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A Florida Panther
The Florida Panther
Felis concolor coryi
Photo credit: Florida Panther page

 

Gator Woman Blog Postings 2012

Updates and news that affect Florida's Endangered Wildlife

My Google Mirror Blog

 

Blog 2010 Blog 2011 Blog 2012 Blog 2013

 

December 30, 2012

2012, A Most Tumultuous, Turbulent Year
Florida's Natural Beauty

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 America.

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 Monsanto, Michael Taylor,

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

If only.....
A Florida Panther
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 for our

beautiful Florida Panthers and as of today, 25 have been killed.

We do not have 25 of them to spare.

So many people and organizations are dedicated to saving this beautiful animal,

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 driving cars.

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 animal in North America,

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

could lead 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
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 continual

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 hash out,

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 natural wonder.

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 all.

Those with the most money, are buying the right to run amuck in our state

and we are losing this wondrous place that we love to greedy outsiders.

Group Seeks To Remove Manatee's Endangered Status

 

 

December 9, 2012

Something Special to Share
The Everglades, just one part of Florida's Natural Beauty.

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 Endangered Species Coalition,

a powerful watch dog organization that continually keeps everyone involved

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 Planet Earth.

This particular Blog posting is concerned with water, which as you know,

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 our Earth.

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~
Alexander Springs, near my home in the Ocala Forest.
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 disaster.

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

see that this is going to end badly for every living thing in this state.

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?
A Loggerhead Hatchling

I always go out of my way to look for any news stories about Sea Turtles

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

hatched 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 disaster,

it 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 cycle."

As the massive storm neared each area projected to be affected, biologists and volunteers

quickly 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

Right Whale Mother and Calf

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 will improve.

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' birthing migration,

goes from the middle of November until about the end of March.

This most endangered whale still has worrisome numbers at about 400,

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
Marjory Stoneman Douglas 1965

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 here that 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 meant to strip her beauty barren.

The Photographic Exhibit will be on display in Museum of Botany and Arts in Sarasota,

until just 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 the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

Florida Wildlife Corridor Images Show Natural Beauty

 

 

November 4, 2012

About Next Tuesday.....
Florida's Natural Beauty

Next Tuesday voters in this Country will be making choices that will affect not

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 Ballot and

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 not.

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 are guaranteed

by 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 in some cases,

things that you may not have chosen, if you had understood what they really said.

Confused yet?

This is no accident, and this mess is called the Electoral process.

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 any boxes

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 unchecked!

 

 

October 28, 2012

What Does Clean Water Mean To You And Me?
Florida's Everglades National Park

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 that the

selfish oil people made of a spectacularly beautiful place, I know this because

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 its

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

paving 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 can vote

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 Butchers.

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 against them,

she was devoted to saving the Everglades.

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.

Next!!

 

 

October 21, 2012

The Joys And Sorrows Of Fall In The Forest
     Green Anole     A Female Green Treefrog     Harriet, our Gopher Tortoise.

Finally this morning, the day that we all wait for came, the temperature this morning

here in the Ocala Forest was a crispy 49 degrees.

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,

has 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 much.

 

 

October 7, 2012

Does The Environment Or Endangered Wildlife Matter
To Either President Obama Or Mitt Romney?
President Obama and 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 Campaign Issues,

that you would have to dig down under the ground to get to it.

In 2012, the political silence on the Environment is deafening.

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 paying 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 world?

The Ark has already left the building~

 

 

September 30, 2012
Whooping Cranes in flight
The Critically Endangered Whooping Crane


Will Fall Ever Arrive in Florida?

After a much needed break, I am back, refreshed and ready to begin anew~

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 Annual Event,

the Whooping Cranes are finally on their way back down to Florida.

This incredible web site is dedicated to the Annual Whooping Crane Migration:

Operation Migration

And, if you would like to follow the Crane's journey south back to Florida:

Migration Route

 

 

September 17, 2012

When You Need A Break From Your Life~

The Bean Blossom Covered Bridge
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 Facebook pages

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 times and absolutely nothing

negative happened to cause me to yearn for the Keys or anywhere but home.

