More than 40 turtles seized from sellers in Virginia bust, officials say
More than 40 turtles seized from sellers in Virginia bust, officials say Wildlife officials in Virginia seized more than 40 turtles in a recent crackdown on the illegal sale of the reptiles, authorities said this week. (Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)RICHMOND, Va. — Wildlife officials in Virginia seized more than 40 turtles in a recent crackdown on the illegal sale of the reptiles, authorities said this week. >> Read more trending newsAccording to WRIC-TV, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources took to social media Tuesday to share the news. The red-eared slider, which is not native to Virginia, is among the 100 most invasive species worldwide, according to the department. The reptiles pose a threat to local wildlife by interbreeding with native turtles, such as the yellow-bellied slider, and spreading “trade-oriented diseases,” the department said.wftv.com
Here’s how non-native animals can pose a real threat to Florida wildlife
On this week’s edition of Florida’s Fourth Estate, hosts Ginger Gadsden and Matt Austin take a walk on the wild side and look closer at some of the more unusual creatures found slithering, climbing, hopping, running or burrowing in Florida.
Young bull moose roams through Colorado parking garage
Moose was loose Wildlife officials had to tranquilize and relocate a bull moose that had been frequenting a parking garage at a Colorado ski resort. There was a moose on the loose in a Colorado parking garage. >> Read more trending newsA young bull moose was discovered in the garage at Lionshead Village in Vail on Tuesday morning, KDVR reported. CPW officials relocated the moose to a remote area near Craig, in northern Colorado, by Tuesday afternoon, the television station reported. “Moose are not fully concerned with that, they usually are unencumbered by the activity here in Vail.”Wildlife officers release the bull moose that was relocated out of the parking structure in Vail on Tuesday.wftv.com
As manatee deaths continue to rise, Florida wildlife officials ask boaters to look out
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Manatee deaths are on track to reach new records this year as the sea cows face multiple environmental threats, but Florida wildlife officials are asking boaters to take extra precautions this year to prevent adding to the problem. A combination of cold weather, a decline in seagrass due to development and contaminated waterways have put Florida on pace for its highest number of manatee deaths in a decade. Last year, the state recorded 637 manatee deaths for the entire year, and in 2019, there were 607. On Wednesday, the FWC issued a reminder to boaters to slow down and look out for manatees this spring. As water temperatures warm up, manatees begin to move away from their winter habitats, according to Florida wildlife officials.
Florida on pace for record number of manatee deaths in 2021
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A combination of cold weather, a decline in seagrass due to development and contaminated waterways have put Florida on pace for its highest number of manatee deaths in a decade. Last year, the state recorded 637 manatee deaths, and in 2019, 607. AdThe largest number of deaths is in Brevard County, with 179, the newspaper reported. But the loss of sea grass there is forcing them into other areas. AdRose said there are probably more manatee deaths than the state has documented and the causes might not be accurately attributed.
Disappearing seagrass hurting beloved manatees in Florida
The situation is threatening a number of species, including manatees, who depend on seagrass for food. An expert who has spent 40 years studying manatees in Central Florida said dead manatees are being found with nearly nothing in their stomachs. Essentially, it’s an emergency.”Rose and others blame the seagrass loss for a spike in manatee deaths this winter. In all of 2020, there were 637 manatee deaths across Florida. AdThe Indian River Lagoon system stretches 165 miles from Volusia County south to Port St. Lucie.
Florida FWC votes to ban ‘high-risk’ reptiles as snake lovers protest and beg for mercy
AdThe 16 reptiles include Burmese pythons; reticulated pythons; scrub pythons; Northern African pythons; Southern African Pythons; amethystine pythons; green anacondas; Nile monitor lizards; tegus (all species) and green iguanas. And dealing with tegu lizards alone consumes a third of the agency’s budget for managing invasive species. We cannot afford to have that work jeopardized by invasive species,” said Chris Farrell, Northeast Florida policy associate for Audubon Florida. “It’s all hands on deck when it comes to these invasive species,” Bartlett said. The state agency estimates 180 of 593 introduced invasive species in Florida are reptiles, 92% of them introduced by the live trade of animals.
PHOTOS: Whale and calf spotted of South Melbourne Beach
MELBOURNE, Fla. – A right whale and calf were spotted by News 6 viewer Betty Gardner Gonzalez on Friday near South Shores condominiums. Adult right whales can grow to be up to 52 feet in length and can weigh upwards of 70 tons. In the simplest terms, baleen whales don’t have teeth, instead they have something called baleen plates. The whale then pushes the water out through the baleen, and animals such as krill and zooplankton stay behind. According to National Ocean Service, researchers estimate that there are only about 400 North Atlantic right whales remaining, and fewer than 100 breeding females.
