imec's high tech camera. (Courtesy: Imec)

The new spectral resolution camera works in conjunction with an LED light source that together detect a python's reflection, not its heat signature.

The Palm Beach Post reports that researchers plan to attach a drone that will allow the camera to identify a python and alert the hunter.

WATCH: Imec camera in action finding Burmese Python


The cameras will cost between $2,000 to $3,000. If testing with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission goes well, the camera could be available for routine use by hunters by spring 2020.

Wildlife officials recently tripled their python budget to nearly $1 million.

Officials say pythons are destroying the Everglades' ecosystem, warning that one female python can produce 30 and 60 hatchlings at a time.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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