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 until now.

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 find

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 heart,

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 nervous.

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 about,

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 passage

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~
A Loggerhead Hatchling

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 tragedies involving

Endangered Wildlife here in Florida, but this is all so good!

There are Loggerheads, Leatherbacks and Greens, all are either Threatened

or Endangered 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 year,

finally, they can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

Protective and Environmental groups all across the state have worked tirelessly

to make this happen and this years "bumper crop" is their reward!

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?
Harriet, our resident Gopher Tortoise.  A Florida Scrub Jay  A Sand Skink  A Florida Scrub Morning Glory
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 dedication or ??

Recently this group went onto the Pinecastle Range here in the Ocala 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 includedgopher tortoisesscrub jays,  sand skinks

and the scrub morning glory.

I am not sure what all of this really means to those doing the hunting,

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 get bombed.

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
The Green Swamp Preserve, a part of Florida Forever.
Photo credit: John Moran/John Moran Photo.com

Eric Draper, the head of Audubon Florida, along with several other environmental

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 water,

as this program was originally set up to do.

The money to pay for the program comes from tax stamps, which comes

from home sales and we all know how the housing market has been.

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 Ballot

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

The Blessings~

My daughter, me,  my sister and our Mother on the beach in Florida many years ago.
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 and I

wanted to share them with those of you not fortunate enough to live here.

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.

When you think about this, we are so very lucky here, we can drive

for 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 bears,

"just the right place" to spend their remaining days, I have through them,

seen nearly every nook and cranny of this gorgeous state.

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 special place

and for us, at least, it is here in the Ocala Forest.

Welcome to our paradise, welcome to our Florida.

Please, please, leave it as good as, or better than, you found it.

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 Wildlife Group?
A Roseate Spoonbill     A Florida Grasshopper Sparrow     A Florida Wood Stork     Florida Snail Kite

Today I would like to share something not specifically about one particular

species of Endangered Wildlife, but about groups that you might wish

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 remarkable.

If you have one animal or cause that you are passionate about,

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 Roseate Spoonbill

The Florida Grasshopper Sparrow

The Wood Stork

The Everglades Snail Kite

 

 

July 30, 2012

Have You Met The Grasshopper Sparrow?
A Florida Grasshopper Sparrow

Probably not, because this tiny bird that is found nowhere else on earth,

except the Everglades, 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 Everglades.

This sweet song of this very tiny, most common species of bird,

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 water source

"wasted" because some of it is being diverted out to sea by FWS,

to keep the nests of the birds ancestral homes from being flooded out.

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 Endangered bird,

can not begin to compare with the amount that is being "truly wasted"

by some of the greedy humans of South Florida!

Grasshopper Sparrow

 

 

July 27, 2012

Why Can't The Everglades Ever Get A Break?
Florida's Everglades National Park

Just about the time you think, well maybe things are getting better,

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 neither,

it seems, is the South Florida Water Management District.

Like the St. John's Water group, SFWMD may have become too big

and too powerful, and in ever more increasing fashion, both are

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 either.

While some farms are doing the right thing for all of Florida's waterways,

the ones who cheat and those people who are supposed to be watching them,

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!

Any Questions?

A PDF is here:

Florida Audubon Water Permits

Or write to Jonathon Webber,

Conservation Campaign Manager

jwebber@audubon.org

Or call: 850 222-2473

 

 

July 24, 2012

The Wood Stork May Get Room To Stretch Its Wings~
A Florida Wood Stork

A pond or small lake with an island in it, within the Perico Preserve will soon

become a new nesting habitat for some of Florida's most Threatened or

Endangered birds, like little blue herons, snowy egrets and white ibis and

the most eagerly anticipated member, who may hopefully join this list,

is also 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 raccoons who would

pose a significant threat in the rearing of little ones, for parent birds.

Construction on this new home for Florida's winged ones in trouble,

will begin in about two months.

