conservation

Jeff Wasielewski, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden / via Miami Herald

Florida conservation officials say a female panther has crossed a river, and it could be a big deal for the survival of the species.

Florida panthers are endangered — about 200 of the large cats live in south Florida, in an area that's less than 5 percent of their original range. If the animal is to thrive, it needs to do two things: expand its territory and breed.

Endangered Florida Panther Expands its Range

Nov 15, 2016

Florida wildlife authorities say the state's panther population is expanding beyond the endangered animal's primary habitat in southwest Florida.

For the first time in more than 40 years wildlife authorities have discovered evidence of a female Florida panther north of the Caloosahatchee River.

Key West Wildlife Center

  Least terns are having a banner breeding year in Key West.

That's good news — the seabirds are listed as threatened by the state of Florida.

But it also means more young birds are falling from the rooftops where many least terns nest.

FWC

  Fifty-seven species of fish and wildlife are so rare or face such threats that they are considered "imperiled" by the state of Florida.

Now the state has 49 action plans aimed at protecting those species. Some, like several species of wading birds, share the same habitat so they're covered under the same plan.

Environmentalists suing the state over the upcoming bear hunt are urging a judge to step in and stop the hunt before it starts next month. Speak Up Wekiva and activist Chuck O'Neal filed the motion in Leon County.

The motion disputes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's claim that hunt rules will limit the number of slain bears to 320, pointing to a rule allowing hunters to kill an unlimited number of bears in the first two days of the hunt. That, they say, doesn’t protect the bears from over harvesting.

Emma_L_M/flickr

Florida voters will decide whether environmental preservation becomes part of the state Constitution. Amendment 1 is a citizens’ initiative born from nearly a million petition signatures.

Why Lionfish Are Targeted Underwater And Online

Sep 2, 2014
NOAA's National Ocean Service/Flickr

If they weren't such a pest you could almost pity the lionfish.

The creature, after all, is simply doing what it is biologically programmed to do: eat and reproduce. Unfortunately, it has made its way to the reefs off South Florida where it doesn't have natural predators.

So the lovely lionfish has become a menace.

They eat juvenile saltwater species that are commercially and biologically important, like lobster, crab, snapper and grouper. And they eat herbivores like wrasse that help limit algae growth on reefs.

The tiny, copper-hued golden lion tamarin is so beloved in Brazil that its image graces the country's 20-real bank note. But this lion-maned monkey is in peril.

There's only one place on earth where the golden lion tamarin lives in the wild: in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica, just north of Rio de Janeiro. Deforestation in the region has reduced the monkey's habitat, once a massive ecosystem stretching for a half-million square miles, to just 2 percent of its original size.

"It's a jungle if you're an eagle right now on the Chesapeake Bay," says Bryan Watts, a conservation biologist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. "You have to watch your back."

Americans have long imagined their national symbol as a solitary, noble bird soaring on majestic wings. The birds are indeed gorgeous and still soar, but the notion that they are loners is outdated, Watts and other conservationists are finding.

Patdaversa / Flickr Creative Commons

The roseate spoonbill -- often mistaken by confused tourists for the non-native flamingo -- is one of Florida's great iconic species. Dubbed "one of the most breathtaking of the world's weirdest birds" by naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, the gangly creatures are an increasingly rare sight in South Florida. 

According to a feature in the May-June issue of Audubon Magazine, spoonbills have been vacating South Florida in droves, heading north to more hospitable (read: often less developed) lands.

Enjoy Florida's Wetlands Before They Disappear

May 9, 2013
Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

The recently-wrapped 2013 Florida Legislative session was an active one for those who track environmental issues in the Sunshine State.

Read About New Boating Guidelines For The Everglades

May 8, 2013
Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

Proposed changes at Everglades National Park have put anglers at odds with environmental groups. The park's draft general management plan, which includes several variations (or "alternatives"), is currently up for public comment. This Sunday is the deadline to weigh in on proposed measures, which include prohibiting traditional boating in about one-third of Florida Bay. 

Saving Florida Wildlife

Apr 8, 2013

Pages