Science

Everglades Lawsuit
5:00 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

A Lawsuit And Public Outcry: A Busy Week In The Everglades

Florida Wildlife Federation has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott in a dispute over land in the Everglades.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

The soon-to-wrap Python Challenge isn't the only headline-making activity in the Everglades this month. Florida's imperiled wetlands have been the focus of several contentious issues in the past week.   

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Community Contributor
9:00 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Miami Researchers Study If Music Can Help Save At-Risk Kids

Patrick Schmidt and Cathy Benedict, center, at the Doral chapter of the Miami Music Project.
Credit Courtesy FIU

Each of us is surrounded by music every day; music plays a significant role in our lives in many forms and settings. This understanding forms the basic impetus of the music education research we are conducting in the Florida International University School of Music with Miami teachers and children.

Our research is strengthened by the understanding that music is a diverse practice, offering the opportunity for enriching experiences to anyone interested in music – not simply the “talented.”

Social change through music

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Science
6:00 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

6 Reasons To Attend Everglades Day Festival On Saturday At Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

A rescued barred owl at Everglades Day in 2011.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

 It's often said that there is no other place in the world like Florida's Everglades. Despite man's best efforts, the 'glades endure as one of the world's most widely recognized sources of biodiversity and an example of the fragile nature of human/ecological relations.   

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Florida Panther Released
4:00 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Despite Release Of Rescued Panther, 2013 Off To A Rough Start For Endangered Florida Panther

This Florida panther was rescued as a kitten and released on January 31 of this year.
Credit Tim Donovan / FWC

The upbeat news of a Florida panther's release at the end of January was dampened by confirmation of the recent deaths of two panthers in the wild.

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Florida Environment
3:00 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Got Opinions On Florida's Environmental Future? State Agencies Want To Hear From You

The tricolored heron (as pictured here at Green Cay Wetlands in Delray Beach) is on the FWC's list of species under consideration.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

Citizen scientists and environmental stewards take note: Two state agencies are in the process of soliciting public comment on issues that could impact Florida's overall ecological outlook. 

First up is the South Florida Water Management District, which is accepting public comments on four parcels of land in the Upper Lakes Management Region located north of Orlando. These include Tibet-Butler Preserve, Shingle Creek, Lake Marion Creek and Reedy Creek, and SUMICA. 

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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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Florida Water
9:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Our Rivers And Springs Are Getting Sicker, Former Fla. Governor Says It's Because Of 'Bad Policies'

The Loxahatchee River in Palm Beach County is a popular spot for outdoor recreation.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

 A scathing guest column that appeared Wednesday in the Orlando Sentinel says "severe budget cuts are seriously compromising the ability of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection and Legislature and water management districts to adequately protect our state's natural resources."

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Florida's Aquifer
4:00 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Florida's Current Aquifer Models Paint Inaccurate Picture Of State's Water Supply

Florida's current computer models for tracking underground water flow are coming up short.
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia / Flickr Creative Commons

Understanding how water flows through Florida's aquifers is integral to maintaining  a safe and sufficient supply of fresh water, but current computer models used to monitor the state's aquifers and springs are "full of holes," according to some critics. 

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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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Florida's Aquifer
11:16 am
Wed January 30, 2013

How Florida's Aquifer Models Are Inaccurate, And Why That Might Be A Problem For Our Water Supply

Florida's current computer models for tracking underground water flow are coming up short.
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia / Flickr Creative Commons

Understanding how water flows through Florida's aquifer is integral to maintaining  safe and sufficient supply of fresh water, but current computer models used to monitor the state's aquifers and springs are "full of holes" according to some critics. 

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Florida Panthers
4:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

The Florida Panther Was Saved By Its Cougar Cousin From Texas, Report Says

Today's Florida panther owes the Texas cougar for its survival as a species.
Credit USFWS/Southeast

Today's Florida panther is struggling for survival, but things could've been much worse, according to a recent report from the University of Florida. Research shows Florida's big cats were given a boost in 1995, when eight female cougars from Texas were brought in to help diversify the ailing Florida population, the News-Press reports.

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Baby Quails
6:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

How Baby Quails Are Helping Baby Humans Before Returning To The Wild

Robert Lickliter, is the director of graduate studies in the Psychology Department at FIU’s College of Arts & Sciences. He leads a research team that studies quail embryos for clues about pre-term baby development.
Credit Patricia Sagastume

One day more than seven years ago, Debbie Brunson  woke up to an unfamiliar sound. She and her husband were camping on their land in the Redlands farming area. The sound she heard was that of an adult male Bob White quail.

It shocked her because she hadn't heard that bird call for over a decade.

"In Florida, there use to be quail everywhere.  But because of farming and pesticides and buildings,  they’ve disappeared," Brunson said.

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Science
12:08 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

House Cat-Odyssey Highlights The Mysteries Of Animal Migration

A Sandhill Crane flies in at sunset to roost for the night in the wetlands of the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. Migrating along the same route they've followed for thousands of years, about 25,000 Greater Sandhill Cranes pass through the San Luis Valley in late winter every year.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:50 pm

Early in November, a tortoiseshell cat named Holly jumped out of her human family's RV in Daytona Beach, Florida, and ran off. After a fruitless search, the husband and wife returned home to West Palm Beach without their cat.

Holly showed up back in West Palm Beach, only a mile from her house, on New Year's Eve. Because she had been micro-chipped, the family, two surprised and grateful humans and one bedraggled cat, were readily reunited.

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9:29 am
Thu January 24, 2013

More Pythons Than Mormons (But Give The Mormons Time)

Lead in text: 
Florida's great python hunt out in the Everglades continues to fascinate. Here's Lizette Alvarez' New York Times piece about a group of amateur snake catchers that includes three Mormons from Miami.
  • Source: Nytimes
  • | Via: New York Times
But on the outskirts of the Everglades this month, a different kind of hunt is taking place, and among those on the trail are three men with little macho swagger and zero hunting finery. They drive up gravel roads alongside the brush in a red "man-van" (a well-lived-in Toyota Sienna) and a blue Prius ("You can't beat the mileage," says one).
Florida Everglades
8:31 am
Mon January 7, 2013

State To Send Hunters After 'Glades Pythons

ONE LESS PYTHON: Sending out amateur hunters may be a good way to handle the python problem, experts say. Or not.
Credit David Callister/Alamy

Evidently at its wits' end over the Burmese pythons swarming the Everglades, Florida has declared a month-long snake season for armed amateurs. They'll go into the 'Glades to compete for cash prizes by killing as many as they can.

What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, says Oklahoma biology professor and "reptile industry spokesman" Warren Booth. He told the Sun-Sentinel bullets will be flying in a dangerous environment where sometimes you can’t tell one snake from another.

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