Florida wildlife

Everglades
8:04 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Loxahatchee Is First Wildlife Refuge To Host Recreational Gator Hunting

This year's alligator hunting season is a historic one, with the opening of the first National Wildlife Refuge in the country to recreational gator hunting.
Credit Wilson Sayre

This past weekend was the start of the two-and-a-half-month alligator-hunting season in Florida. It was also the first time the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge opened its gates to recreational gator hunting. It's the first wildlife refuge in the country to do so.

Of the 1,203 people who applied, only 11 were granted permits, each for two gators. Half of the permit holders started their hunt Friday at the much-anticipated opening.

THE CONTROVERSY

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Environment
6:24 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Manatees Might Lose Endangered Status

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region / Creative Commons/Flickr

Manatees have been an endangered species since 1967. But on Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made an announcement that this classification may soon be lowered to "threatened."

But some environmentalists and government officials are opposed to this change. They say changing the label might result in more lenient rules about boat speed zones and dock-building limits. 

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Fish
4:19 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Florida's Lionfish May Need To Rehearse Their Final Words

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is trying to get rid of the lionfish.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Brian Popik

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is trying to eradicate an invasive species: the lionfish, which swims the South Florida seas.

It's is a funky-looking, red-and-white striped fish. Its fins fan out like a mane, hence the name. But the real image its name should conjure up is of a big bully.

The lionfish population has exploded over the past couple of decades. Its presence has increasingly hurt local native fish and other sea critters.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

South Florida's Urban Menagerie

www.facebook.com/LyandaLynnHaupt

10/09/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents examines how our lives are increasingly entwined with creatures which are displaced by suburbia, highways and urban sprawl. South Florida is a prime example of urban menagerie creation, through habitat loss.  We see foxes, raccoons, wading birds, reptiles and even vultures on our streets and properties.  We’ll speak with nature writer and researcher Lyanda Lynn Haupt about her book, THE URBAN BESTIARY:  Encountering the Everyday Wild.  That’s Topical Currents . . . Wednesday at 1pm. 

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Environment
9:39 am
Fri June 28, 2013

South Florida Wildlife Center: Cute Baby Animals And Lessons On Respecting Nature

A gray fox kit at the South Florida Wildlife Center
SFWC Courtesy Photo

Imagine this scene: You're preparing to go for a morning jog in your Fort Lauderdale neighborhood when you spy an opossum sifting through a pile of overripe mangoes beneath a tree in the backyard. Or perhaps on the course of that morning jog, you spot a brown baby bird hopping on the ground beneath a cocoplum. It's pumping its wings but not gaining much altitude.

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Environment
7:03 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Feds Do About-Face, Step In To Help Endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow

The clock is ticking for the Florida grasshopper sparrow.
Credit MyFWC.com / Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The clock is ticking for the highly-endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow, but a new project recently green-lit by a federal agency may offer some hope for avoiding extinction. Scientists believe there are roughly 200 of the tiny birds remaining in the wild. Two years ago, scientists found the lowest count of the birds in history: last year's numbers dipped even lower. 

      

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Climate Change
6:03 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Sea Level Rise May Happen Too Quick For Shore Birds To React

Shore birds in South Florida are facing down the threat of rising sea levels.
Credit Hunter-Desportes / Flickr Creative Commons

Humans aren't the only species facing an uncertain future in South Florida should current sea level rise predictions prove accurate. Migratory and resident shore birds also would feel the pinch of encroaching salt water, beach erosion, and shore line and habitat loss. 

When examining current land modeling and other scientific data, in addition to physical evidence, "It becomes clear what a substantial threat sea level rise will be," said Julie Wraithmell, director of Wildlife Conservation, Florida, for the National Audubon Society. 

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Everglades National Park
7:00 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Read About New Boating Guidelines For The Everglades

The public is asked to weigh in on proposed changes to boating regulations inside Everglades National Park.
Credit 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. 

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A Gator-Free Look At Everglades Animals
7:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Nine Awesome Everglades Animals (Aside From The Alligator)

Roseate spoonbills.
Tricia Woolfenden WLRN

Is there any animal more closely associated with the Everglades than the American alligator? OK, the Burmese python has been the 'glades press "darling" as of late, but invasive, non-natives do not count for the purposes of celebrating the Everglades. While Florida's iconic reptilian king deserves all of the attention it gets, there are plenty of other cool critters that inhabit the Everglades.

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Sea Turtles Are Nesting In South Florida
7:02 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins: Here's How To See Them In Action

Sea turtle nesting season is in full swing in South Florida. Hatchlings, like this green sea turtle, will start appearing later this summer.
Credit USFWS/Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

Sea turtle nesting season is off and crawling this year with the first reported sea turtle nest in Boca Raton. The nest, made by a leatherback turtle, was recorded on Sunday morning in South Beach Park by Marine Turtle Specialists with the Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program based out of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. 

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Aired 3/8/13 on WLRN Channel 17
8:53 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Saving Florida Wildlife

Florida Panther Released in PBC
8:01 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Florida Panther Released In Palm Beach County: VIDEO

A Florida panther is released April 3 into Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area in Palm Beach County.
Credit Tim Donovan/MyFWCmedia / Flickr

Florida wildlife news often is dominated by loss: record numbers of manatee deaths, an endangered species on the brink of extinction, invasives over-taking entire ecosystems and so on.

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FWC Zeros In On Lionfish
9:03 am
Tue April 2, 2013

In The Fight Against A Lionfish Invasion, Florida Turns To Creative Photo Contest

Invasive, exotic lionfish have infiltrated the waters at Biscayne Bay National Park and elsewhere in South Florida.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

Lionfish are the newest target of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation's (FWC) efforts to use social engagement to tackle the problem of exotic, invasives in the state. The FWC announced last week the launch of its "Lionfish Control Team" photo contest for the month of April.

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The Environment
8:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Volunteers Pull 57,154 Pounds Of Litter From Natural Areas

ERM volunteers pull old tires and other debris from a Palm Beach County-managed natural area.
Courtesy photo ERM

On a recent Sunday morning, a group of hikers paused on a heavily canopied trail to observe a bird perched high atop a tree, its body silhouetted against the rising sun. A brief hush took hold as binoculars focused in on the back-lit bird, loudly churring its morning song. Bodies shifted for a better view, until: "Yep, great crested flycatcher!"

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