Stay tuned for updates~

Manatee County's New Rookery

 

 

July 21, 2012

Friends In Need, Are Friends Indeed
Just one of many places of Florida's Natural Beauty, the Everglades.
The Everglades,
an exquisite Florida Natural Area
 

Here in Florida, we are very fortunate to have many Environmental groups who

work diligently and tirelessly to preserve and protect the beauty that is Florida.

One of these groups, the Audubon Society, has a great News Blog Page and

if you are in need of an issue, place, or animal to get involved with,

you will probably find it listed here.

Come meet Audubon of Florida and offer to lend a hand, if you can:

The Audubon of Florida News Blog

 

 

July 18, 2012

Right Whales Are About To Become Extinct For Oil Gluttony
Right Whale Mother and Calf

Very soon, in the birthing/calving grounds of the North Atlantic Right Whale,

which just happens to be the most Endangered Whale on the planet,

loud explosions may drive 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 this year,

due to a complete lack of food up North and now they want

to do seismic blasting in the very place where they are born.

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 thread

and they want to finish them off by looking for more oil?

Why? 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 all live

in a place where you can actually breathe the clean air, not see it.

Seismic Testing

Offshore Oil Exploration Plan Draws Fire

 

 

July 15, 2012

I Do Believe
A Florida Panther

A few days ago something happened that made me believe in the Wildlife Fairy,

or perhaps an even higher being~

A Florida Federal Judge said, "I don't think so," to ORV's running amuck

in the pristine Big Cypress Preserve.

This will be a lifeline for the most critically Endangered mammal in Florida,

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 who or

what would be disturbed, saved, lost, injured or damaged, but did anyone remember

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 running

helter-skelter all through their natural habitats, they are diverted and/or

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 Park,

and they don't belong in the Big Cypress Preserve either, ever!

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
A Whooping Crane

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 life.

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 Crane,

whose American living spaces have been disappearing for years.

As a "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
A male Florida Snail Kite

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 Okeechobee,

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 fast growing

and now most abundant Hydrilla plant because it clogged up their boat propellers.

Unfortunately, Hydrilla is the primary food of the Snail,

which is the only food that this Endangered Bird can eat,

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.

On Lake Okeechobee With Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Greco

 

 

July 6, 2012

Wonderful Rain, You Bring Life Back To Us Again
 White Pelicans at Pelican Island NWR, Florida 
Photo credit: USFWS/George Gentry

We here in Central Florida have been dealing with drought conditions for

many months now, something we don't normally have to contend with,

unlike our neighbors out in the West.

It is usually very tropical around here and rains just about everyday.

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 seen everywhere.

Florida's vast array of Tropical Birds can once again be seen everywhere,

enjoying the plentiful return to the "wet season" as all around us has finally,

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
A Florida Black Bear  Right Whale Mother and Calf  A Whooping Crane with Juvenile

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, the Right Whale.

Give 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 reason.

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 most hunters

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?

Duh!

Kansas Extends Hours For Sandhill Crane Hunting

 

 

June 30, 2012

We Will Take It!
A Brown Pelican   A Florida Manatee   Florida Kemp's Ridley Turtle

Kind of similar to what happened this week in the Supreme Court,

this victory was not exactly what we were expecting.

Not only was this Restore Act a win for wildlife, but at the same time,

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 moment.

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 connected,

networking with Facebook and Twitter, the signatures on petitions went

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!
Lonesome George

Photo credit: putneymark

Like Ishi, 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 one question:

"what are we doing to cause this?"

With Ishi, it was simple, Manifest Destiny.

European invaders marched across this country and decimated every Indigenous person

that they encountered along the way, in the pursuit of what they claimed

was 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, while

 their water and food sources are being poisoned with chemicals and pesticides.

Species of every type, including we humans, are in danger of extinction

due to our own greed and stupidity.

Living beings all over the world are dying at an alarming rate and the future is bleak

according to the scientists who are studying this rapid demise.

