The content below has been tagged with the term “Florida.”
August 20, 2019 | 2 minute read
Shell Point, Florida — St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge celebrated the acquisition of Smith Island by the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge at the refuge’s pavilion overlooking beautiful Apalachee Bay. It was an auspicious day, with pelicans sailing in front of participants as if to add their approval of the event. This small island, 20 acres or so, is about 90 percent saltmarsh, with the remainder containing a handful of small trees and bushes. Learn more...
August 20, 2019 | 2 minute read
This summer, for the third consecutive year, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge welcomed the Zeta Phi Beta sorority in support of the Pearls in the Wild initiative — a way to introduce young black women to the bountiful recreation opportunities available at their local national wildlife refuges. This effort has also been successful in providing opportunities to interact and learn from refuge staff about the different career opportunities in natural resources. Learn more...
July 17, 2019 | 2 minute read
Palmer Simmons has been cattle ranching near Sebring, Florida, since 1990. His property, almost 1,000 acres, consists of scrub and sandhill habitats that contain many rare native species, most notably the Florida scrub jay, listed as threatened in 1987 under the Endangered Species Act. This unique ecosystem is a relic of ancient sand islands, and it now is home to one of the highest concentrations of imperiled species in the United States, including 29 classified as endangered or threatened. Learn more...
June 27, 2019 | 6 minute read
St. Marks, Florida — The lighthouse was abandoned, battered by hurricanes and infested with rats. Termites feasted on plywood floors. Rainwater seeped into the cupola and ran down interior walls. Wooden steps, inside and out, rotted away. The lighthouse at St. Marks NWR. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS. The U.S. Coast Guard relinquished control of the lighthouse and keeper’s quarters to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2013. Learn more...
June 17, 2019 | 4 minute read
Long ago, before Florida’s Panhandle was ditched, drained, paved and primed for development, there existed a rich tapestry of bogs, dunes, lakes and forests alongside the Gulf of Mexico. Bulldozers all but wiped out the rare coastal habitat. Pockets, though, remain. Pockets of pitcher plants and pine lilies; of seepage slopes and wet prairies; of wiregrass and sedges; and of butterflies and bees. Pine lily. Photo © Atlanta Botanical Garden, used with permission. Learn more...
June 14, 2019 | 3 minute read
It may not be widely known that Louisiana, the Pelican State, had lost for almost a decade all of its namesake brown pelicans. In the early 1900’s Louisiana’s brown pelican population was estimated at 50,000 to 80,000. The widespread use of the insecticide DDT, however, took a huge toll on many bird species, including the brown pelican. By 1963, the bird was no longer found anywhere in the state. Today, the birds are back and their numbers around the state are staying steady. Learn more...
June 12, 2019 | 3 minute read
This August will mark 460 years since Spanish explorer and Conquistador Tristán de Luna sailed 11 vessels into what is now known as Pensacola Bay and established the nation’s oldest (but short-lived) European settlement. Now two 150-passenger catamaran-style ferryboats are plying those waters, thanks to settlement funds resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment (DWH NRDA) process. The ferries, which started service last year, began running from downtown Pensacola from a new $3. Learn more...
June 7, 2019 | 7 minute read
Panama City, Florida — Hurricane Michael savaged Tyndall Air Force Base with 160 mph winds that nearly destroyed the base and everything, including the trees, within its deadly path across the Panhandle. Damage to Tyndall alone topped $3 billion. Three-fourths of the pines on the 29,000-acre base between the Gulf of Mexico and East Bay were sheared in half. Tyndall lost $14 million in harvestable timber. Blackhawk helicopters fly over Tyndall Air Force Base. Learn more...
Good news for America’s longest snake! 15 eastern indigo snakes just released in year three of the North Florida recovery effort
June 11, 2019 | 8 minute read
Tallahassee, Florida — Fifteen eastern indigo snakes, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, have just been released in northern Florida as part of a continuing collaborative plan to return the important, native, non-venomous apex predator to the region. This effort marks the third year in a row that snakes raised specifically for recovery of the species have been released at The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve (ABRP) in Bristol. Read the full story...
May 16, 2019 | 3 minute read
Endangered Species Day, May 17, 2019, is a day to celebrate efforts to recover 1,663 species on the list of federal endangered wildlife and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act. Read the full story...