The Florida Panther
Florida Panther page
Gator Woman Blog Postings 2012
Updates and news that affect Florida's
My Google Mirror Blog
December 30, 2012
2012, A Most Tumultuous, Turbulent Year
The Florida Everglades, Protecting Paradise
This was a frequently unnerving year for those
of us who care for wild anything's.
Politicians and Lobbyists have been fighting non stop to undo
any and all safeguards
for animals and plants in every state in
So where do we stand right now?
Sometimes, the players are barely recognizable, but
money is clearly the controlling factor in it all.
Not sure if
it is a good or bad thing, but the number one recipient of my 2012 emails, etc.
Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA, has just notified Washington that
that she is out.
Who will take her place?
My greatest fear is that it could be the former lawyer for
who has a vise grip on the FDA's food
policies right now and has been pushing GMO foods hard.
What ever your opinion on GMO's, the final word is that we
still just don't really know if they are safe
or not and until we do, no one should be forced to eat them
without their consent or knowledge.
Say hello to 2013, we all could use a little break~
December 23, 2012
Our Florida Panther
This has been a good year for so many of Florida's Endangered
or Threatened wildlife,
and if only this posting could end right here.
But tragically, this has been the very worst year on record
beautiful Florida Panthers and as of today, 25 have been
We do not have 25 of them to spare.
So many people and organizations are dedicated to saving this
that when they keep dying in spite of all of the
precautions, protections and safety efforts,
it is just so disheartening.
Areas have been set aside just for them, conservation laws
have been put in place just for them,
heaven and earth have been moved for them, but they simply
cannot overcome the
single deadliest occurrence that continues to take most of their lives, humans
Of the 25 Panthers killed this year, 17 were killed by cars.
This is an unacceptable outrage.
The Florida Panther is without a doubt, the most Endangered
perhaps in the world and it is appalling that with all of our
advanced scientific technology,
Conservation organizations and indefatigably devoted
Biologists and volunteers,
that we cannot seem to stop their continual deaths.
What else, what more, can we do?
Well some one, some group, some agency, had better come up with
a new idea, an effective
working plan and soon because there are now barely only one hundred or so of them left.
And one day very soon, this critically Endangered mammal's extremely small gene pool
to the physical anomalies that may end the species altogether.
Panthers On The Verge of Extinction
December 16, 2012
Keep Your Grimy, Greedy Paws Off Of Our State!
A Florida Manatee
Today's posting is something that needs to be said for those
of you who do not live in the " Sunshine State. "
Today is simply the last straw, as far as I am concerned, with
interference from outsiders, in what should concern only the
residents of this state.
This latest affront comes from a California group trying
to interfere in Florida wildlife matters.
This time it is about our beloved Endangered Manatees and this group wants
to have them taken off of the Endangered Species List because too many boaters
and others are being "inconvenienced"
by the rules put in place to protect them.
This mess will end up in court, of course and will take time to
but that is not what is most important here.
What matters most, is that once again an outsider is trying to
take control away
from Florida about something they should have no business in
control of to begin with.
The beautiful Silver Springs area is being run by a
California company and there is a lot of
confusion right now about exactly what is to become of this
California has a contract to keep running the tour
boats there for many years to come,
so who knows what will become of the Springs.
And then there is, again, a California water bottling company
here in Lake County
that is/has been allowed to set up their company for "free" and
drain our precious
water supply to send it out of state and all over the country.
We have had a serious drought here this year and water levels
are at dangerous levels
right now and yet this out of state company continues pumping it out of the ground, "
for free. "
It is exasperating for those who are trying so hard to protect
the fragile eco-systems here,
only to see the complete disrespect shown by
these outsiders for everything that we treasure.
One thing is very clear to all of us though, money and greed
are at the root of it
Those with the most money, are buying the right to run amuck in
and we are losing this wondrous place that we love to greedy
Group Seeks To Remove Manatee's Endangered Status
December 9, 2012
Something Special to Share
As you can imagine, I receive hundreds of emails each week
with news and
stories about wildlife and the environment, but recently
one particular Blog
and posting impressed me so much, that I wanted to share it with you.
This Blog comes from the people at the
a powerful watch dog organization that continually keeps everyone
with wildlife and the environment in its crosshairs.
Fearing no one and no agency, this group has worked diligently for many
years to protect and preserve all that is beautiful here on
This particular Blog posting is concerned with water, which as
if you are a regular reader of my Blogs, is one of my
highest priority topics
because water is the alpha and omega to every living thing on
So let me introduce you to my newest favorite Blog and
this extremely important recent Posting by Mitch Merry:
The Stop Extinction Blog: Troubled Waters
December 2, 2012
When All Of The Water Is Brown~
Beautiful Alexander Springs
Reading this story has scared me enough to engage in a personal campaign
to bring public awareness to this alarming, impending Florida
The beautiful natural springs that have always made Florida
a rare and
treasured place to live and visit, are disappearing
and/or turning toxic.
As a Florida resident of only the past eight years, I know that I
don't speak with
the level of authority
of those born and raised here, but even someone new can
that this is going to end badly for every living thing in
Please read this story and if you care about water, and
you should care a lot about your water,
for the love of everything alive on the Planet, get involved
in reversing this eco-train wreck.
Water is the only thing that matters, when it ceases, so
does all life.
Florida's Vanishing Springs
November 25, 2012
Who Isn't A Sucker For A Baby Turtle?
I always go out of my way to look for any news stories about
because they are just so darn easy to love.
This year was a record breaker for turtle hatchings in
Florida, so when Hurricane Sandy came,
my first thoughts were of them, hoping that they could
survive the onslaught of the storm.
But, thankfully, I didn't have a great deal to worry about
because most of them had already
and gone out to sea to begin their new lives before
Sandy ever got here.
Yes, there were some scattered reports of some nests and
babies being lost,
but considering the enormity, the overwhelming scope of this
could have been so much worse for many of them.
Georgia State Wildlife
Biologist Mark Dodd, says that losses from storms are
" a part of the turtle's natural life
As the massive storm neared each area projected to be
affected, biologists and
went to work rescuing baby turtles all along the East Coast.
Overall, Sea Turtle numbers are still quite strong.
Thankfully, they dodged a really big one this time, so we
will all be able to enjoy
their presence for many years to come on our beautiful
Atlantic Coast Beaches.
Baby Sea Turtles Weather Most Of Sandy's Big Surge
November 18, 2012
Hoping For A Better Year For The Right Whale
Last year was a really bad year for this most Endangered Whale
on the planet,
with only six calves being born,
making it the lowest number of births in 10 years.
Average has been at about 20 per year, so this was a
fairly dramatic drop.
Experts are now waiting, watching and hoping that this years numbers
The thinking for last years alarming low birth rate was the poor
food supplies near Canada,
where they feed until coming south to Florida and
Georgia to give birth to their calves.
Here in Florida, the viewing or whale watching season for the Right Whales'
goes from the middle of November until about the end of
This most endangered whale still has worrisome numbers at
so this season may prove to be another nail biter for
devoted whale lovers.
It seems that their only enemies are the US Navy and the big
ships that insist on
invading their meager travel lanes along the Atlantic Coast.
Come on, can't we give them some room to stay alive in?
We have gone up the Coast to Flagler twice to see them pass
by, with no luck.
Whether we get to see them or not, here's hoping they go
forth and multiply~
Endangered Right Whales Head South To Give Birth
November 11, 2012
The Florida Wildlife Corridor
For those of you who do not have the privilege of being a
resident of the Sunshine State,
this story about a new Exhibit may give you an insiders look
at the reasons we Floridians
fight so hard
to protect the Natural Beauty that is found here.
The beautiful pictures on display illustrate the things we have
are nowhere else
and why we will not ever give up, or give in.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas and
former Governor Lawton Chiles were only two of many dedicated
Wildlife protectors who have defended Florida against those who
to strip her beauty barren.
The Photographic Exhibit will be on display in Museum of Botany and Arts
about the end of this month.
If you can, please take a short journey to the Gulf
Coast to see the "real" Florida
and learn about
Florida Wildlife Corridor.
Florida Wildlife Corridor Images Show Natural Beauty
November 4, 2012
About Next Tuesday.....
Next Tuesday voters in this Country will be making choices
that will affect
only their lives, but those of the Planet and the things
that live in and on it.
These are the non human items that take forever to get on a
then become so changed over time, that their supporters
barely recognize them.
In every state across this vast land, there will be so many
issues and agendas represented
on these ballots, that making correct
choices for them will be made quite difficult.
In some cases, this is very deliberate, in others, perhaps
The point is, that as a free country or Democracy, we are
supposed to have
freedom of choice, this is one of those civil rights all Americans
the 15th Amendment of the Constitution.
This is where the confusion begins.
Somehow along the way, Amendments, Addendums
and the like,
have been allowed to become so deliberately confusing,
that many feel only a lawyer could really decipher them.
So, your Ballots next week will have not only human choices, but
written ones as well.
They have been put in place and written very carefully to hide
things that you may not have chosen, if you had understood
what they really said.
This is no accident, and this mess is called the Electoral
What a strange definition for deceit this has all become.
So, what am I trying to say, you may implore?
Merely this, for God's sake and for the sake of every
living thing that has no voice,
read and understand what
you are voting for in that booth on Tuesday.
A great deal is at stake for them too.
And one last
thing that was just on our news this morning, if you leave
blank on your Ballot, some unscrupulous person may
just fill them in for you!
Please do think about that before leaving any boxes blank or
October 28, 2012
What Does Clean Water Mean To You And Me?
As we celebrate the
Clean Water Act this month, two
things are really bugging me.
First, wildlife is still dying in the Gulf from the Eco-nightmare
selfish oil people made of a spectacularly beautiful place, I know
I have swam in the Gulf and been in awe of its pristine
beauty for many years.
Oh, you thought that BP and the nice oil people took
care of the mess that they made there?
Think again, they have not.
3 Mile Oil Slick In Gulf Confirmed As BP Oil
Then there is our ever besieged
Everglades Ecosystem, which
is still fighting for
life everyday against the overwhelming big money
machines that run South Florida,
who see this entire area as only a minor impediment on their way to
over and building over everything natural in the state.
How The Clean Water Act Protects The River Of Grass
Do I sound just a little hostile, you bet.