We simply cannot continue on this destructive, selfish path and

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?

Lonesome George

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

George's Photo Gallery

 

 

June 24, 2012
Whooping Crane

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.

These two 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 Whooping Cranes

 is doing their best to save their own kind from disappearing, forever.

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
Photo: Peter Carrels

This story is so important on so many levels.

Just in case you did not minor in Geology, here is something that

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 it up.

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 centuries.

The Ogallala Aquifer is just one of many, many American water sources

that are right now in very grave jeopardy.

When our glass is full of toxins, it will be too late to object:

Visuals: Dirty Oil Sands

Great story, well done!

Protecting The Cultural And Historic Values Of The Powder River Basin

 

 

June 18, 2012

Can Clams Clean Up Our Coral?
Lucinid Clams            Typical Seagrass Meadows
Photo credits:
(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 Florida's,

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.

The seagrass beds 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 seagrass clean.

It is life in perfect harmony and balance.

Little Clams Play Big Part In Keeping Seagrass Ecosystem Healthy

 

 

June 15, 2012
A Schaus Swallowtail  Butterfly                      A Florida Miami Blue Butterfly

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 complete extinction.

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 extinction,

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

Birds at Lake Okeechobee
Photo credit: FAU/Richard Botta

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 fact most

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 still

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 Florida,

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 comments,

you will get a clearer picture of why the biggest objectors to these

Wind Turbines are not coming from the usual or expected places,

they are coming from Environmental groups, like Audubon and the Sierra Club.

Hmmmmmmm.........

The Everglades,  Lake Okeechobee and a nearby Wildlife Refuge are sensitive

habitat areas that are home to a multitude of permanent or native resident birds,

as well as a large number of visiting or snow-birds species.

Some of these locals, like the Snail Kite, are an Endangered Species,

 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 Turbines?

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
Florida's Everglades National Park

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.

One thing is for sure, nothing else that has been tried so far has been effective in removing

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,

eating 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

hope yet for the most pristine Ecosystem on the planet, the Florida Everglades.

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 own sweet

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 things.

These three boy/men were not hatched in a biology lab somewhere.

They were born, they had parents and at some point, must have gone

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 the problem.

As for the tortured creatures whose lives they ended, I need to believe

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?
Gray Bat

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 of nasty,

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 map,

all but eradicating one bat species after another, all across the Country.

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!
An American Crocodile

If you plan on swimming in any of the canals in the Keys in South Florida,

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 this area,

 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 groups,

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.

What happens when nature takes it course and some cattle are lost, as is to be expected?

Will this new owner understand this, or react as most cattle people have in the recent past

and demand punishment for the Panther?

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

A Florida Key Deer Fawn A Wood Stork An American Crocodile A Green Sea Turtle

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, (ESA)."

Maybe it's like they say, "Everything is just better in the Keys!"

Some Keys Endangered Species On The Road To Recovery

 

 

May 21, 2012

Why Not Start The Week With A Smile?

Whooping Crane        An American Crocodile

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 Endangered Species,

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 croc,

so we are thankful for the existence of the ESA, the Endangered Species ACT,

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 next year

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

Endangered Species Day Events

 

 

May 15, 2012

The Timucuan People
A Timucuan Village

Photo credit: Florida State Archives

 

The Native People who once lived in Florida are not an Endangered Species,

they 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 Forest

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 wildlife here.

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:

The Timucuan Indians of Florida

 

 

May 12, 2012

Simple Surprises Make Life So Sweet
Male Pileated Woodpecker        Female Pileated Woodpecker

Photo credits: 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 write,

 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 and started

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 forest,

so there was no chance this was a house hunting expedition.

No, the Pileated is not endangered, but they are so captivating, being,

 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 together.

They were simply stunning to watch and I just felt like you should know.

 Thankful for having eyes this early Saturday morning.......

 

 

May 9, 2012

An Introduction, Of Sorts!
A Dwarf Seahorse
A Dwarf Seahorse
Photo graciously lent by: 
 J. Jeffords/Dive Gallery

Come say hello to the newest creature to join Gator-Woman.com, the Seahorse.

