Florida Fish and WIldlife Conservation Commission

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. 

      

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Science
7:01 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Red Tide Claims 170 Manatees, But South Florida Population Should Be Spared

Manatees that winter in Southeast Florida are unlikely to be impacted by the red tide blooms killing dozens of manatees on the Southwest side of the state.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden

One of Florida's most beloved endangered species is facing a tough end to the winter. State wildlife officials have confirmed the deaths of more than 170 manatees in Southwest Florida as red tide impacts regional populations of the gentle water-dwelling mammals.

Read more
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 . 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more