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Posts tagged ‘protection’

It’s World Turtle Day!

The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders. ―Edward Abbey

Gaaa! Today — May 23, 2013 — is the 13 annual World Turtle Day! This special day was created to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

I love our turtles and tortoises…. I grew up with the giant South Pacific sea turtles (MAGNIFICENT), and now, I always have towels in my car for the sole purpose of transporting wayward turtles on our Florida roads (especially during nesting season, poor babies). If you encounter and relocate one, remember to *always* move them to safety in the direction he / she’s heading. Wildlife needs every tiny bit of help we can offer. More from the Mother Nature Network, in honor of this day celebrating these wonderful guys:

“The earliest turtles evolved up to 300 million years ago, branching off from a group of reptiles more closely related to crocodiles and birds than to lizards and snakes. Lots of turtle species have come and gone since then, including some spectacular ones like the car-sized “coal turtle” or the Koopa-like Meiolania damelipi. But today’s turtles face an unusually widespread danger, with about half of Earth’s 328 known species listed as threatened or endangered with extinction. They’re largely under siege from humans, yet unlike King Koopa, they didn’t bring this on themselves….”

Red-bellied Turtle, Flamingo Gardens, Florida

A Red-bellied turtle finds sanctuary at Flamingo Gardens

Florida Cooter (Turtle) in the Florida Wetlands

A Florida Cooter safely surveys his domain in the wetlands

Visiting with an Ancient Tortoise at Flamingo Gardens, Florida

Visiting with an ancient tortoise at the Flamingo Gardens wildlife rehabilitation center and sanctuary, last year… I would have climbed in for cuddles, if possible.

Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach, Florida

A rescued sea turtle in rehabilitation at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach

And finally, one of my favorite guys: The always gentle and shy Gopher tortoise! I’m always trying to catch a glimpse of these sweethearts, and have written a few times in this blog about their essential role to our ecology, and the need for their continued protection.

Gopher (Burrowing) Tortoise, Savannas Preserve State Park

Trying my best not to frighten a Gopher (Burrowing) tortoise in the Savannas Preserve State Park


Read more about World Turtle Day, and protecting turtles and tortoises here
and here:

at Mother Nature Network, and at the

Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Florida, and at

World Wildlife Foundation, and at

Nature artist / writer Denise Dahn’s blog, learn about Gopher tortoises, and finally at

treehugger!

The First Everglades Day: April 7, 2013!

Everglades Poster Celebrating Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Everglades Poster Celebrating Marjory Stoneman Douglas

The first-ever EVERGLADES DAY is this Sunday, April 7…. Fantastic! Many thanks to all of those who worked so hard to make this a legislative priority, highlighting and escalating issues surrounding the Everglades, as well as renewing the area’s restoration efforts. What a perfect time to visit and explore the ‘glades — and love this beautifully vital, rare, but endangered and always-threatened ecosystem. Check out the link below for events from Miami to Naples to West Palm Beach!

From the Everglades Foundation:

The first official Everglades Day will be celebrated on April 7, 2013. In addition to recognizing what an important resource this ecosystem is, not only to the state of Florida, but to America, the day  will also honor Everglades activist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, as it is designated to be held on her birthday.

The Florida Legislature voted  in favor of an Everglades Day on March 7, 2012. From a National Parks Conservation Association press release: “The state’s support for an official Everglades Day will ensure that the Everglades ecosystem remains a top priority for elected officials and all Floridians while honoring Douglas’s legacy for protecting the River of Grass. . . Each time we turn dirt on an Everglades restoration project, we are protecting our drinking water supply, creating jobs and fulfilling a promise to protect our national parks, wildlife, and family memories….”

Some of the sights from one of the event locations, Grassy Waters:

Alligator, Florida Everglades

Love and respect this place. Please.

Everglades Vista Along the Hog Hammock Trail, Grassy Waters Preserve, Florida

Everglades Vista Along the Hog Hammock Trail

NENA Signage, Hog Hammock Trail, Grassy Waters Preserve, Florida

NENA Signage

It’s NATIONAL WILDLIFE WEEK, and: Returning the Florida Panther to the Everglades

In honor of National Wildlife Week, March 18-24, here’s a special and rare event from last week:

A Florida panther was recently released into the Picayune Strand State Foresta rare event, in a bid to help save the species. The tagged female will hopefully become a safe and successful mommy!

She and her brother were raised from the age of five months at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, rescued after their mother was found dead.

Rescued Florida Panther at Flamingo Gardens, Florida

Rescued Florida Panther at Flamingo Gardens: Sadly, this guy can’t be returned to the wild, because he underwent a painful de-clawing procedure at the hands of humans

From the article:

Florida panthers were among the first to go on the Endangered Species List back in 1973 when there were as few as 20 remaining individuals. Today they are still in great peril with as few as 100-160 in the wild, but biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) successfully released one female Florida panther into the Picayune Strand State Forest recently with the hope that she will become a successful mom.

