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Posted at June 28, 2011 by Comments Off

Virginia Key planned as Port project’s dumping site

Virginia Key Park's North Point is the targeted site for excavated debris drilled from the billion-dollar Port of Miami project. The North Point proposed dumping site is located on the northern stretch of the mostly-undeveloped 1,300-acre barrier island adjacent to a state-designated critical wildlife area. Environmentalists fear that the Port of Miami dumping proposal would undo recent efforts to restore parts of Virginia Key to its natural state. Virginia Key is one of the last remaining condo-less islands with mangrove, wetland, and (recently restored) tropical hardwood hammock habitats in the Miami Downtown area. ...

Roseate Spoonbill nests decrease

This is the third in Quirky Flamingo's series on how Everglades Restoration would change the wildlife and landscape of South Florida's River of Grass: A 2010 study overlooked by the local media shows that the overall number of Roseate Spoonbill nests in the Everglades watershed was more than 60 percent lower than wildlife officials had set as a threshold for the Spoonbill's recovery. A copy of the report can be found here on the Web page for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (SFERTF).

Posted at June 25, 2011 by Comments Off

Unknown Future: Troubles on horizon for endangered Everglades Snail Kite

This is the second in Quirky Flamingo's series on how Everglades Restoration would change the wildlife and landscape of South Florida's River of Grass: The Everglades Snail Kite population has been declining steadily since 2001, and one scientific model projection puts the species on a track towards near extinction in 2030 if conditions don’t change. That means fewer than 50 Snail Kites by as early as 2030. “The bottom line is the population is not doing well. That is not an overstatement, it is an understatement," said UF Research Ecologist ...

Posted at June 15, 2011 by Comments Off

Rescued Florida panther, now 12 months old, will graduate to the wild

The rescued Florida Panther Kitten that I wrote about last month is set to be released into the wild soon. "He's grown up," Steve Steve Shurter, Director of White Oak Conservation Center, said Monday. The kitten, now 12 months old and about 85 pounds, was rescued from the Big Cypress National Preserve in the fall after its mother was killed. The Big Cypress National Preserve Panther Rescue Team, along with volunteers, rescued the kitten. The kitten was scrawny and malnourished, unable to hunt on his own. After spending several months at ...

Posted at June 12, 2011 by Comments Off

Wood Stork is one Indicator of our Wetlands’ Health

I'm always glad to see one of these endangered wading birds gliding overhead. These graceful birds are an indicator of the health of our natural environment here in South Florida. I was hiking along when I looked up just in time to catch the striking white and black plumage of this Wood Stork gliding above like a plane. Wood storks were listed on the Federal Endangered List in 1984. Their low population size ...

Posted at June 09, 2011 by Comments Off

Nature photo: Fire Scar

    I liked this photo for the contrast in colors under the overcast sky. It also shows how fast the brush grows back after a fire, likely a prescribed burn here at Seacrest Scrub Natural Area. Not too far down the trail, a few saw palmettos were still black but resprouting. Here is another pine branch nearby: Photos By Roger Real Drouin

Posted at June 08, 2011 by Comments Off
Category : Enviroment
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Trouble on Lake Okeechobee for endangered Snail Kites

For those of you who have been following the recent story about the Everglades Snail Kites and how they are being impacted by water pumping from Lake Okeechobee, the National Audubon Society posted a full report and started an online petition against the pumping. The Snail Kite, which is impacted by water levels and the vitality of the apple snail, is an indicator of the health of our natural environment here in South Florida, and right now there are facing many threats, including SFWMD's water-pumping from Lake Okeechobee. It’s important that our state’s leaders are aware of how our actions ...

Posted at June 06, 2011 by 1 Comment
Category : Enviroment
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Panther Kitten Rescued, and Learning to Hunt on Its Own

I wrote about the Florida Panther kittens that died in the Jarhead Big Cypress forest fire, so now I’m glad to report on another panther kitten that was lifted out of harm's ways twice. The kitten was first rescued by wildlife officials and volunteers in October after his mother was killed in a fight with another panther, and again rescued after a tree fell on his pen at a recovery facility in northeast Florida. The panther, still less than six months old, is back at the White Oak Conservation Center learning how to hunt and capture prey on its own, according to ...

Posted at May 26, 2011 by Comments Off

How Glades Restoration Would Impact One Snail-Loving Hawk

This is the first in the Quirky Flamingo's series on how Everglades Restoration would change the wildlife and landscape of South Florida's River of Grass. The Everglades Snail Kite would probably be one of the first species to benefit directly from efforts to return the Everglades to its natural flow. When—or if—political and budgetary hurdles are cleared, and Everglades restoration plans come to fruition, the Everglades Snail Kite would soon see an upward turn in its population of less than 800 adults.

Posted at May 23, 2011 by Comments Off

May 20 is Endangered Species Day

May 20, 2011 is Endangered Species Day. Perhaps the most famous endangered Everglades critter is the Florida Panther. In the spirit of the day, we're re-posting a great article on the Panther by independent journalist Bob Berwyn. Last Stand for the Florida Panther? By Bob Berwyn SUMMIT COUNTY — Florida panthers are close to making their last stand in the swampy grasslands and forests of the Everglades. At least 23 panthers were ...

Posted at May 19, 2011 by Comments Off