The Gulf and the Everglades have a great deal in common,
neither of them
or write big checks to polluters, so they are
abused and pushed aside.
It is up to those of us with opposable thumbs to speak up and
vote and do
whatever it takes to stop these big money Wildlife
If Marjory were alive
today, she would be at the head of the line taking
all of these people on, but she has waged her last battle.
God Bless her for the many, many years that she fought
devoted to saving the
When will we get a Governor, or any politicians in this
state, who will stand up to the Sugar people,
the builders and the legions of selfish people who care
nothing about the future of Florida and
its wonderful natural beauty, only where their next check or
guilty pleasure is coming from?
Our Environment cannot protect or defend itself, it needs us
to speak and act on its behalf, now!
There, got that out of my system.
October 21, 2012
The Joys And Sorrows Of Fall In The Forest
Finally this morning, the day that we all wait for came, the
temperature this morning
here in the Ocala Forest was a crispy
Now this was a joyous event for those of us who have
sweltered through the past
six months of 90+ degrees, 98%
humidity here, but for the beloved critters
around my house, it
is now time for "see 'ya later."
None of my "children" the tiny green treefrogs or the
beautiful green lizards (anoles)
have shown up for the past two days on the front porch or
been spied climbing
up the lattice at the edge of it, where
they usually love to hang out all day.
For all of them, I guess it is time to find a warm
place to wait it out.
Surprisingly though, our Gopher
Tortoise "Harriet," who has been MIA for several months,
now decided to reappear in the front yard, eating
ferociously every day this week.
Not sure what this means, usually she disappears right about
now for the winter?
It has been a strange summer for all of us, extremely hot
and dry, where it should be tropical.
Not very good
for anything that walks, crawls or flies around here.
Our lakes have all suffered and the wildlife right along
with them from the extreme drought.
So, this new season that is now apparently finally upon us,
brings the usual double edged sword,
better weather for humans, but a going away party for the creatures we love so
October 7, 2012
Does The Environment Or Endangered Wildlife
To Either President Obama Or Mitt Romney?
This is a serious subject for many, but few politicians seem
willing to risk their
carefully controlled standings this year to support such a
low value return issue.
In fact, this subject is so low on the ladder list of 2012
that you would have to dig down under the ground to get to
In 2012, the political silence on the Environment is
I have watched the debate and listened to the non stop
barrage of ugly words
on TV for months, but one thing I can't seem to find
in any of it, is even the
slightest concern for the Planet and the living things on it
by these two men,
one of whom will be President of this country very soon.
Why is that, I wonder?
The staggering, obscene amounts of money these two have
raised could feed
an entire country for years, I am sure.
But instead of going for good, this endless bank account is
for even more ugly,
vicious words to be endured by an
already Campaign saturated American public.
And yet, for all of the words spoken, not one of them is ever
concerning one of the most fragile
issues of them all,
our Global Ecosystems.
When did we stop caring for living beings and begin to covet
only material things?
When all that is truly wondrous has ceased to be, will the
money stuffed into
the campaign war chests of these two men buy us all a new
The Ark has already left the building~
September 30, 2012
The Critically Endangered Whooping Crane
Will Fall Ever Arrive in Florida?
After a much needed break, I am back, refreshed and ready to
The Calendar says that Fall has officially begun, but it
will be over 90 degrees
here in Central Florida again today, so where is our Fall?
Today's posting concerns a very eagerly awaited and always hopeful
the Whooping Cranes are
finally on their way back down to Florida.
This incredible web site is dedicated to the Annual Whooping
And, if you would like to follow the Crane's journey south
back to Florida:
September 17, 2012
When You Need A Break From Your Life~
The Bean Blossom Covered Bridge
We have been gone for the past two weeks and have ignored our Blogs
and computers pretty much completely.
This is quite a feat, since we each have two Blogs and
that seem to occupy way too much of our time lately.
Our trip to the heartland of this country, namely my home
town of Indianapolis,
was supposed to be for a family reunion, but it turned
out to be so much more.
Going home for me has always been a double edged sword, I
love my family and my childhood home,
but usually, something unexpected happens
to make me wish that I had gone somewhere else.
Not this time.
This time, the reunion was basically flawless family good
and absolutely nothing
to cause me to yearn for the Keys or anywhere but
It seems that as you get older, everything falls into place,
more or less.
The really silly things that you worried about in the past,
just don't seem quite as important
and the terribly important things, people, are brought
sharply into focus.
This trip redefined my relationships with those I grew up with
and made me truly
appreciate the ones who had never been in the forefront
But, if you asked me for the moment in time on this trip
that began this process of change,
it would have been when we turned down a wrong road in the
country trying so hard to
a covered bridge and found instead two perfectly
beautiful deer standing on the dirt road.
They gave us a quick look, then wandered slowly away through
a field of golden amber flowers,
ears flicking, just nibbling and watching.
After seeing them, finding that bridge, which we did moments
later, seemed not quite so important.
The Mansfield Covered Bridge
Then, the next day, a cousin who has been extremely ill, and had
been heavy on my mind since learning of
her condition at the reunion, just appeared at an ice cream
shop several of us had stopped at after
visiting the grave sites of some of our ancestors that day.
Yes, we were in her neighborhood, but we never, ever,
expected to have her just show up there.
It was all overwhelming and very emotional.
Seeing her that day, put the whole trip into proper perspective.
No matter where you go, if you open your eyes and your
and just appreciate life, it all comes into focus.
Life that is.
August 26, 2012
Paradise Comes With A Price
Today's Blog is about what is happening to our state right
now, Hurricane Isaac.
We haven't had one this close in a bit, so everyone is
Not knowing is the worst part.
The "isolated" tornadoes thrown off of the "feeder" bands,
are what we here in the Ocala Forest would most like to forget
especially those who live in Lake Mack
and Lady Lake,
who lost so many that terrible February night in 2007.
We have dealt with the terror of tornados coming in the
dark of night
and the memories are still very strong for some of us.
So, if you are reading this from the quiet, safe
shelter of your home,
please give the state of Florida and those who live here,
on two legs or four,
a moment of your time today and wish us all a safe
through the night tonight and in the morning tomorrow.
We thank you and as Tim Tebow always says, "God Bless."
August 19, 2012
So Many Babies And Counting~
What a joy it is to report this kind of story for a change.
It gets very old, day after day, talking about the countless
Endangered Wildlife here in Florida, but this is all
There are Loggerheads,
Greens, all are either
and all are producing
offspring this season in the highest numbers
that have been
seen in the state in many years.
So many Floridians have done so much for them for so long and this
finally, they can pat themselves on the back for a job well
Protective and Environmental groups all across the state have
to make this happen and this years "bumper crop" is their
These groups and random strangers have done everything
from " lights out at night, "
to eliminating traps, trash and nets that can harm the Turtles.
Is this the beginning of a new upswing for a precarious group
of reptiles that
has teetered on the brink of decimation for so very long?
Only time will tell, and as the experts here are saying,
" let's wait to see if they come back next year to
make more babies! "
On Florida Beaches, A Bumper Crop Of Baby Turtles
August 11, 2012
What Are A Few Bombs Among Friends, Right?
Scrub Morning Glory photo: Scott Zona
When a team of "five environmental experts," goes onto a bombing range to determine
the status of some Threatened or Endangered species, is this
Recently this group went onto the Pinecastle Range here in the
Forest near where
we live, to see the effects the Navy bombing has had on
several threatened species.
The areas easily accessible to the group, yielded a poor
sampling, but when they got into a
military Humvee and went further in, they found a better
representation of these species,
which included: gopher tortoises,
scrub morning glory.
I am not sure what all of this really means to those doing
but for those of us who live here in the normally tranquil Ocala Forest,
we can assure them that we humans are being very disturbed.
Every time they start their bombing "practices," our walls
shake and our Airedale goes nuts.
We always know before our enemies do, when they are about to
So, if we are this disturbed and are about 40-50 miles away
from the Range,
I can only imagine how frightened the animals are that live
at ground zero.
The Jets are supposed to be using computers, not live bombs,
but I can't imagine any computer that exists today,
that could shake our house from that far way~
Protected Species Surveyed At Pinecastle Range
August 8, 2012
It's Crunch Time In Tallahassee, Where
Need Meets Greed!
The Green Swamp Preserve, a part of Florida Forever.
Photo credit: John
Moran/John Moran Photo.com
Eric Draper, the head of
along with several other
groups has just launched a campaign to get a constitutional amendment put on the ballot.
Republicans have been doing a hack job on
Florida Forever, to
the tune of 97.5 %
and making it just about impossible to
protect our land and
as this program was originally set up to do.
The money to pay for the program comes from tax stamps, which
from home sales and we all know how the housing market
So, when Republicans need a little extra money for odd
and ends in Tallahassee,
they "borrow" it from this Environmental program.
It will take over 600,000 signatures to get this Amendment
put on the
and if approved it would go into effect in 2015.
There's not too much at stake here, just the decision as to
whether or not,
we are going to safeguard any land or water at all,
to pass on to the next generation of Floridians.
Oh, so that would be the present generations legacy, right?
And, what if this Amendment fails?
What does that say about us here in the present?
Environmentalists Seek Florida Funding Amendment
August 5, 2012
Three Generations of Our Women
This week with no pressing, or alarming Endangered Wildlife crisis to write about,
my thoughts turned to the many blessings that we here in Florida have
wanted to share them with those of you not fortunate enough to
Number one, coming from thirty years of living and working in Los Angeles,
fresh clean air.
Next, an array of stunning wildlife, the likes of which
are rarely ever seen, anywhere on Earth.
An abundance of pure,
clean, clear water, on both sides of us,
the Atlantic on
the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico on the West.
think about this, we are so very lucky here, we can drive
just a short time and be in paradise on a Coast.
For a lucky
few, we are already there.
I have been coming here since the
early 1970's when my parents first moved here
and as they moved around looking for, like the three little
"just the right place" to spend their remaining days, I have
seen nearly every nook and cranny of this
I knew, even back then in the '70's, that one
day, just like the little bears,
I would find my own "just the
right place" here too.
Well, now it is 2012 and we all did find our
and for us, at least, it is here in the Ocala
Welcome to our paradise, welcome to our Florida.
Please, please, leave it as good as, or better than, you
The two leggeds, four leggeds and winged ones all over this
state thank you.
