While many understandably have taken shelter during the storms and flooding that have beset South Florida during the month of June, Sanibel residents Tom Uhler and Geoff Roepstorff saw the severe weather as an ideal opportunity to continue their Everglades conservation efforts.

Geoff Roepstorff, CEO of Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands, and Tom Uhler, Partner in Uhler Vertich White Advisors, are longtime friends bonded by their shared commitment to protecting Florida’s natural habitats. As a lifelong environmentalist, Roepstorff sought out ways to become a licensed python contractor for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) deep in the Everglades. In time, he included his family and close friends like Uhler in his work to remove invasive Burmese pythons from Florida’s ecosystem.

Uhler, it turns out, is more than a seasoned financial advisor. He has a particular affinity for spotting invasive python, even in the most challenging of circumstances. On a very rainy and windy night, Uhler recently spotted both of the pythons the team ultimately caught out of the river of grass. This marked the tenth catch for Uhler while on approximately 15 hunts with Roepstorff.

“Beyond his catches to date, Tom has an uncanny ability to spot these dangerous apex predators laying low in the Everglades,” said Roepstorff. “He is just an invaluable part of the team, especially in rough weather and nighttime conditions. Maybe it’s his training as an Eagle Scout – Tom is just a natural out in the field.”

Pythons are large invasive constrictors posing direct threats to native wildlife such as marsh rabbits, deer, wading birds, and even alligators. They deprive native predators such as panthers, raptors, alligators and bobcats of their primary food sources.

“I am grateful to be a part of such a well-run operation,” said Roepstorff of SFWMD. “To date, no other organization has come close to removing more Burmese pythons from the Everglades than South Florida Water Management.”

To learn more about SFWMD’s Python Elimination Program, visit www.sfwmd.gov.