To be exact, the Dwarf Seahorse, whose page is here: Dwarf Seahorse

At the present time, neither this Seahorse, nor as far as I know, any other Seahorse,

is listed as an Endangered Species, but after receiving a press release this week

from the Center for Biological Diversity about the situation with

the Dwarf Seahorse here in Florida, I did some checking and decided

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 list them.

Meet the fascinating Dwarf Seahorse

 

 

May 6, 2012

Manatees Will Get New Safe Passage In Flagler

Manatees headed for a disaster

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

A Green Turtle Hatchling      A Loggerhead Hatchling      A Right Whale Mother and Calf

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 the beach.

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 Right Whale.

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

Manatee Mother and Calf

As if they didn't already have enough challenges in their daily lives,

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 Florida.

Sierra Club News

Congress Deserves an F

 

 

April 27, 2012

Orlando's New Turtle Trek Brings You Face to Face With Turtles
Florida Loggerhead Turtle

Yes, this is the land of magic and SeaWorld Orlando will be making

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 wildlife:

SeaWorld's Turtle Trek: Keeping It Hyper-Real

Turtle Trek Opens Today

Turtle Trek At SeaWorld Orlando: YouTube

 

 

April 24, 2012

Today Is Another Twofer

The Rodman Dam

First, the damn dam may finally, thankfully be coming down.

Nearly fifty years later, the biggest mistake in the history of Florida's

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 last.

Can you hear the sighs of wildlife up and down the Ocklawaha River?

After 44 Years, Dam To Be Razed

The Babies Are Headed North

After a tumultuous winter in the South, the fledgling Whooping Cranes

have left Alabama and are headed North to Wisconsin for the summer.

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

  A Female Green Treefrog  Right Whale Mother and Calf

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 Endangered Panthers.

In spite of the massive outcries from all over America,

the ugly Keystone Pipeline is still not dead.

April 28th is the Fourth Annual Save the Frogs Day.

And lastly, somewhere in an Ocean near you today,

a whale may respond to some military sonar testing

and become confused, or disoriented and beach itself causing its death.

Please remember on this Earth Day, that we share this entire Planet

with those who have no voice, other than ours, to speak for them.

Please make your voice heard for them on Earth Day and every day.

God Bless.

 

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 Blog below)

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 really over,

not when it comes to politicians.

They are always looking out for number one and that would be themselves.

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:

Ecological Shortsidedness Alive in Florida

 

 

April 14, 2012

Why Would You Want to Save a Tiny Lizard,
 When You 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 interference,

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 Central Florida,

and we certainly should not let an animal stand in the way of new business.

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?

Until April 23rd, you can send FWS your thoughts at:
northflorida@fws.gov    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 Today.......
A Florida Miami Blue ButterflyAn American CrocodileA Florida Barbour's Map Turtle

First, the Governor has intelligently rejected the Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my, bill....

Next, the Miami Blue Butterfly has been granted Federal protection,

now that no one can seem to find one anymore!

The American Crocodile has not only survived human interference,

but has actually blossomed in South Florida.

If you are concerned about the possibility of hunting in the only Panther Habitat

in the Big Cypress Preserve, the deadline for comment has been extended,

please make your thoughts known to the Parks Department.

And finally, protection for wild turtles in this country from being caught

and 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 1965
Marjory Stoneman Douglas with a
Miccosukee Tribe member in 1965
Photo credit: Florida State Archives

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 Florida.

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 wealthy father,

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 the Everglades.

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 Female Green Treefrog

A few mornings ago when I took our Airedale out in the early darkness,

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 wondering

 if we had lost them all over the winter,

but there she was telling us that it was finally warm enough

for them to come out for the summer.

Welcome back little ones and happy hunting.

 

 

April 2, 2012

Right Whales Births
Right Whale Mother and Calf

One of the most Endangered mammals on Earth, the Right Whale,

has apparently recorded very low birth numbers this year.