Please keep Florida Wildlife Wild and Alive.
August 2, 2012
Ever Thought About Joining A Facebook
Today I would like to share something not
specifically about one particular
species of Endangered Wildlife, but about groups that you
to join on Facebook that are each themselves
dedicated to one topic.
I have just joined all of these groups and some others as
well and have found
the photography, conversations and people involved, to be
If you have one animal or cause that you are passionate
I highly recommend that you look at the names of the groups
below for ideas.
If what you seek is not there, Google the topic of your
hearts desire and go for it.
You have nothing to lose and may be delighted at the
results, just as I was.
So, go get involved~
The Florida Grasshopper Sparrow
Everglades Snail Kite
July 30, 2012
Have You Met The Grasshopper Sparrow?
Probably not, because this tiny bird that is found nowhere else on earth,
is having a really hard time, just stayin' alive!
The usual factors contributing to the demise of
the Grasshopper Sparrow,
are loss of
habitat and intrusion by humans, in addition to fire ants
and flooding from the water pouring into the
This sweet song of this very tiny, most common species of
is what makes it so unique in the bird world.
Its song imitates the grasshopper's sound and so
bring females to it by deception.
So, if it wasn't bad enough with all that this bird in
distress has going against it,
now people are complaining that the Everglades is having its
"wasted" because some of it is being diverted out to sea by
to keep the nests of the birds ancestral homes from being flooded
The bird did not ask for any of this, but it is being blamed
none the less.
Can we at least be fair here?
The amount of water being "wasted" on this critically
can not begin to compare with the amount that is being
by some of the greedy humans of South Florida!
July 27, 2012
Why Can't The Everglades Ever Get A Break?
Just about the time you think, well maybe things are getting
some very disturbing news just arrived from Audubon of Florida.
In Miami today, Audubon of Florida will take on the bullies
who want to pour
the nastiest, most polluted, chemical laden water in this
state into the Everglades.
The three worst farms in the Everglades Habitat area, want
to dump their toxic waste into
the pristine waters of the Everglades and few people even
knew this was about to take place.
The phosphorus in discharged farm water, is by Florida law,
required to be reduced by 25%,
but these three farms are not playing by the rules and
it seems, is the South Florida Water Management District.
Like the St. John's Water group, SFWMD may have become too
and too powerful, and in ever more increasing fashion, both
behaving like they are not only above the law,
but can make or change the rules at will,
with no repercussions from the public, or anyone else
While some farms are doing the right thing for all of
the ones who cheat and those people who are supposed to be
are making it nearly impossible to ever bring this
Paradise known as the Everglades,
back from the brink of the disastrous onslaught of pollution
from chemicals and toxins.
The Everglades really does need to get a break!
A PDF is here:
Florida Audubon Water Permits
Or write to Jonathon Webber,
Conservation Campaign Manager
Or call: 850 222-2473
July 24, 2012
The Wood Stork May Get Room To Stretch Its
A pond or small lake with an island in it, within the Perico Preserve
become a new nesting habitat for some of
Endangered birds, like little blue herons, snowy egrets and
white ibis and
the most eagerly anticipated member, who may hopefully join this list,
one of Florida's most Endangered birds,
the Wood Stork.
The new Manatee County Rookery, which should be finished
by July 2013,
will have the island in the middle, to deter the rats and
pose a significant threat in the rearing of little ones, for
Construction on this new home for Florida's winged ones in
will begin in about two months.
Stay tuned for updates~
Manatee County's New Rookery
July 21, 2012
Friends In Need, Are Friends Indeed
an exquisite Florida Natural Area
Here in Florida, we are very fortunate to have
work diligently and tirelessly to preserve and
protect the beauty that is Florida.
One of these groups, the Audubon Society, has a great News
if you are in need of an issue, place, or animal to get
you will probably find it listed here.
Come meet Audubon of Florida and offer to lend a hand, if you
The Audubon of
Florida News Blog
July 18, 2012
Right Whales Are About To Become Extinct
For Oil Gluttony
Very soon, in the birthing/calving grounds of the
North Atlantic Right
which just happens to be the most Endangered Whale on the planet,
loud explosions may
away the last few of the species that
remain in these waters along the Florida-Georgia Coastline.
The Right Whale had very, very poor birthing numbers
to a complete lack of food up North
and now they
to do seismic blasting in the very place where they
Are you kidding me?
How much more oil do we need?
This is greed, not need!
These animals are hanging onto their very existence by a
and they want to finish them off by looking for more oil?
We need less oil, not more.
We need to walk, no run, away from this
archaic, non renewable energy and
demand new sources of energy, so that in the future, we can
in a place
where you can actually breathe the clean air, not see it.
Offshore Oil Exploration Plan Draws Fire
July 15, 2012
I Do Believe
A few days ago something happened that made me believe in the
or perhaps an even higher being~
A Florida Federal Judge said, "I don't think so," to ORV's
pristine Big Cypress Preserve.
This will be a lifeline for the most critically
Endangered mammal in
maybe in the entire Country, the Florida Panther.
The National Park Service lost this battle to a powerful
group of Wildlife Advocates,
who were fiercely determined to win this one for both the Panther and the Preserve.
Throughout this long, drawn out ordeal, however, there was much talk about
what would be disturbed, saved, lost, injured or damaged, but did anyone
what should have been the single most important reason for of doing
all of this,
for the Panther and the Preserve?
When Wildlife are disturbed, as with the Panther in Florida
or the Bison in Yellowstone, by loud, intrusive machines
helter-skelter all through their natural habitats, they are
driven away from their number one priority, which is eating to stay alive.
Once they have been interrupted by these intruders, it may take hours
or even days for the animals to find their food again.
These noisy, disturbing machines don't belong in Yellowstone
and they don't belong in the Big Cypress Preserve either,
Wild Animals cannot just reorder lunch.
Big Cypress National Preserve Protected From Off Road Vehicle Abuse!
July 12, 2012
The Precious Gift Of Life Is Not Always An Organ
Two American women who
passed on in the 1990's, left behind a great deal of their
money to make sure that
the Whooping Cranes in this Country will have a better
The generous financial gifts from Lurae Brinkerhoff of
Wyoming and Elizabeth Overton of
Colorado, were used to secure more
land for the critically Endangered Whooping
whose American living spaces have been disappearing for years.
"Designated Organ Donor" all of my life, I feel that
each of us, in whatever way
we are able, has a personal
responsibility or moral obligation,
to protect and care for those
who cannot do it for themselves.
Human and/or Animal.
So, in lieu of any great
financial bequest, my donation, for as much time as I have here,
will always be to speak for those with no voice.
Private Cash Secures U.S. Habitat For Endangered Whopping Cranes
July 9, 2012
The Snail Kite Returns to Lake Okeechobee
This story brings hope for the most abused Bird in our state,
the Everglades Snail Kite.
You notice that I said Everglades,
because just a few short years ago,
the Snail Kite was driven out of its ancestral home on Lake
north up to Lake Toho, where it was
just beginning to get a break and then bam.....
Whining, complaining, boaters forced FWS to clear Lake Toho of the
and now most abundant Hydrilla plant because it clogged up
their boat propellers.
Unfortunately, Hydrilla is the primary food of
which is the only food that this Endangered Bird can
so, no more Snails, no more Kites.
But joy untold, it would seem that for some reason the Snail
Kite has returned
to Lake Okeechobee in
numbers, that make even the most doubting of all Thomas's,
that would be me, believe that there just might be hope yet
for the Snail Kite.
A great story, hope the news will continue to be so positive for
the Everglades Snail Kite.
Okeechobee With Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Greco
July 6, 2012
Wonderful Rain, You Bring Life
Back To Us Again
Photo credit: USFWS/George Gentry
We here in Central Florida have been dealing with drought
many months now, something we don't normally have to
unlike our neighbors out in the West.
It is usually very tropical around here and rains just about
In fact, where we live, is just about dead center in the
middle of the state,
where the two tropical sea breezes collide each summer day,
bringing thunder storms and lots and lots of rain.
This is what is normal.
But nothing has been normal here for a while and we got
behind to the point where
most of Lake County's lakes had dried up and animals and
people were desperate for rain.
Just recently, we started getting back to our normal and have been blessed with downpours
that have filled up our lakes, rivers and ponds and the pay off can be
Florida's vast array of Tropical Birds
can once again be seen
enjoying the plentiful return to the "wet season" as all around us
turned to a deep, bright Irish green.
We are thankful for small blessings.
It is all good~
July 3, 2012
Today Is Another Three-fer
Three things have happened recently that affect Endangered Wildlife.
First, the Black Bear has been
taken off of Florida's Endangered Species List.
Do not even get me started on this disaster.......
I have talked to those at the very top of the food chain in
Florida about this
and there is no changing their minds, period.
Black Bears Removed From Endangered Species List
And second, a lawsuit has been filed to try to prevent the
numbers of deadly ship
strikes on the most Endangered Whale on our planet,
Right Whales A Brake
And third, the state of Nebraska has very foolishly extended
something that never
should have been started in the first place for this exact
Hunting Sandhill Cranes is beyond a really stupid idea and
here is why:
At half a mile, more or less, away, do you really think that
can tell the difference between the
Sandhill Crane and the critically
Endangered Whooping Crane,
before he pulls the trigger?
What were these people in Nebraska thinking or smoking?
Kansas Extends Hours For Sandhill Crane Hunting
June 30, 2012
We Will Take It!
Kind of similar to what happened this week in the Supreme
this victory was not exactly what we were expecting.
Not only was this Restore Act a win for wildlife, but at the
the despised Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline rider was left off of the Bill.
The message this all sends is pretty clear, at least for the
Animals are important, clean air and water are important.
And a clean environment is important.
And people everywhere are demanding that we have it.
The people have spoken loudly and clearly all this year and
thanks to the
millions of them all around the world who are wired and
networking with Facebook and Twitter, the signatures on
through the roof and their angry voices were heard all the way
to the Senate.
Oil Companies and their greedy CEO's need to start looking for
a new place to call home,
America is once again, becoming a safe haven for our wildlife
and our environment.
Wildlife Victory! Congress Says BP Fines Must Help Restore Gulf
June 27, 2012
The Last of His Kind, Lonesome George!
Photo credit: putneymark
the Last Yahi, George was also the presumed last of his kind,
a giant Pinto Island Galapagos Tortoise.
