invasive species

Invasive Species Cookbook
6:00 am
Tue May 7, 2013

How To Make Watermelon Gazpacho With Lionfish

Don't judge a book by its cover. The beautiful colors of the lionfish hide an extremely toxic poison.
Credit NOAA's National Ocean Service/Flickr

Editor's note: In the hunt for what to do about the various mix of invasive species found in Florida, we are running a series that not only describes the problems caused by these plants and animals but, well, offers a culinary solution. Tweet us (@WLRN) your ideas and tips or email us a recipe: WLRNMIA@gmail.com.

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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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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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Feral Cats in Florida
8:01 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Feral Cats Bill Pits Animal Welfare Advocates Against Conservationalists

Feral cats are a contentious topic in Florida.
Credit Austin Evan / Flickr Creative Commons

Animal welfare advocates are at odds with wildlife conservationalists as the Florida Senate prepares this week to look at a controversial feral cat bill. 

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Florida grasshopper sparrows vs. fire ants
7:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Here's One Way To Help The Almost-Extinct Grasshopper Sparrow: Kill Fire Ants

Less popular than even the Burmese python? The red imported fire ant is a blight on Florida's landscape.
Credit AZRainman / Flickr Creative Commons

Fire ants are notorious Florida invasives, leaving a trail of painful welts and blisters in their wake. Those pesky exotic intruders also happen to be a serious threat to some of the state's most vulnerable endemic species. This includes the Florida grasshopper sparrow, which recently made the March/April cover of Audubon Magazine as "the most endangered bird in the continental United States." 

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Tegu Invasive Species
8:01 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Meet The Tegu: An Intelligent And Athletic Invasive Threatening Florida's Wildlife

This domesticated tegu, Draco, is an education animal for the Zoological Society of Florida.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

As Mike Perez mingled with visitors at the recent Python Challenge awards event in Miami, his left arm supported the weight of a black-and-white lizard with a body as thick as a linebacker's bicep. Gazing through heavily hooded eyes, the lizard rarely moved, save for sticking out its forked tongue for an occasional sniff . 

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Pythons in Everglades
4:00 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Python Challenge Hunter: "It's Eerily Quiet In The Everglades"

A young Burmese python at the Python Challenge awards ceremony.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

Tom Rahill knows the Everglades. He has been camping, hiking, clearing trails, and "hanging out" in Florida's River of Grass for an estimated 35 years. When he sweats, Rahill says he "even smells like the Everglades." A participant in the recently-wrapped and much-maligned Python Challenge, Rahill recognizes that much of the press and public appear unimpressed with the contest's final tally of 68 snakes.  

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Science
5:00 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

The Python Challenge Final Tally: 50 Dead Snakes And A Whole Lot Of Unanswered Questions

The Python Challenge: a bust or a boon? Depends on how you look at it.
Credit USFWS:Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

The wacky challenge that grabbed national headlines -- and perhaps more than its fair share of derision -- will come to a head Saturday morning, when the 2013 Python Challenge awards are presented in Miami.

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Florida Python Challenge
4:10 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

The Python Challenge Scoreboard So Far: 37 Less Burmese Pythons In The Everglades

The Burmese python is persona non grata in the 'glades.
Credit wildxplorer / Flickr Creative Commons

With just a little more than a week remaining in the hunt, the 2013 Python Challenge has seen the capture and (hopefully relatively swift and painless) killing of 37 Burmese pythons in the Everglades. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission -- which is sponsoring the hunt -- announced the latest kill count on Tuesday morning via its official Facebook page.

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The Art Of Science
12:00 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Three Miami Thinkers Take On Beavers At The End Of The World

A group of Miami-based artists and scientists went to Tierra del Fuego as part of Ensayos, a multi-disciplinary research project.
Photo by Melissa Memory

In 1946, a bizarre cargo shipment stopped over at the Pan American Airlines headquarters in Miami. En route to Tierra del Fuego, the southern most tip of South America, fifty North American Beavers were temporarily housed in a walk-in refrigerator maintained by the airline. The door of the fridge, however, was made of wood.

This is oversight at its worst; Beavers in a prison made of wood.

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Cats and Wildlife
4:00 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Are Cats A Threat To Nature Or Simply Man's Favorite Scapegoat?

Is this the face of a killer? He would be, if given half the chance.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

A teddy bear of a cat stretches across a desk. His baseball-sized orange paws skim the keyboard as his purring body contorts into a position that exposes an expansive patch of striped belly. The tableau, which plays out in my home office on a near-daily basis, is a pleasant distraction from this week's reminder that my loyal companion is a natural born killer.

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Python Bill
9:30 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Congressmen Fail To Get A Tight Grasp On Python Bill

A bill aimed at curbing Florida's python problem has hit a snag.
Credit Michael Ransburg /Flickr

A bill that should help fix Florida's python problem is slipping out of the hands of lawmakers in Washington.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, has been trying to get legislation passed that would broaden a ban on invasive species in the U.S. In effect, the bill would slow down a recent influx of invasive snakes taking over the Everglades in Florida.

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