After two trips and six days last Spring to Flagler Beach, which normally

has frequent sightings and seeing none, we are not surprised.

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 enemy.

Poor Calving Season for Right Whales

 

 

March 30, 2012

Restoration Money Goes To Those Who Best Understand Mother Earth

The Miccosukee people of Florida will get Tribal Wildlife grant money of $199,0000 to

help restore the damage done to the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee,

the habitat of the Endangered Snail Kite and to deal with Mercury contamination.

Tribes Receive $4.2 Million in Conservation Grants

Salazar Announces More Than $4.2 Million in Conservation Grants

 

March 27, 2012

Can A Tiny Skink Stop A Million Dollar Project?

The only thing that is better than this story is when a Gopher tortoise

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 its presence.

Lizards May Be Obstacle For Proposed Sports Complex

 

 

March 24, 2012

I Have Nothing to Say Today
A Florida Black Bear

I need time to grieve for HER and somehow deal with her senseless death.

She did not need to die!

 

 

March 23, 2012

She Is Dead
A Florida Black Bear

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 situation,

 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 because

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?

Red Cockaded Woodpecker

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 watch.

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
Photo: FWC

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 Orlando.

This particular Condo Complex has countless residents and it would appear that every

single one of them has a crate right at their front door filled with garbage.

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 believe.

But.......

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 mamma 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 case.

There is a solution, but absolutely no one wants to do it.

Not the Condo Mangers/Owners or the residents of this and countless other similar

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 live.

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 killed."

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 tapirs.

This could only happen in Florida, right?

After all, this is the land of the Magic Kingdom and the Orlando Magic.

A bill, HB1117, surprisingly called the Jurassic Park Bill,

has just been approved in Tallahassee and only awaits the governors' signature

to become a law that will then allow zoos to turn wild animals loose to graze.

What ?

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 follows:

"How much more can the beleaguered wildlife in this state endure?
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.
Panthers are hit and killed nearly every day because they have nowhere else to go,
Gopher Tortoises are buried alive for buildings, Birds and Butterflies
are driven from their ancestral homes for recreational facilities.
When, where does it end?"

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

Our Gopher Tortoise, Harriet

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 the opening,

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 domain.

Today is the first time that we have seen Harriet since winter began.

We hold our breath every time that she disappears for long periods,

never knowing if she has left us for a better place to live, or been run over

while ambling down the busy road on the other side of our fenced property.

So, seeing her this morning is cause for celebration.

She is home, she is safe and hopefully will spend the entire summer eating

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~
A male Florida Snail Kite

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 years ago,

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 is Everglades Kite.

This beleaguered bird was driven from its ancestral Everglades home by human greed

and has just recently fairly successfully taken root in Lake Toho.

The kite's primary food is a snail that loves the Hydrilla,

so the snail has food and the kite has food, problem solved.

But wait........

The recreational people mentioned above, who use lake Toho are now going head to head

and nose to nose over just how much Hydrilla should be allowed to remain in the Lake.

Each group has their own opinion and legal forces to speak for them,

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 fate.

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 involved.

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 hearts.

Okay maybe not hearts.

But the point is, that the power we now have because of our wondrous wired world,

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 because

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,

you/we will vote them right out of office.

See how long they can live on what the lobbyists give them then!

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
A Female Green Treefrog

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 pier.

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 frustrated fisherman.

He said, "Just as soon as I catch one, he jumps in and takes it,

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 Florida, but

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 they have

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 Miracle Grow,

and they will be paying some big fines and court costs for their unthinkable actions.

So, now to avoid eating insecticides, we must not only buy organic food

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 been feeding

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 their leaders?

Where has the moral compass that used to guide America and Americans gone?

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

my first purchase will be Organic bird seed.

Feed the Birds Organically

Avoiding Poisonous Birdseed

 

 

February 26, 2012

The Quintessential Shot in the Dark

A special place, the H‏įlpata Tastanaki Preserve, one of the few remaining

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 scene,

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

Brooksville, Florida

Any questions?