When the last of any species is gone forever, we should ask ourselves
"what are we doing to cause this?"
With Ishi, it was simple, Manifest Destiny.
European invaders marched across this country and decimated every
that they encountered along the way, in the pursuit of what they claimed
their absolute divine right or Manifest Destiny.
The scenario is pretty much the same right now, for many
species of animals on this planet,
as their Habitats are being wiped out for hotels, restaurants and shopping centers,
their water and food sources are being poisoned with chemicals and pesticides.
Species of every type, including we humans, are in danger of
due to our own greed and stupidity.
Living beings all over the world are dying at an alarming rate and the future
according to the scientists who are studying this rapid demise.
We simply cannot continue on this destructive, selfish path
not expect a terrible price to be paid.
Unfortunately for the animal kingdom, they are
the first price to be paid.
Will we be next?
Galapagos Giant Tortoise
George's Photo Gallery
June 24, 2012
A Ray Of Hope For Florida's Most Treasured Bird
On the Gulf Coast of Florida in
Homosassa Springs right now there are two
doting parents tending to eggs and if we are very, very fortunate,
one of them is fertile.
Whooping Cranes are making history for the most
Endangered Bird in this Country
and if chicks are born, they will probably be sent off to
become a part of one of the
research programs based out of the Patuxent Wildlife
Research Center in Maryland.
Regardless of whatever happens right now, a pair of Florida
is doing their best to save their own kind from
All that we need to do now, is to let them be themselves and
stay out of their way.
Whooping It Up
Captive Whooping Cranes Offer Hope
June 21, 2012
Can You See Through Your Glass Of Water?
Pipeline Spill in North Dakota
This story is so important on so many levels.
Just in case you did not minor in Geology, here is something
was pounded into my head by a Professor at CSUN years ago.
When our water is poisoned, it could take as long as 10,000 years to clean
At the time he was speaking of the poisons in California's water
from the fertilizers
and pesticides used in the San Joaquin Valley, or the
Vegetable Bowl of America.
Now, it is Dirty Tar Sands Oil, and it is just as lethal and will take
just as long to clean up.
Millions of innocent people all over this country are being bullied by
these Oil Companies
and the environmental disaster certain to be created by
these greedy, ruthless people,
will be left behind for our children to contend with for
Ogallala Aquifer is just one of many, many American water
that are right now in very grave jeopardy.
When our glass is full of toxins, it will be too late to
Great story, well done!
Protecting The Cultural And Historic Values Of The Powder River Basin
June 18, 2012
Can Clams Clean Up Our Coral?
(L) Lucinid Clams - Laura L. Govers
(R) Typical Seagrass Meadow -
Marjolijn J.A. Christianen
Well, according to the
Biologists at the University of Florida, yes!
These little cleaner/sweepers are doing a great job on
correction, America's only Coral Reef.
This vital Ecosystem just
off our shoreline, has been, like all Ecosystems,
used and abused, so any help that it can get is great.
Enter tiny Clams to the rescue.
just offshore, absorb much of the
bacteria/toxins from the Ocean
and would die a slow, painful death from them, if it were not
for these tiny toxin devouring Clams.
The actual study is here:
A Three-Stage Symbiosis Forms The Foundation Of Seagrass Ecosystems
An interesting Thesis on the process is here:
Interactions Between Lucinid Clams And Seagrass
Another look at the actual process:
Symbiotic Bacteria In Lucinid
So, the next time you run across one of these little Clams,
please say thank you!
The seagrass keeps the Ocean clean, the clams keep the
It is life in perfect harmony and balance.
Little Clams Play Big Part In Keeping Seagrass Ecosystem Healthy
June 15, 2012
Two of Florida's Endangered Butterflies
Are On The Brink
As if the recent news about the
Miami Blue wasn't bad enough, word now comes
that the Schaus Swallowtail,
which was thought to be heading out of trouble,
has gone into a downward spiral.
Emergency procedures have been implemented that includes
taking some of them
into "protective custody" to save the species from
The causal factors here are the usual: shrinking habitats and
the wide spread use of pesticides.
Do we really expect these fragile creatures on the brink of
to be able to survive these never ending intrusions and abuses by humans
or overcome these kinds of invasions into their worlds?
Why do we act so surprised when they simply just disappear?
Biologists, Volunteers Rush to Save Florida Butterfly Species
Florida's Schaus Swallowtail Numbers Crash
June 11, 2012
Birds at Lake Okeechobee
Wind Farms In Florida, The Good, The Bad And The Extinct!
As a former resident of California, Solar and Wind power were
always just a normal part of our everyday lives.
There was rarely ever any controversy connected to them, in
of us were proud to live in a state that was so devoted
to clean energy.
But here in Florida, it is a much different story because we
have lots and lots of at-risk Wildlife.
Huge Wind Turbines, called the Sugarland Wind Project, are
currently being considered
for an area of about 13,000 acres that Sugarland owns in South
where they can and will potentially do a lot of harm,
for maybe just a very small return in useable energy.
If you read the story below from the Miami Herald, as well as the
you will get a clearer picture of why the biggest
objectors to these
Wind Turbines are not coming from the usual or expected
they are coming from Environmental groups, like Audubon and
the Sierra Club.
Lake Okeechobee and a nearby Wildlife
Refuge are sensitive
habitat areas that are home to a multitude of permanent or native
as well as a large number of visiting or snow-birds
Some of these locals, like the
Snail Kite, are an Endangered
and the idea of losing any more of them could
simply be disastrous.
Now, who do suppose is in huge favor of installing these Wind
That would be Big Sugar, or Sugarland, who is set to make a
fortune off of this deal.
You know, those people who are
already poisoning much of the
water in South Florida,
including Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades with their
toxic phosphorus run offs.
The stakes are very high here and the winners and losers are
yet to be determined.
Florida Wind Farm's Antagonists: Environmentalists
June 8, 2012
Nothing Else Is Working
Although this could seem scary for any another dog, these specially trained
ones from the University of Auburn, called
EcoDogs, will be
carefully watched over, so maybe it just might work.
thing is for sure, nothing else that has been tried so far has been effective in
the most dangerous opponent the Everglades
has ever had, the Burmese Python,
which now number anywhere between 30,000 and 100,000.
These deadly, carnivorous constrictors
have made a virtual buffet out of the Everglades,
their way from one end of it to the other.
Thanks to a plan
submitted by our own U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, there may still be some
yet for the most pristine Ecosystem on the planet, the
Hastings: Unleash The Hounds In The Everglades
June 5, 2012
A Tragic Trio: Ignorance, Evil, Cruelty
Our Gopher Tortoise, Harriet
Reading the story below yesterday nearly broke my heart.
Those of you who read this Blog regularly already know about our
Gopher Tortoise, Harriet.
At some point in our history as a Race or Species, we simply
must start taking at least
a little of the responsibility for the kind of people who
do these horrific
These three boy/men were not hatched in a biology lab
They were born, they had parents and at some point, must have
to school, had friends and been a part of our society.
They are not the first to commit these kinds of hideous acts,
nor will they be the last.
Evil has been with us from the very beginning.
Sadly, with the wired world we now live in, news like this travels
globally in nano seconds.
These disturbed young men belong to all of us, their crimes
are on all of us.
Somewhere, somehow, we missed something we should not have
with all three of them.
If we turn away from desperate need in others, we are part of
As for the tortured creatures whose lives they ended, I need to
that they are now in a better, safer, happier place.
Endangered Tortoises Tortured
June 2, 2012
Do You Really Want To Live In A World Without Bats?
This often maligned creature is in big trouble right now
and its future may lie in our trembling hands.
Many people fear the bat and with all of the hype from Hollywood,
is it any wonder?
Bats are warm blooded, flying mammals that we should be praising
with every breath.
Because, truth be known, we would be at the mercy of millions
ferocious bugs without them in our world.
Take this number for instance: 3,000.
One bat can eat 3,000 mosquitoes in just one night!
Since 2006, White-nose syndrome has been wiping this species off of the
all but eradicating one bat species after another, all across
So, we humans had better put our heads together, as a species
and help the best friend
we could ever find for insect control, because when the
bats are all gone,
the insects my friend, shall inherit the Earth!
White-nose Syndrome Confirmed In Endangered Gray Bats
May 30, 2012
Be Croc Smart!
If you plan on swimming in any of the canals in the Keys in South
better watch out for the Crocs?
In a turnaround something like that of the nearly eradicated
Bald Eagle years ago,
the Florida Crocodile
has made a remarkable comeback.
So, from now on, the FWC says, before you swim, anywhere in
know exactly who, or what,
is in the water with you.
Or in other words:
"Be CROC aware and swim only if you dare!"
FWC: Crocs Aren't Going Anywhere, Get Used To It
May 27, 2012
Panthers Get Some Room to Breathe
Much of the recent news about the Florida Panther
has been either sad or bad,
their tragic deaths resulting from
humans, machines or other Panthers.
But today it is all much
better, even downright good.
A large chunk, nearly 1,300 acres,
of prime real estate in South West Florida has just
been purchased and set aside to become a "travel corridor"
for the Florida Panther.
The land could have resulted in
housing, but thankfully a down market and pesky regulations,
paved the way for the nearly $7 million sale that was paid for by Environmental
Florida Fish and Wildlife and shut my mouth, Wal Mart.
If it had gone into auction, who knows what would have become of this priceless
piece of land
that will now become a breath of new life for one of the worlds
most Endangered animals.
It all sounds good, but still it
bothers me that the property is now owned by a cattleman.
happens when nature takes it course and some cattle are lost, as is to be
Will this new owner understand this, or react as most
cattle people have in the recent past
and demand punishment for the
Will this be the beginning of a good partnership?
We shall see.
Land Crucial To Future Of Florida Panthers
Land Deal in Glades County
May 24, 2012
The News From The Keys Is Good
It would seem, that with the exception of the
Miami Blue Butterfly, many of the
Endangered Species in the Florida Keys
are doing pretty well.
The Key Deer,
Wood Stork, Crocodile,
Green Sea Turtle and
Manatee are the winners
in this latest report, "On
Time, On Target" from the Center for Biological Diversity.
Executive Director Kiernan Suckling says, "some of Florida's
signature species are on
their way to recovery, thanks to the Endangered Species ACT,
Maybe it's like they say, "Everything is just better in the
Some Keys Endangered Species On The Road To Recovery
May 21, 2012
Why Not Start The Week With A Smile?