Read more….

So much luck to this girl (and to her soon-to-be-released brother!) – AND so many thanks for the continued rescue and conservation efforts the world over!

Rescued Florida Panther at Flamingo Gardens, Florida

Another panther rescue: De-clawing exotic cats is still permitted, unbelievably. It causes extreme pain and lameness, and requires constant pain regulation. Horrific “legal” state minimum enclosure requirements for bears, big cats, and other wild animals (envision a tiny jail cell) are also allowed

Protecting the Everglades

From Audubon Florida:

The Sugar Industry has launched an effort to further weaken Everglades cleanup efforts, load more of the expenses on the taxpayers, and have the Legislature attempt to nullify an important part of Florida’s Constitution. Your voice is needed right now to protect the Everglades — send a letter using the form below.

The House State Affairs Committee will act TOMORROW, Thursday, March 7 on a yet-unnumbered bill the Sugar industry has drafted. This bad bill attempts to insulate Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) farmers from having to do anything more to pay for or clean up their own pollution by codifying in law a dubious claim that Best management Practices (BMPs) are effectively reducing phosphorus pollution.

If the bill passes, the Everglades loses and you lose. Take action right now by sending a letter using the form below….

Click the Audubon Florida link here, to access more info and sign your name against “Sugar’s poison pill.” Help protect this already severely threatened, valuable ecosystem — the only one of its kind on the planet!

Great Egret in Grassy Waters Preserve, FL

Great Egret in Grassy Waters — historically a key component of the Everglades watershed

Big Cypress National Preserve

Cypress Swamp of the Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades

Support a Federal Wildlife Conservation Stamp

Juvenile Cattle Egrets in Protected Florida Wetlands

No worries, those humans will help!
Juvenile Cattle Egrets in Protected Florida Wetlands

The Federal Duck Stamp has a long history in the U.S., a program devoted to conserving this country’s pristine lands. The stamps themselves are beautiful pieces of art, and remain highly collectible. There are efforts to re-issue the stamp, now called the Wildlife Conservation Stamp, to help the currently severely underfunded wildlife refuges… See below for more information of this wonderful endeavor!

From the website:

It is now more important than ever to draw on the diverse group of refuge advocates around the country to safeguard America’s wildlife heritage. National wildlife refuges have been underfunded since President Theodore Roosevelt created the first refuge in 1903 and Congress refused to appropriate money to manage it. Without adequate funding, habitats are not restored, invasive species are left unchecked, poaching and other illegal activities occur and our nation’s wildlife suffers.

Already underfunded and understaffed, National Wildlife Refuges are now facing even more budget cuts. And some members of Congress want to cut funding dramatically.

With already over $3 billion worth of incomplete projects, deeper funding cuts to National Wildlife Refuges could have catastrophic results. Further reductions could:

  • End popular wildlife education programs for school children
  • Close visitor centers
  • Lead to layoffs for law enforcement officers, biologists and maintenance staff who keep visitors and wildlife safe
  • Close entire Refuges, restricting public access

Learn more about this clever and wonderful initiative to protect our country’s land and wildlife — and sign the petition aimed to the White House — at http://wildlifeconservationstamp.org/

There’s been much talk of the upcoming oil drilling in the Arctic. Drilling creates an even stronger greenhouse effect; risks disaster to this pristine land; and disrupts whale movements with its added noise. Greenpeace’s petition has been widely distributed (see the last paragraph of the post for the link), but I thought Mr. Drost’s words summed it up beautifully. PROTECT and PRESERVE what little remains…. Enough is enough is enough.

Natureview photography

This summer the Dutch/British owned oil company Shell will start drilling for oil in the Arctic. They can do this because the sea ice has melted enough to expose the oil rich sea floors of the high north. This oil will be burned, resulting in more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and an even stronger greenhouse effect… Besides, we’ve seen in the Gulf of Mexico what can happen when something goes wrong while drilling for oil. And with the cold temperatures oil degradation takes much longer as in the warmer Gulf of Mexico.

Since I came to the high Arctic for the first time in 1999 I’ve seen islands emerge from glaciers, I’ve reached places that used to be locked in ice every summer and I’ve seen Polar Bears change their behavior because of the changing ice conditions. When I made my first visit I expected to visit a true…

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Great [Blue] Daddy!

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, check out this amazing time-lapse video of a male Great Blue Heron, as he diligently protects 5 eggs during an April 27 snowstorm. All 5 hatched — despite the snow, and despite constant owl attacks. What a good daddy!!

 

The Cornell Lab features some fascinating live feeds of various birds, and now the Great Blues are nesting…. But numerous species are featured on their live cams.

Visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for more information.

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