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?

Speak Up 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 absolute detriment

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 where."

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 throughout Florida.

Once all of the cleanup is finished, the enemies will remain as they have

always been for the Manatees, boat strikes and severely cold weather.

A record number of over 1,500 have died in the last three years,

it is time for the Manatee to get a break.

Florida Manatee: Opening a Door to Survival

Take a Look at the Process in Progress

 

 

February 17, 2012

Where Have You Gone, Oh Beautiful Blue?

A Florida Miami Blue Butterfly

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 this state,

the Blue simply could not compete with never ending human interference.

If only the people did not dump their unwanted Iguanas in the Keys and

if only the pesticides were not used all over their last tiny habitat.......

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 the state.

Two of the Parks on the list are where the Panther and the Ghost Orchid

are presently hanging on by the narrowest thread.

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?

How 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 states and

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 the same

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 "b", each!

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
Photo: Peter Carrels
 

Although the President said no and the people said no, the politicians,

(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 appears

to be that of the Lobbyists with the big checkbooks.

The Environment and Wildlife will lose, they cannot speak this language.

Tar Nation: Garth Lenz-You Tube

Visuals: Dirty Oil Sands

Koch 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 Whooping Cranes,

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?

Probably not.

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 imprint on

this new home in Alabama and will never join the remainder of the flock here in Florida.

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 soon either.

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 displaced reptiles.

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 area.

So, how long might this hunting expedition take?

A very, very long time.

Study: 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.

We 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 distance away.

And every year they just keep adding on to it, until it finally collapses

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 pesticide, DDT.

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,

McFarland, where the incidence of leukemia in children under six, was 80%.

And this was just one example, of so many, of what pesticides can do.

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

 of the 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 them.

All of the details about this exciting event are in this story:

Florida Biologist Coming to "Ding" Darling

 

 

January 24, 2012

Fueling Extinction

This is a subject very close to my heart as I have traveled often through

the lands of the Ogallala Aquifer and have admired the beauty of not only

the land, but of the wildlife and the people living there.

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 terrible plan.

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 Texas,

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 River disasters.

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: 4,500.

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 nibble on you.

Like the Everglades in August, is what the U.S. could face without

our very best bug controller around to protect us anymore.

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 lose them.

In Florida we have the Gray Bat, which was already Endangered.

Right now, Bat Deaths number over 5.5 million from White-Nose Syndrome and

if help for them doesn't come soon, we may all feel like we are living in the tropics.

Bat Deaths, a Catastrophe In the Making

Mysterious Killer Threatens Bats

White Nose Syndrome

FWS News Release PDF

 

 

January 18, 2012

It Was a Team Rescue of Endangered Turtles
A Green Turtle Hatchling

The US Air Force and the Coast Guard teamed up this week in Florida to

rescue 29 Endangered green sea turtle hatchlings.

We know that these two groups regularly save lives all over the country,

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.

Team Turtle Rescue

 

 

January 15, 2012

Beginning A New Way of Thinking
          Sandhill Cranes with their 2 Babies

This week, Goldie Hawn was a guest on Dr. Oz and as they talked,

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 happy.

She has written a new book and has an organization devoted to the subject.

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

and was brought back to life by a machine in his chest.

The puppy that we brought home to help us recover from the tremendous grief

of losing another of her kind is healthy, happy and full of irrepressible joy.

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
Whooping Crane

There were two disturbing stories concerning Endangered Whooping Cranes this week.

First the annual human led 1200 mile migration flight from Wisconsin to the

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 Miami.

The tourists and the Cruise Ships bring much needed income to our state

and we are happy to see them all come here for their vacations.

But, what we don't want, or need, are the disgusting things that Cruise Ships leave behind,

like raw sewage, dumped just offshore of our beautiful Florida beaches.

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 checked

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, eventually.

Doing the right thing is easy, finding people who actually will........

Miami Marinetime Law

Time to 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,

my 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 yard.

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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