After just celebrating Endangered Species Day Friday, this is
such a great follow up.
There are some sweet success stories to be found in the world of
and I can't think of a better way to start off a
week or a Monday.
The list below includes several from Florida, e.g., a bird, a
fish and a
so we are thankful for the existence of the ESA, the Endangered Species
which has had leagues of doubters and critics since its
inception in 1973.
These stories have regional data and maps and make the point that
in most cases,
a 90% success rate is considered overwhelmingly to be a success!
Endangered Species On Track To Recovery Success
110 Success Stories
For Endangered Species Day 2012
May 18, 2012
Today Is Endangered Species Day!
It is a good day to find an event near you and learn more
about the beautiful Wildlife
who are depending on all of us to make sure that
they will still be around to help celebrate this day too.
These web sites will give you lots of good ideas:
National Wildlife Federation - Endangered Species Day
Species Day Events
May 15, 2012
The Timucuan People
Photo credit: Florida State Archives
The Native People who once lived in Florida
are not an Endangered Species,
are today mostly considered to be extinct.
Before the invasion
of this place now called Florida hundreds of years ago,
there were many Tribes of Native People all over this state.
One of those Tribes was the Timucuans and they once lived where I do now.
Sometimes when I look out in the early morning when it is still
and there are no noises to interrupt, I think of them and
wonder how they lived and what this place called the Ocala
must have meant to them.
We moved here in
2004 and the most important factor in choosing this
particular place, was the lack of humans and abundance of
Did they choose it for the same reasons?
I am sure that they must have loved it here just as much as we do
and probably for the very same reasons.
I wish I could have met
you, there are so many questions.
There are a multitude of web sites
to learn more about them, this is only one:
Indians of Florida
May 12, 2012
Simple Surprises Make Life So Sweet
Noel Lee (Male) and
Dick Daniels (Female)
I had something else chosen to write about this early morning,
but as my computer was warming up and I was getting ready to
an intruder, make that intruders, barged into the
tranquil silence here in the forest
and changed everything.
For no apparent reason, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, flew up
checking out the nest box on an old dead tree right in front
of the window where I write.
They clucked and squawked quite loudly the entire time that they were there.
Poking, picking and looking all around the nest box/birdhouse
at the top of the tree,
which by the way was intended for much smaller birds.
This bird normally makes its home in old dead trees in the
so there was no chance this was a house hunting expedition.
No, the Pileated is not endangered, but they are so captivating,
with the exception of the presumed extinct Ivory Billed,
the largest Woodpecker in North America.
It was just such a gift to see them up so close and
They were simply stunning to watch and I just felt like you
Thankful for having eyes this early Saturday morning.......
May 9, 2012
An Introduction, Of Sorts!
A Dwarf Seahorse
Photo graciously lent by:
J. Jeffords/Dive Gallery
Come say hello to the newest creature to join Gator-Woman.com, the
To be exact, the Dwarf Seahorse, whose page is here:
At the present time, neither this Seahorse, nor as far as I
know, any other
is listed as an Endangered Species, but after receiving
a press release this week
the Center for Biological Diversity about the situation with
the Dwarf Seahorse here in Florida, I did some checking and
to make them a page
in anticipation of what sadly may become
Florida's newest member on the Endangered Species List.
I sincerely hope that as was the case with the
Miami Blue Butterfly,
those in charge do not wait until none can be found to finally
Meet the fascinating Dwarf Seahorse
May 6, 2012
Manatees Will Get New Safe Passage In
At a recent meeting in Crystal River, the Florida Fish and Wildlife decided to give
Manatees a little more room for safe passage in the Intracoastal Waterways
of Flagler Beach; still all totalled, it is less than three miles long.
This new Manatee speed zone law does not go into effect until May of 2013,
and will only be enacted between May and September.
The fine for failure to adhere is $60.
For the moment, it would seem that wildlife advocates and area Boaters are at peace.
How long it will last depends on whether or not the Manatees continue to be safe.
Slow Speed Zones Approved For Intracoastal In Flagler
May 3, 2012
Today Is A Marine Life Threefer
First, May 1st is the beginning of
Sea Turtle Nesting Season for several
Counties on Florida's Atlantic Coast and from now until
October 31st, the lights of residents must be off at night on
This is to help avoid confusion and/or death for the babies of
the four species of sea turtles
who will be hatching and heading out to sea for the first time
during this period.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season Starts Today In Volusia and Flagler
Second, there is now serious concern that Global Warming may
be helping to speed up the
demise of the already critically Endangered
Scientists Worry That Warming Seas May be Harming The Endangered Right Whale
And third, high noise levels due to seismic testing in the
waters off of the Atlantic Coast
are drowning out the normal everyday activities of marine
life, both dolphins and whales.
There is a petition here for you to read and hopefully sign:
Don't Drown Out Dolphins' Voices
April 30, 2012
Manatees Are Managing the Best That They Can, For Now
As if they didn't already have enough challenges in their
now the Manatees on
Florida's Gulf Coast will have yet another human
created hazard to threaten their safety; oil drilling.
Recent approvals in Congress will give the big oil companies a green light
to drill away
in the fragile Manatee habitats of the pristine waters of the Gulf Coast of
Sierra Club News
Congress Deserves an F
April 27, 2012
Orlando's New Turtle Trek Brings You Face to Face With Turtles
Yes, this is the land of magic and SeaWorld Orlando will be
a lot of it for the lucky visitors to their Park.
Their newest attraction which opens today at SeaWorld Orlando,
has everything any turtle lover could ever want,
including a 3D 360-degree dome, to experience their
video/film in a setting something like a theater in the round.
Learn more about this exciting new way to enjoy our
SeaWorld's Turtle Trek: Keeping It Hyper-Real
Turtle Trek Opens
At SeaWorld Orlando: YouTube
April 24, 2012
Today Is Another Twofer
The Rodman Dam
First, the damn dam may finally, thankfully be coming
Nearly fifty years later, the biggest mistake in the history
natural environment is about to become ancient history.
The Rodman Dam is facing the final hoop to be jumped through
and wiser/cooler heads in this state may indeed prevail at
Can you hear the sighs of wildlife up and down the Ocklawaha
Years, Dam To Be Razed
The Babies Are Headed North
After a tumultuous winter in the South, the fledgling Whooping
have left Alabama and are headed North to Wisconsin for
One female left early and is already up there.
Hopefully next winters trip to Florida will be unfettered by
beaurcratic red tape and human interference.
Safe journey little ones, see you this winter~
Endangered Whooping Cranes End Winter Stay In Alabama
Young Whoopers Take Flight
April 21, 2012
In Honor of Earth Day Tomorrow
Please consider these things in your reflections about what this
very important day means to you personally:
Two years after the greatest environmental disaster in this country,
Wildlife in the Gulf are still dying.
For Earth Day: 9 films that will
change the way you think about the World.
Court Rules Against Habitat for Florida's critically
In spite of the massive outcries from all over America,
Keystone Pipeline is still not dead.
April 28th is the Fourth Annual Save the
And lastly, somewhere in an Ocean near you today,
a whale may
respond to some military
and become confused, or disoriented and beach itself causing
Please remember on this Earth Day, that we share this entire
with those who have no voice, other than ours, to speak for
Please make your voice heard for them on Earth Day and every
Our Gopher Tortoise, Harriet
April 17, 2012
Is Florida HB 1117 Really Dead or Not?
If you don't read the St. Pete Times, or the Daily Commercial,
you could be missing
out on the best Environmental reporter in this or
any other state,
his name is Bill Maxwell and he always goes for the jugular.
Case in point, Bill's story today on the true status of the
Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my bill,
a subject written about on this Blog on March 15, 2012. (See
Only a few short days ago, it looked like Governor Scott
was sending this
nasty bill to the junk pile, (See Blog below) but not so fast, Bill says.
As Mr. Maxwell so accurately points out today, nothing is ever
not when it comes to politicians.
They are always looking out for number one and that would be
So, will this bill really stay dead?
We shall see.
Don't blink, turn your back or close your eyes.
Politicians are counting on you having a short attention span
and a bad memory.
But, please do read Bill Maxwell's great story:
Shortsidedness Alive in Florida
April 14, 2012
Why Would You Want to Save a Tiny Lizard,
Could Have Another Car Dealership?
In a world where money is king, animals have to do the best
that they can to survive.
Here in Lake County, we have a perfect arrangement for
businesses to get around those annoying
Environmental protective laws and deal with Endangered Species
they simply donate a sum of money to go towards another
area where this particular
endangered animal is found and then they are free to build and
kill at will.
Does anyone actually oversee this donating process or do we
assume it will be done as specified?
God knows that we do not have enough Car Dealerships in
and we certainly should not let an animal stand in the way of
I feel so bad, but not as bad as these tiny lizards who do not
know that they are
about to be bulldozed to their deaths, so that a new Car
Dealership can be built.
Can you say Boycott?
April 23rd, you can send FWS your thoughts at:
SUBJECT: "Attn: permit number TE65123A-0"
New Nissan Dealership Could Harm Sand Skink
Sand Skinks Have Turned Up in Eight Lake County Projects
April 11, 2012
There Is So Much Good to Say
First, the Governor has intelligently
rejected the Lions and Tigers and
oh my, bill....
Next, the Miami Blue Butterfly has been
now that no one can seem to find one anymore!
The American Crocodile has not only
survived human interference,
actually blossomed in South Florida.
If you are concerned about the possibility of hunting in the
only Panther Habitat
Big Cypress Preserve, the deadline for comment has been extended,
make your thoughts known to the Parks Department.
protection for wild turtles in this country from being caught
sold by the millions worldwide may become a reality.
This has been a good, busy week for Endangered Wildlife.
Time to celebrate!
April 8, 2012
Mighty Marjory, the Mother of the Everglades
Marjory Stoneman Douglas with
Miccosukee Tribe member in 1965
Photo credit: Florida State
Yesterday was the birthday of a remarkable woman,
Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
She would have been 122 years young and we could really use
her help right now,
because the place that she loved nearly all of her adult life is
still in trouble.
