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  • Four manatees and a school of fish assemble under crystal clear water.
    Information icon Manatees at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Photo by David Hinkel.

    Manatees hanging out in mitigation feature in Southwest Florida

    May 15, 2019 | 3 minute read

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists monitoring the progress of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) were excited to hear that up to 20 Florida manatees used the manatee mitigation feature south of Port of the Islands marina in Collier County, Florida, in January and February. Kim Dryden, biologist. Photo by USFWS. That manatee mitigation feature is a refugium built by the South Florida Water Management District a couple of years ago.  Learn more...

  • A bright pink bird with large wings with black feathers flying across a blue sky
    Information icon Pinky The Flamingo turned up at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida after Hurricane Michael. Photo © Karen Willes, Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

    Pinky in paradise

    May 2, 2019 | 4 minute read

    St. Marks, Florida — Hurricane Michael careened through the Gulf of Mexico last fall sucking up all manner of flotsam and jetsam before scattering the unwelcome mess across the Panhandle. Yet there was one airborne interloper that was embraced heartily by the storm-tossed masses below. Pinky The Flamingo.  Learn more...

  • A marsh at low tide exposes a mud flat with sparse pine trees in the distance.
    Information icon Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Nanciann Regalado, USFWS.

    Coastal Alabama refuge adds land

    April 26, 2019 | 3 minute read

    A jewel of an ecosystem just grew by more than 350 football fields, thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and several partners. The land in question: the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, a roughly 7,000-acre tract near Gulf Shores, Alabama. It’s called the Little Point Clear Unit — two parcels comprising 470 acres, enough land to accommodate 355 football games. It became a formal part of the refuge April 26.  Learn more...

  • A blue sky partially obscured by tall green pine trees.
    Information icon Longleaf pine stand located in the Coastal Headwaters forest in Alabama. Photo by USDA.

    Coastal Headwaters project in Florida is a major step for longleaf pine restoration

    April 24, 2019 | 4 minute read

    Pace, Florida — Rarely has the establishment of a conservation easement generated such fanfare. But dozens of public, private and nonprofit officials on Wednesday extolled the wonders of the permanent setting-aside of 3,719 acres of forested land. Coastal Headwaters Longleaf Forest; Healthy Forest Reserve Program Conservation Easement. Map by Roberta Moore, The Conservation Fund. This, though, was no ordinary celebration. It’s likely the first of many such easements intended to restore majestic longleaf pine stands across a large swath of private property.  Learn more...

  • A sign explains the hirstorical significance of the Florida torreya with a white house in the background.
    Information icon The Gregory House with propped-up torreya. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS.

    Saving the Florida torreya

    April 22, 2019 | 8 minute read

    Bristol, Florida — The Florida torreya was one of the world’s most endangered trees even before Hurricane Michael savaged the remaining wild specimens along the Apalachicola River with 100-plus mph winds in October 2018. It was also one of the most controversial trees, Exhibit A in a roiling debate over how, and where, to keep alive species facing extinction. More than 650,000 torreyas once lined the ridgelines or hugged the ravines near the Apalachicola and Flint rivers.  Learn more...

  • Ten plus monarch butterflies perched on a single yellow plant.
    Information icon Monarch butterflies gathering in Chenier Plain coastal prairie. Photo by Woody Woodrow, USFWS.

    Monarchs on the ranch

    April 18, 2019 | 3 minute read

    Perryville, Arkansas — Diamond TR Ranch is a 340-acre working ranch located on Arkansas Highway 10 west of Little Rock. The ranch is divided by the Maumelle River which provides 95 percent of the input for Lake Maumelle, a source of drinking water for about 450,000 residents of central Arkansas. When I first pulled up to the ranch I was greeted by a man who had clearly been up since before sunrise.  Learn more...

  • water topels over a foot drop after a dam was removed on the Sucarnoochee River.
    Information icon Native fishes and mussels can move upstream after removal of Livingston Dam in Alabama. Photo by Eric Spadgenske, USFWS.

    Livingston Dam: A restoration story

    April 10, 2019 | 4 minute read

    Livingston, Alabama — The Sucarnoochee River is a sleepy coastal plain river that snakes its way through the Black Belt (the band of fertile soil crossing central Alabama and northeast Mississippi), near the University of West Alabama. The ‘nooch has only been studied by a handful of scientists and is not well known as a major tourist destination. Home to unique animals with comparably unique names, like bankclimber, fawnsfoot, Alabama orb, bluehead chub, and naked sand darter, this river contributes to the state of Alabama’s depth of aquatic biodiversity.  Learn more...

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