The content below has been tagged with the term “Florida.”
July 31, 2020 | 7 minute read
Folkston, Georgia — The thieves, armed with machetes, travel in packs targeting unsuspecting communities with chilling precision. Sometimes, they’ll hit in the dead of night wearing headlamps as they slink deeper into the forest. Lookouts prowl the roadways alerting the criminals via phone or radio if the authorities approach. Then, with bags full of ill-gotten gains worth thousands of dollars, the bad guys abscond to the next ill-prepared community. Learn more...
July 16, 2020 | 3 minute read
Crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches are two features you will find at St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses St. Vincent Island in the northwestern portion of the Florida Gulf coast. Besides being surrounded by pristine Outstanding Florida Waters, the barrier island refuge is also an important safe haven for at-risk species, including gopher tortoise, Florida red-bellied turtles, and black rail birds. It is an important stop-over point for neotropical migratory birds - birds that breed in North America but spend winters in Mexico, Central America, South America or the Caribbean islands. Learn more...
July 10, 2020 | 3 minute read
Invasive species surveillance and control is front and center for Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in the Florida Keys. Just a short 18 mile drive north is the Florida Everglades, where invasive pythons are wreaking havoc on the ecosystem, a situation that would have devastating effects on endangered Keys fauna if the species were to take hold. Indeed, several pythons (one measuring 16 feet long) have already been discovered in the refuge and removed. Learn more...
July 8, 2020 | 6 minute read
The evidence is there, in long rows of numbers and words that detail where the land was purchased, and when, and — most important — how much. But numbers and words don’t explain how a lake sparkles beneath a rising sun. They cannot convey the scent of pine needles, the rapid-fire hammering of a woodpecker. The sums cannot add to the thrill of seeing a mama bear and her cubs stick inquisitive noses into a forest clearing. Learn more...
June 11, 2020 | 2 minute read
The state of Florida will soon acquire more than 17,000 acres in the Panhandle, adding a key conservation piece to the burgeoning wilderness corridor that includes the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The St. Teresa Bluffs tract runs nearly 17 miles along the Ochlockonee River and Apalachee Bay and abuts the refuge on its western edge near Panacea. Rare plants and mussels, including the sculptured pigtoe, as well as gopher tortoises, pine snakes, alligators, black bears and bald eagles abound. Learn more...
June 9, 2020 | 7 minute read
Woodbine, Georgia — The state’s newest Wildlife Management Area sits a half mile off Interstate 95, yet a world removed from the hurly-burly of modern life. Pass the entrance on Ceylon Road, which runs through some of the Southeast’s most beautiful and pristine coastal lands, and step back in time. Stately stands of longleaf pine and live oak, some two centuries old, tower over savannah-like prairies and freshwater wetlands. More than 4,000 burrows, home to at-risk gopher tortoises, dot the landscape. Learn more...
May 22, 2020 | 4 minute read
Mississippi has several rare birds, but one of the rarest is the Mississippi sandhill crane, with only about 125 individuals left in the wild. This non-migratory subspecies of the sandhill crane once lived in coastal Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and western Florida, but the only place they currently exist in the wild is in and around the 19,000-acre Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge in Jackson County, Mississippi. The refuge was established in 1975 to help prevent these striking birds from becoming extinct, and it was the very first national wildlife refuge established specifically for an endangered species. Learn more...
May 12, 2020 | 5 minute read
Maybe you’re still sheltering in place, working from home, unable to go to the gym or church. What do you do? Go fishing. Millions of Americans are doing just that — in eye-popping numbers. Cooped up, and without their usual recreational outlets, anglers have taken mightily to the mountain streams, reservoir lakes and coastal waters across the South. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision two years ago to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at the nation’s wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries seems particularly fortuitous. Learn more...
July 10, 2020 | 6 minute read
Washington – Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Conservancy of Southwest Florida announced they have teamed up to radio-track Burmese pythons in Big Cypress National Preserve, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge and other areas of Southwest Florida. This new effort marks the first-time pythons are being tracked in so many different habitats to better understand python biology across the region and ultimately find ways to more effectively control this invasive species. Read the full story...
June 9, 2020 | 3 minute read
Vero Beach, Florida — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to designate critical habitat for the Florida bonneted bat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency is also announcing the availability of a draft economic analysis for the proposed critical habitat designation. The ESA allows the Service to identify areas essential to the conservation of endangered or threatened species. Designating critical habitat under the ESA does not affect private landowners unless they implement an action involving federal funds, permits or activities. Read the full story...