Today her beloved Everglades
is still being polluted by the big Sugar companies
and robbed of its life giving water supply by the greedy in south
This vital Ecosystem has
improved very little since she died in 1998
and it is sad
because she fought so hard, for so long to change
the selfish thinking that put this natural treasure and
those that call it home, in such serious jeopardy.
Well educated and well bred, Marjory was the daughter of a
and could have had an easier life working at his
newspaper, the Miami Herald.
But instead, she chose to fight for causes that very few
others at the time embraced,
like women's rights, racism, preserving the environment,
and saving a wild wilderness called
She was truly a mighty woman and we should honor her
lifetime of struggles,
by finishing what was most important to her,
by saving the Everglades.
April 5, 2012
They're Finally Back!
A few mornings ago when I took our
out in the early
a friend was waiting for us on the front porch,
a tiny female green treefrog.
It had been so long since we saw them last, that we were
if we had lost them all over the winter,
but there she was telling us that it was finally warm enough
them to come out for the summer.
Welcome back little ones and happy hunting.
April 2, 2012
Right Whales Births
One of the most Endangered mammals on Earth, the Right Whale,
has apparently recorded very low birth numbers this
After two trips and six days last Spring to Flagler Beach, which
has frequent sightings and seeing none, we are not
Locals there who often see them just off shore at this time,
said that there had been few reports of any that year.
Academic thinking is a lack of food, but we have another thought.
The US Navy, who is now and has been for years very active
along the Atlantic Coast,
has just begun a new offshore training range in the pathway that
the whales use
to travel up and down the Coast to give birth here in
Florida and Georgia.
It seems like Endangered Wildlife just can't get a break.
We stopped the hunting
of these whales in the 1930's,
but now our Military has become their biggest
Poor Calving Season for Right Whales
March 30, 2012
Restoration Money Goes To Those Who Best Understand Mother
The Miccosukee people of Florida will get
Tribal Wildlife grant money of $199,0000 to
help restore the damage done to the Everglades,
habitat of the Endangered Snail Kite and to
deal with Mercury contamination.
Receive $4.2 Million in Conservation Grants
Salazar Announces More Than $4.2
Million in Conservation Grants
March 27, 2012
A Tiny Skink Stop A Million Dollar Project?
The only thing that is better than this story is when a
shuts down a huge development dig!
Although we have lived here since 2004, I have only seen this
elusive creature once.
It slid across the grass one hot summer day, right up to the
front step where it
sat quietly for moment and then died right it front of me.
I had no idea what it was or even if it was safe to do so,
but I picked it up and carried it into the house.
I studied it, then Googled it and learned about it.
It was a beautiful, endangered silver
sand skink, that now has its own
page here and hopefully one day, another will bless us with
Lizards May Be Obstacle For Proposed Sports Complex
March 24, 2012
I Have Nothing to Say Today
I need time to grieve for HER and somehow deal with her
She did not need to die!
March 23, 2012
She Is Dead
The mother Black Bear who bit a Condo
resident last week is dead, they killed her.
Her baby, they say, has been shipped off to a Marion County Endangered Animal Sanctuary.
This will, I repeat, will happen again and again.
Do you know why?
Because nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed in this
except that this young mother was killed.
The trash crates are all still at the doors of these Condo residents,
and likely everywhere else across Central Florida.
Condo garbage dumpsters are not secured and this will keep
happening until someone
at the top of this needless nightmare, stops it with real
legislation with some teeth in it.
A law must be passed to hold condo management and owners, as well
as home owners responsible for their garbage.
A beautiful, wild, warm blooded animal should not have to die
lazy, thoughtless, idiots refuse to lock up their garbage.
Remember the line in Avatar?
"This is your fault, they did not need to die?"
She did not need to die!
Longwood Sow and Cub Are Caught
March 21, 2012
What Do Ted Turner and the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Have in Common?
Well, Ted is a gazillionaire who actually uses his wealth
to care for Endangered Wildlife on
this planet and this particular woodpecker, the
Red Cockaded, is one of those fortunate
wild animals that he is helping to save from extinction.
Actually, this very rich, most private man, has done this
repeatedly throughout his life.
He simply, quietly, without a lot of back patting and press,
goes about the very
important business of trying to save Endangered wild things from dying on his
Turner is one of the good guys and even though he doesn't care
one bit for this sort of thing,
"Hey Ted, you truly are a great guy and thank you from all of those
who cannot speak,
at least not in a language we humans can understand."
Congratulations to Our 2011 Recovery Champions
March 18, 2012
Read Jarhead's story
It is Mommy and Baby Bear Season Right Now
in Central Florida
We have another, let me repeat that, another tragic
Black Bear situation here in Central Florida.
A young bear mother with a cub who may lose her life today.
Please ask why?
Because she had the audacity to eat at the Condo Bear Buffet in
This particular Condo Complex has countless residents and it would
single one of them has a crate right at their front door
They also have on these same Buffet grounds, very large
dumpsters that do not appear
to even be closed, let alone bear proofed.
So, enter the mama bear and her baby one night this week,
doing what every hungry bear in a buffet will
always do, eating the food left out for them.
A woman came up on the snacking pair at the open dumpster with her
dog and everybody panicked.
The woman turned to run away, terrified and fell down, the
bear bit her on the back side.
No, the lady was not critically injured, just some stitches, I
Traps have now been set and FWS says that because the mamma bear,
with her cub in tow,
bit a person, it must be killed.
They say they do not know what will happen to the cub.
Okay, we went through this exact same situation, minus the
biting, very recently and
there was a tremendous uproar, everybody went nuts about the
bear and the baby.
In the end the mamma bear was killed, we were not told what became
of the baby.
Now, here we are again.
Yes, I called PETA and asked for
intervention on Saturday morning.
They said, they are aware of the situation and that it is tragic.
Translation, they don't want to go up against FWS in this
There is a solution, but absolutely no one wants to do it.
Not the Condo Mangers/Owners or the residents of this and
residences here in Black Bear country in Central Florida.
We must enforce the "keep trash locked up" or Black
Bear Trash rule.
If there is no "bear buffet," the bears will go away.
Every time they come into populated areas, the same thing
happens, bears get killed.
Being "bear aware" should be a law when you live where they
Bears will eat what is easiest to get and when it is
constantly put right in front of them......
Condo owners and residents need to look in the mirror when
this next mother and baby
die because of their lazy, selfish refusal to do what is right
to save them.
We should also be going to schools and talking to kids and
teachers about this.
You know how this idea works:
"Mommy we shouldn't put our trash there,
the bears will come and then the mommy bear will get
Trash Education can save a life, a bears life.
March 15, 2012
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Okay, maybe only giraffes, zebras, rhinos, hippos and
This could only happen in Florida, right?
After all, this is the land of the Magic Kingdom and the Orlando Magic.
HB1117, surprisingly called the Jurassic Park Bill,
has just been approved in Tallahassee and only awaits the
to become a law that will then allow zoos to turn wild
animals loose to graze.
I saw this two days ago and had to open my big mouth, of
course, in response to a
quite thoughtfully written story by Frank Cerabino of
the Palm Beach Post.
My usual, unemotional, unbiased comments in response to his story were as
more can the beleaguered
wildlife in this state
The list of endangered
plants and animals is
now hovering at 200.
Habitats have been given
away to developers,
golfers, boaters and
let's not forget the
Cross Florida Barge
canal to nowhere.
are hit and
killed nearly every day because
they have nowhere else
buried alive for
are driven from their
ancestral homes for
When, where does it
Wildlife Bill is Legislature Unleashed
Concerns Grow Over Florida's Jurassic Park Bill
Florida Zoos Could be Allowed to Breed on State Land
Jurassic Bill for Zoos Heads to Scott
March 13, 2012
Oh, Joyous Spring
This morning our wayward Gopher
Tortoise, Harriet, popped up out of her hole
and sat for quite some time basking in the warm sunlight at the
edge of her burrow.
Once she was warm enough, she began cleaning and sweeping
and as to be expected, sand went flying everywhere~
Her next move was to enjoy her favorite "weeds" that we never
remove in the yard.
Hunger taken care of, she disappeared back down into her
Today is the first time that we have seen Harriet since winter
We hold our breath every time that she disappears for long
never knowing if she has left us for a better place to live,
been run over
while ambling down the busy road on the other side of our
So, seeing her this morning is cause for celebration.
She is home, she is safe and hopefully will spend the entire
everything that she loves here, all of which have no
pesticides to harm her.
Welcome to Spring Harriet!
March 12, 2012
To Keep Hydrilla, or Not, That is the Question~
Lake Toho is engaged in a multisided battle with a plant,
some fishermen and some duck hunters.
The plant is Hydrilla and it was introduced into the lake many
for what purpose, is not exactly clear to me.
The plant has spread and taken over every place that it touches,
like most weeds do.
Enter the Everglades Snail Kite, key word here
This beleaguered bird was driven from its ancestral Everglades
home by human greed
and has just recently fairly successfully taken root in Lake
The kite's primary food is a snail that loves the Hydrilla,
so the snail has food and the kite has food, problem solved.
The recreational people mentioned above, who use lake Toho are
now going head to
and nose to nose over just how much Hydrilla should be allowed
in the Lake.
Each group has their own opinion and legal forces to speak for
all that is, except for the Everglades Snail Kite,
who was just about to be come the Toho Snail Kite.
This bird has been pushed and shoved to accommodate selfish,
self centered groups who care nothing about it or its ultimate
All that each of these groups want to know is, "will I get
what I want."
Who will speak for the Kite?
This very well written story gives a clear history of all
How Much Hydrilla?The Kissimmee Chain Debate
March 9, 2012
We, the Little People, the 99%, Say NO!
If you still believe that your opinions, your phone calls,
your emails do not matter,
please see the page below.
Passionate people like you and me, can and do, change minds and
Okay maybe not hearts.
But the point is, that the power we now have because of our
we are able to reach out and touch those who are controlling our lives
in Washington and globally, every day.
Thanks to facebook, twitter, texting and just plain email,
dissatisfied, issue educated,
thoughtful humans everywhere are saying, no more!
We have shown in the few past months that we will not go away
we the people, now have this power and will not stop until we get what we want.
Lesson learned, keep posting on facebook, twittering, texting
and sending those emails,
keep calling your
elected, well paid politicians in the Senate and the House,
clearly letting them know, that if they do not do what you/we want,
vote them right out of office.
