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Tag: Vero Beach

The content below has been tagged with the term “Vero Beach.”


  • Palm and mangrove trees snapped like twigs.

    Service employees joining Irma response effort

    September 15, 2017 | 7 minute readBig Pine Key, Florida – It had all the makings of a thankless, dangerous and depressing task, but Jon Wallace knew – or thought he knew – what he was facing. Learn more...

    Damaged palm trees and mangroves on Cudjoe Key, Florida. Photo by Glenn Fawcett, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

  • A deer similar in appearance to a white-tailed deer, but much smaller in size

    Support and cooperation cure the New World screwworm infestation in the Keys

    April 12, 2017 | 2 minute readThe unexpected New World screwworm infestation of the endangered Key deer confirmed September 30, 2016, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture was found on 13 Keys and led to 135 Key deer deaths. Screwworms are fly larvae or maggots that infest warm-blooded animals through open wounds and feed on living tissue. They were formerly eradicated from the U.S. in the 1960’s. The herculean effort to eliminate screwworms and save the Key deer was recently celebrated at a public meeting on March 25, 2017. Learn more...

    A Key deer on Big Pine Key in Florida. Photo by Garry Tucker, USFWS.

  • Employees and volunteers in personal flotation devices unload oyster shell from a boat.

    Oyster reef project designed to aid pelican island

    March 10, 2017 | 3 minute readDozens of people got their feet wet in the Indian River Lagoon on February 28 while building an oyster reef breakwater at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Vero Beach, Florida. The reef is designed to prevent further erosion of iconic Pelican Island, which has already decreased in size by 60 percent from its original 5.5 acres. Over a span of about six hours, staff and volunteers from several agencies transported (by truck and by boat) about 600 bags of fossilized shells and stacked them around a small mangrove island near Pelican Island proper at the refuge that bears its name. Learn more...

    USFWS employees and volunteers offloading bags of shell for the oyster reef project. Photo by Sandee Dawdy, Pelican Island NWR volunteer.


  • A small deer with velvet covered antlers in a recently burned forest.

    First, do no harm: keeping wildlife wild and healthy

    October 10, 2017 | 3 minute readVero Beach, Florida – The old doctors’ adage “First, do no harm” also applies to wildlife, in this case Key deer. Legitimately trying to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, well-meaning people have been providing a variety of food products (corn, dog/cat food, etc.) for Key deer and other wildlife. But feeding them could do more harm than good. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) strongly urges the public not to feed wildlife, particularly Key deer. Read the full story...

    A Key deer in velvet. Photo by USFWS.

  • A succulent green leaved plant with hairy red stems.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list four South Florida plants as threatened or endangered

    October 5, 2017 | 3 minute readBecause of the risk of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is listing four plants found only in Florida’s Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The shrub Everglades bully, Florida pineland crabgrass, and an herb, pineland sandmat, are being listed as threatened. In addition, the Florida prairie-clover, another shrub, is being listed as endangered. Florida prairie-clover. Photo by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Read the full story...

    Pineland sandmat. Photo by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

  • A small deer with two small emerging antlers lays on a slab of concrete while taking a drink of water from plastic tupperware.

    Thirsty Key deer get a helping hand from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the public

    September 22, 2017 | 6 minute readBig Pine Key, Florida – Key deer, the lovably docile and locally iconic herbivores that meander across the piney marshlands and in-town streets of the Lower Keys, were hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Some survivors seem listless and dehydrated a week after Irma wracked this hard-hit island, home to National Key Deer Refuge. The storm’s surge – 4 feet high in places – inundated freshwater drinking holes turning them salty and unpalatable. Read the full story...

    A dehydrated Key deer drinks water provided by USFWS at National Key Deer Refuge. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS.

  • An USFWS employee in uniform looks at a small screen to register the salinity level of a small pond.

    Community assistance opportunity to help Florida Keys wildlife

    September 20, 2017 | 3 minute readThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) completed surveys of areas known to provide fresh water to wildlife in the National Key Deer Refuge (No Name and Big Pine Keys west to Sugarloaf Key) following Hurricane Irma. Due to the storm surge from Hurricane Irma, salinity levels in fresh water wetlands are on average higher than acceptable levels for most wildlife species, including the endangered Key deer, resident and migratory birds, rabbits, butterflies, and other species. Read the full story...

    Chris Eggleston, project leader at the Southwest Louisiana NWR Complex tests salinity levels on the National Key Deer Refuge. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS.

  • A small deer with velvet covered antlers in a recently burned forest.

    Irma leaves plenty of food and water for key deer

    September 13, 2017 | 2 minute readIf you’re worried about Florida Key deer dying of thirst or starvation following Hurricane Irma, an expert on the tiny creatures has one word of advice: don’t. The deer have ample water and more food than they might be able to eat. That’s the opinion of Roel Lopez, the director of the Natural Resources Institute at Texas A&M University. He studied the animals, a subspecies of white-tailed deer, for his doctoral thesis. Read the full story...

    A Key deer in velvet. Photo by USFWS.

  • A deer similar in appearance to a white-tailed deer, but much smaller in size

    Key deer among many Florida Keys species facing Irma

    September 11, 2017 | 4 minute readLess than a year after surviving a rugged screwworm infestation, the Florida Keys’ Key deer now must contend with Hurricane Irma. Some fans of the endangered species are worried. Catastrophic storms like Irma raise questions about wildlife, nature and impacts to their populations. At the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, there are nearly 25 threatened and endangered wildlife and plants. “When you know there are 130 mile-per-hour winds and 10 feet of storm surge shoving into the Keys, that’s big,” said Dan Clark, project leader for the complex. Read the full story...

    A Key deer on Big Pine Key in Florida. Photo by Garry Tucker, USFWS.

  • Tree-like coral under what looks like snow from spawning coral.

    Coral reef commons draft habitat conservation plan available for public review and comment

    March 23, 2017 | 3 minute readVero Beach, Florida – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on a developer’s plan to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to eight threatened, endangered, and at-risk species in Miami-Dade County. The plan is part of a process to clear the way for construction to begin on a 137-acre residential and commercial project in south Miami. Public comments will be considered on the draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and associated Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed Coral Reef Commons development over the next 60 days. Read the full story...

    Elkhorn coral spawning. Photo by Brett Seymore, National Park Service.

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