See how long they can live on what the lobbyists give them
So, please read the Roll Call page below and pat yourself on the back for a
job done well:
Keystone Pipeline rejected, Arctic drilling rejected, Gulf Spill
Restore Act passed.
How Your Elected Officials Actually Voted On the Keystone Pipeline
March 6, 2012
My MIA Green treefrogs
It has been pretty warm here for a bit and the familiar green lizards/anoles
and southern toads have all been returning, a little more each day.
In fact today, we had our first ruby-throated hummingbird at the window since fall.
The beautiful yellow finches (snow birds) are here in the highest numbers since we
moved in and of course the visiting Robins are happy to bathe with our resident birds.
But what is very sorely missing are my little green treefrogs.
(Yes, the correct spelling is green treefrog according to UF Biologists)
They are such a treasure to us and we have sadly noticed that each year,
there are fewer of them than the year before.
Now with spring in full swing in Florida and all of the others checking in,
it is more than just a little concerning that we have not seen even one by now.
Many Florida Biologists consider them to be the bellwether of our states'
overall well being, so this cannot be good news.
March 3, 2012
The Disappearing Wood Stork
For the past five years, the
Wood Stork has had fewer
and fewer successful nesting seasons
in the place where it historically has had the highest numbers
in the country,
the Corkscrew Swamp in South Florida.
Now in the sixth year of a downhill curve, things do not look any better for this
very endangered bird.
An unforgettable memory for us of this magnificent bird, came about six
or seven years ago
in an area near Lake Okeechobee, out on a long fishing
A man standing near us was obviously engaged with a Wood
Stork in a humorous situation,
so we stayed to watch the show.
The man would wait for a bite and quickly begin to reel in his
catch, but just as soon as he did,
the bird would jump and snatch his prize
right off of the hook.
It was both funny and amazing to us, but not so much for the
He said, "Just as soon as I catch one, he jumps in and takes
I've been here all day and it hasn't stopped."
But we could see, that he did not really seem to mind all that
much about his losses.
Thinking about the lack of food and habitat left for this
beautiful bird now,
we had actually witnessed a tragedy in the making.
When a species become so hungry that it will stand and fight
with a human
for something to eat, what should that tell us?
Couldn't we all manage with one less recreational lake area to
fish, boat, swim,
picnic, play and party in, to save a species in a desperate
state of existence?
The Wood Stork used to number in the thousands here in
they have been completely decimated.
They are on the brink and could use a little help from us,
before they are extinct.
Wood Stork Shuns Corkscrew Swamp
February 29, 2012
Feeding the Birds at My Window
If you feed the birds at your window, this story may send
shivers down your spine as well.
Once again toxic insecticides have intruded into our lives and this time
been found in the bird seed that we lovingly put
out for our feathered friends.
The company guilty of doing this is Scott's, the ones who make
and they will be paying some big fines and court costs for their
So, now to avoid eating insecticides, we must not only buy organic
for ourselves and our
pets, but also for the beautiful winged ones
we love to watch at our windows.
I am sickened to learn that for all of these years, I have
poisoned food to the sweet creatures that I only meant to help.
But, most of all, I am angry with the companies who feel that they
have the right to do this
and that they never would have stopped, if they had not been
caught and dragged into court.
What happened to accountability in American companies and
Where has the moral compass that used to guide America and
Why have we as a Nation allowed greed, profit and money to
become our ruler?
I personally feel that the president of any company that
produces products with
chemicals/toxins that they know will harm people and/or animals,
should be forced
to consume that product themselves, first.
If they become ill, or worst case, don't survive,
guess their product is not safe enough for the innocents.
Seems fair, doesn't it?
Will be heading out to the store in the morning and
purchase will be Organic bird seed.
Feed the Birds Organically
February 26, 2012
The Quintessential Shot in the Dark
A special place, the
Hįlpata Tastanaki Preserve, one of the
habitats left in the State for the Endangered
Florida Scrub Jay
is about to become a hunting ground.
Try to imagine being in your bedroom late at night snuggling
under the warm covers
and then boom.......
A shot rings out ending your peace and tranquility,
not to mention your hearing abilities.
When you look up, someone is standing over you, with a shot gun.
This is what is about to take place and the victim of this
is the very Endangered Scrub Jay, the only bird
native to our state,
who like the Florida Panther,
has only a very tiny habitat
left to call home.
If you live in Florida and have the time and the desire,
please consider attending this public hearing/meeting
of the SW Water Management District:
February 28, at 9AM
2379 Broad Street
Please call LuAnne Stout at: 352 796-7211 ext. 4605
The Florida Scrub Jay deserves to have Floridians defend its
right to a peaceful night's sleep, right?
For Florida's Only Native Bird, the Scrub Jay
February 23, 2012
No Damn Dam
Earthjustice has filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service in
an attempt to undo
an outrageous waste of money and complete disregard for
wildlife folly known
as the "Cross Florida Barge Canal Project, that was shut down
by Nixon in 1971.
The original project was meant to connect the Atlantic to the
Gulf of Mexico
and when it was stopped, the dam was left behind to the
of local wildlife, the Ocklawaha River and the Ocala National Forest.
If you drive north on County Highway 19 in Lake County and
head towards Palatka,
you will drive right over this meaningless canal.
This project is kind of the Florida version of a "bridge to no
The dam, once called the Rodman Dam, is now nothing more than
a self serving
recreational play ground for fishing and boating communities
and it needs to come down, so that the wildlife can return to
their ancestral warmer waters, which in the cold months,
are where they desperately need to be to survive.
The lives of the Endangered Manatee
and Shortnose Sturgeon,
are at stake and while they cannot vote, they do have many
concerned Florida voters watching out for them.
Conservationists File Suit to Remove Dam
Earthjustice to File Suit Against U.S. Forest Service
Florida Environmentalists Target Rodman Dam
February 20, 2012
Managing Manatee Habitats
This is one time when human interference is benefiting
Florida's Endangered Wildlife in a positive manner.
Step forward the Nature Conservancy to do some much needed
housekeeping on the Manatee's waterways.
This process will include a dredging sweep of their pathways
Once all of the cleanup is finished, the enemies will remain
as they have
always been for the Manatees, boat strikes and severely cold
A record number of over 1,500 have died in the last three
it is time for the Manatee to get a break.
Florida Manatee: Opening a Door to Survival
Look at the Process in Progress
February 17, 2012
Where Have You Gone, Oh Beautiful Blue?
Only the size of a quarter, the Miami
Blue Butterfly is/was
one of the rarest, most beautiful creatures to ever inhabit
Florida and now it seems that they may have finally left us.
This is personally sad because on every trip down to the Keys
I look for it,
pretty sure now that the joy of an encounter with a Blue will
not be happening.
The perilous line that these animals walk is wrought with
danger at every turn,
the latest for the Blue being the pesticides used to
eradicate the mosquitoes and
the out of place Iguana, which eats the leaves where the
Blue used to lay its eggs.
Like nearly all of the about to depart our planet species of
the Blue simply could not compete with never ending
If only the people did not dump their unwanted Iguanas in the
if only the pesticides were not used all over their last tiny
Goodbye Blue, though I never met you, I will miss you.
Blue Vanishes From the Keys
Iguanas Hunted In Bahia Hondo
February 15, 2012
The people have spoken!
We do not want the Keystone Pipeline.
photo credit: 350.org
815,0000 signatures were delivered to Washington yesterday.
February 14, 2012
How Much Oil Can We Live With?
The two most Endangered Species in Florida, perhaps in the world,
now share one more threat to their existence.
Right now in the Florida legislation there are not one, but two,
Bills on the Docket to support drilling for oil in parks all over
Two of the Parks on the list are where the
Panther and the Ghost
are presently hanging on by the narrowest
This latest assault on them, may be the final one and
push them to their deaths.
In a state with nearly non stop wind
and sunshine, could someone please explain
why we continue to punish this planet with our archaic
addiction to fossil fuel?
What will it take for Americans to
finally let go of this dirty, destructive source of energy?
many oil spills can the Earth survive before she just gives up?
What is that saying, "garbage in, garbage out?"
It is time for
us to refuse to allow Big Oil to own America any more.
Florida Bills: Drill In State Parks
Bill Would Allow Drilling in State Parks
February 11, 2012
And Now, the Newest Victim of the Tar Sands Saga
North American Grey Wolf
As if the potential destruction of the entire water source for eight
their ecosystems was not enough, now the newest victim of the disastrous plan
to cram dirty
tar sands oil down the throats of America, is the Canadian wolf.
Sometimes, I wonder if humans deserve to be allowed to live on
planet with animals, we just don't seem to get along or play
well with others.
Maybe we, the humans, should live on our own planet, one
without anything to interfere
with our master plan, the one where we plow over and
cement in everything living.
I am sure that the
Koch Brothers who own everything oil and
"all that that implies,"
could buy such a place, they have more money than most humans
in the world,
being worth at least $25 Billion, that's billion with a
Canadian Government Plans To Poison Wolves
Wolves To Be Poisoned Over Tar Sands
February 8, 2012
Dirty Oil, Dirty Politics
Pipeline Spill in North Dakota
Although the President said no and the people said no, the
(and we the people, the 99%, all know who you are)
who are controlled by the oil and gas industries in this country,
had to do what they were financially obligated to do,
overturn Obama's rejection of the Keystone Pipeline Plan.
The implications of this dirty deal and the deleterious effect
it will have
on our environment and all who inhabit it, will endure for eons.
The next step is a vote in the Full House and then on to the
Senate and after that ......
We the people have spoken, the President has spoken,
but the only speaking that really matters in Washington
to be that of the Lobbyists with the big checkbooks.
The Environment and Wildlife will lose, they cannot speak this
Nation: Garth Lenz-You Tube
Brothers Positioned to Be Big Winners
Speak Your Mind: Keystone Pipeline
House Panel Advances Keystone Pipeline Plan
Keystone Pipeline: House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Plan
February 5, 2012
A Sad Ending For Our Whooping Cranes
Adult and Juvenile Whooping Cranes
After an FAA delay stopped the migration journey of a flock of young
the nine chicks will be now be trucked to an Alabama WR and remain there
for the rest of the winter.
This long delay in their trip undoubtedly confused them, as
once the all clear was finally given,
the Cranes refused to follow the plane and continue on to their intended home in Florida.
The question will always remain, if the FAA had not stepped in and stopped the migration
before it was finished, would this have happened?
These were very young birds and the journey was already a
perilous endeavor to begin with for them.
It is regretful that the Government could not have either made
their move before the trip began,
or after it was finished.
Stopping the migration midway proved too much for the young Cranes who may now
this new home in Alabama and will never join the remainder of
the flock here in
Endangered Whooping Cranes Stalled in Alabama
Crane Chicks to Finish Migration By Truck
February 2, 2012
The Everglades and Its Inhabitants Are
Losing This War
When the same email subject comes in my mail three times in a morning,
and is on every local news channel,
it must be the subject of today's blog.
This is not a new story and it is not going to end any time
The Burmese Pythons in the Everglades
are out of control
and devouring every living creature there.
Our Everglades has become the best buffet in Florida for these
But, the really scary thing is, that soon the victims could be
Florida's human visitors.
Don't think that would look too good on the tourist brochures.
Some one suggested that perhaps the National Guard could be
sent in to set up
a hunting expedition that will not end until they take back the
So, how long might this hunting expedition take?
A very, very long time.
Pythons Killing Everglades Wildlife
How Burmese Pythons Are Devouring the Florida Everglades
Bill Nelson: Florida Pythons Are Putting Endangered Species At Risk
January 30, 2012
Bald Eagles and Pesticides
Florida has now become a Bald Eagle paradise.
see them nearly every single time that we leave the house
and sometimes we don't
even have to do that.
Very rarely one will just soar over our house on its way to
the nearest water.
So, of course, they are everywhere here in Lake County near
the Ocala National Forest.
Duh, their primary food source is fish!
You can spot their terribly messy, huge nests from quite a
And every year they just keep adding on to it, until it
under the weight of it all and they simply rebuild.
Seeing them sitting casually on the top of a sign or on a lamp
post is, for a person
who once upon a time would drive for miles just for the hope
of finding one, miraculous.
Watching them soar overhead while driving can make keeping the
car on the road a challenge.
The reason for the remarkable comeback from the brink of
extinction for the Bald Eagle,
was the complete ban of the use of the hideous
When in the world are we as
a race going to ban ALL pesticides?
We have seen just in this one particular species, the Bald
Eagle, the alpha and the omega.
Why don't we get it?
Pesticides are evil and they must be eradicated if we and they
are to survive.
Pesticides are everywhere, in everything, they are in our
water, in our food,
in the air that we breathe and
worse for me
personally, in our pets foods.
Pesticides have been linked to and are believed to be a
primary cause of many types of cancers.
The San Joaquin Valley in California, the land of super farms,
has one small town,
where the incidence of
leukemia in children under six, was 80%.
And this was just one example, of so many, of what pesticides
If you, like me, would like to see a world without pesticides,
perhaps you could
write a letter to the President, your elected politician, a
newspaper or whatever,
but please, say something, do something.
Remember the slogan for the big chemical company
"better living through Chemistry?"
The key word is living!
Don't let the Human race become the next Bald Eagle.
Bald Eagles Move Closer To Cities
January 27, 2012
A Very Special Public Event
If you are a dedicated nature lover and live in Florida or anywhere
within driving distance
West Coast of the state, better put this date on your Calendar.
Larry Richardson, the premier Florida Wildlife Biologist and
perhaps our best known
expert on the Florida Panther
and the Ghost Orchid, will
be making a public speaking
appearance on Sanibel Island February 3rd at the "Ding"
Darling Wildlife Refuge.
This is a rare chance to hear from an expert about two of the
most Endangered Species in the world
and Richard is the one who keeps a watchful eye on both of
All of the details about this exciting event are in this
Florida Biologist Coming to "Ding" Darling
January 24, 2012
This is a subject very close to my heart as I have traveled
the lands of the
Ogallala Aquifer and have admired the
beauty of not only
the land, but of the wildlife and the people living
The idea that another horrific
oil spill could happen to this pristine, fragile ecosystem,
was incomprehensible and I have railed against this idea
since first hearing of it.
Now, that the plan has hopefully, finally been put down, it
has been revealed
which species were going to be put most 'at risk' by this
For those of you not familiar with the Endangered
wildlife of Florida, we had two
of the ten species that could potentially have been
annihilated by the approval
of the Keystone Pipeline, which would have run from Canada to
affecting many wild things, ecosystems and human populations
in its pathway.
One only has to bring to mind the two most recent oil
disasters to understand
why this was such a terrible idea to begin with:
the BP Gulf Oil and the Exxon/Mobile Oil Yellowstone
The two Florida species on the 'at risk' list were:
the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
and the Whooping Crane.
Fueling Extinction Report Reveals Top Ten Most 'At Risk' Species
Fueling Extinction: How Dirty Energy Drives Wildlife to the Brink
January 21, 2012
Millions Of Dead Bats Is Very Bad News
If you are one of those people who fear
Bats because of
the stereotype that
they inherited from scary old movies, think about this number:
That is the number of insects that a Bat can eat every day.
Now imagine that one day very soon, all of the
Bats just disappear.
There are going to be lots and lots of bugs just waiting to
Like the Everglades in August, is what
the U.S. could face without
our very best bug controller around to protect us
Bats are wonderful, efficient little creatures who do so much
good for us and
we had better figure out how to stop this disease before we
In Florida we have the Gray Bat,
which was already Endangered.
Right now, Bat Deaths number over 5.5 million from White-Nose
if help for them doesn't come soon, we may all feel like we are living in
Bat Deaths, a Catastrophe In the Making
Mysterious Killer Threatens Bats
FWS News Release PDF
January 18, 2012
It Was a Team Rescue of Endangered Turtles
The US Air Force and the Coast Guard teamed up this week in
rescue 29 Endangered green sea turtle
We know that these two groups regularly save lives all over
but this was a rescue of an altogether different kind.
These little late bloomers were not quite ready for the now
cold Atlantic and
probably would not have survived the trip without a little
help from their new friends.
The hatchlings were eventually released further out to sea in
a warmer area and with a little luck,
they should have a better chance for survival.
January 15, 2012
Beginning A New Way of Thinking
This week, Goldie Hawn was a guest on Dr. Oz and as they
he remarked on her youthful appearance for her age.
(She is, by the way, my age and I have always found her to
be a kindred spirit)
He asked her to what she attributed this and she said that
each day she finds
five reasons to be grateful and that in doing so, the
resultant positive mind set
contributes to keeping her healthy and
She has written a new book and has an organization devoted to
I have always found Goldie to be a positive, intelligent,
happy person and have
admired her since the late 1960's, when first I saw her in
the very silly Laugh-In.
So these are the five things that I am grateful for today:
The person that I share my life with died a few days ago
brought back to life by a machine in his chest.
The puppy that we brought home to help us recover from the
of losing another of her kind is healthy, happy and full of
A field near our home was recently overrun with dozens of
migrating Sandhill Cranes.
There are so many birds at our window eating, that they have to
take a number.
The sun is shining and it is warmer today.
Now this list of five may seem strange to some, but Goldie
did not say that it had to
make sense to others, only to find five things that you are grateful
for each day.
For today, these are mine.
Thank you Goldie.
January 11, 2012
Sometimes Even Red Tape Can Make A Bow
Finally after nearly a month of wrangling, finagling and all
manner of chatter,
the FAA has relented, made a one time exception and
the Alabama waylaid
Endangered Whooping Cranes
are on their way at last, back to Florida.
Welcome home little ones, we hope that your time here will be
just a little
less stressful than the past few weeks have been.
Whooping Cranes Are Cleared For Takeoff
January 8, 2012
Not A Good Week For Whooping Cranes
There were two disturbing stories concerning Endangered
Whooping Cranes this week.
First the annual human led 1200 mile migration flight from Wisconsin to
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida
was halted in Alabama
by Government officials who believe that the flight is in
violation of FAA
regulations because the pilots are being paid, which is against FAA rules.
Some have suggested that if the matter cannot be resolved,
the Cranes could
be released locally in Alabama, which is not good
news for people here in Florida,
as this is their winter home and was their destination before
they were stopped.
Sport Plane Taking Birds To Florida Is Grounded
Then the next day a Whooping Crane was shot and killed in my
home state of Indiana.
Unbelievably, this is the second one to be killed in the past
two years in the state.
Whooping Crane Killed In Indiana
January 5, 2012
It's Cruise Season In Florida, So Be Careful
Where You Swim!
Now that Snow Bird season is in fill swing in Florida, the
Cruise Ships are lined up at
every dock and port in the Sunshine state, from Jacksonville to
The tourists and the Cruise Ships bring much needed income to our
and we are happy to see them all come here for their
But, what we don't want, or need, are the disgusting things
that Cruise Ships leave
like raw sewage, dumped just offshore of our beautiful Florida
The impact that this has had on our wildlife is hard to
understand unless you personally
witnessed the damage done to this same wildlife by the BP
Oil disaster last summer.
And, it's not just in the Oceans, it's also in our local lakes.
Right now, Boaters all over the state are being stopped and
and if they are dumping raw sewage, they are being fined, big time.
Two things to consider, swimming in this cesspool pollution
can make you very sick
and eating any fish that live in it, will as well.
When our waters are used as public bathrooms, we all pay,
Doing the right thing is easy, finding people who actually
Clean Up Cruise Ship Pollution
Florida Boating Laws
January 2, 2012
My 2012 Wish List for Florida's Endangered Wildlife
Like fellow Hoosier David Letterman's Top Ten List,
list also begins with number 10:
Number 10: Floridians will
become better Black Bear Aware with their Trash.
Number 9: All of our Endangered Sea Turtles
will have a banner egg nesting season.
Number 8: The little green treefrogs
and lizards will stop disappearing from my
Number 7: Idiots will stop stealing the
Ghost Orchid, which dies when taken from its home.
Number 6: Whooping Cranes
will increase their numbers and travel to and from Florida safely.
Number 5: Manatees will
have a warmer winter and many fewer collisions with local boaters.
Number 4: Right Whales
will have fewer incidents with Military and Cruise ships in the Atlantic.
Number 3: Florida Panthers
will have their Habitats protected from hunters, golfers and others.
Number 2: The Florida Everglades
will finally get the money allocated to it and get cleaned up.
Number 1: The US Government will realize their
ridiculous mistake of a 3.5% cut to the EPA
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