Manatee found in Florida river with ‘Trump’ scratched on its skin
CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. – A manatee was recently spotted swimming along the Homosassa River with the word “Trump” scraped onto its skin and now, a federal investigation is underway. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating. Fish & Wildlife Service is investigating the harassment of a manatee...reported to federal authorities over the weekend discovered w/ words "Trump" scraped in its back ...discovered in Blue Hole on the Homosassa River” (via @CitrusChronicle )-Insurrectioning wildlife? Fish and Wildlife Service. Fish and Wildlife Service is aware of this incident and is working closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Florida children rescue bald eagle found with hook in beak
PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – What would you do if you were walking and found a bald eagle struggling to stay alive? Well, some children in Pasco County are being praised after rescuing a bald eagle and taking it to someone who could help. Once crews took a look, they noticed that the eagle had a fishing hook stuck in its beak and fishing line wrapped around its wings. #GoodNews: Pasco County Fire Rescue assists with the rescue of a Bald Eagle wrapped in a fishing line. Experts say that if you find an injured eagle, you should call authorities immediately.
20 Florida panthers killed this year
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – At least 20 Florida panthers have died in 2020, a toll that appears to be on track to finish lower than in previous years. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that almost all of the panther deaths were caused by people. We don’t want to make too much of it yet, but it certainly gets our attention,” Onorato told the newspaper. Florida panthers are the only puma still roaming east of the Mississippi River. “We don’t want to be the ones responsible for transmitting (a disease) to panthers,” Onorato saidResearchers are alos focused on a mysterious neurological disorder in panthers, which is visible in animals hobbled by weak back legs.
Florida likely to end 2020 with more manatee deaths than usual
To the contrary, researchers were tracking more manatee deaths than usual this year. Brevard County far and away led the state with 143 manatee deaths by early December. Of the counties around greater Tampa Bay, Manatee saw the most deaths by Dec. 11 at 25, fifth in the state. “I don’t see that we’re in a position to be able to relax in terms of what the future holds for manatees,” Rose said. If you see an ailing manatee, the state asks that you call and report it to 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922).
Utah Man and His Company Indicted for Wildlife Trafficking
Jean-Michel Arrigona, 58, and his company Natur, Inc. in Midvale, Utah, sell wildlife in the forms of art, taxidermy mounts, bones, and skeletons. The indictment alleges that Arrigona imported wildlife into the United States without declaring it to U.S. The Lacey Act is the nation’s oldest wildlife trafficking statute and prohibits, among other things, selling wildlife that had been illegally brought into the country. The Endangered Species Act and federal regulations require importers to declare wildlife when it enters the country. The operation focused on the trafficking of wildlife from Indonesia to the United States.justice.gov
Fat Bear Week needs your votes to crown a chubby champion
Katmai National Park and Preserve has released their runnings for the fattest bear of 2020. A rule of thumb is a fat bear is a healthy bear. “Your votes decide who will wear the mantle of 2020′s Fattest Bear,” the park said. To accompany Fat Bear Week, the park has issued a 2020 Fat Bear Week Bracket for you to fill out. Photo: Katmai National Park and PreserveRemember to visit explore.org/fat-bear-week daily from Wednesday, Sept. 30 through the Championship on Oct. 6.
RIP: Rare baby conjoined seahorse twins at B-CU research lab die after beating the odds
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. A miracle of Mother Nature was just what we needed amid a global pandemic, but when rare conjoined twin seahorse babies were born in August at the Bethune Cookman University Aquatic Research Laboratory even that reprieve was short lived, because its 2020. Dr. Sarah Krejci, assistant professor of biology and environmental sciences, reported the conjoined dwarf seahorse twins were born Aug. 17. The lab was tracking the health of the twins closely because the presence of conjoined seahorse twins is a very rare occurrence and even in previous reported cases, none made it past their first day of life, according to the labs blog. The tiny sea monsters were first discovered in the lab by undergraduate researcher Cameron Eskew, and the students named them Bethune and Cookman.Conjoin twin dwarf seahorses, Bethune and Cookman at B-CU Aquatic Research Lab. Relive the tiny seahorses in all of their wonder and learn more about the research happening at the Aquatic lab here.
Rare albino alligator babies hatch at Wild Florida
Officials at the drive-thru safari and alligator park claim this is the first wildlife center in the world to successfully breed albino alligators. “This is the most incredible thing we have done,” Wild Florida co-owner Sam Haught told News 6 partner Florida Today. The Wild Florida team is working to develop a more positive attitude toward the prehistoric reptiles. The reptiles haven’t been named yet, however, the Wild Florida team is hoping to come up with some winter-themed names. In May, animal caretakers at Wild Florida collected 26 eggs and placed them in an incubator.
Leave them alone: Dont gather sea turtle eggs exposed by Tropical Storm Isaias
When the surf settles, Tropical Storm Isaias could unearth untold numbers of endangered sea turtle eggs and hatchlings during a peak time for turtle nesting, according to News 6 partner Florida Today. But Florida wildlife officials urge those who come across exposed turtle eggs or stranded baby turtles to not collect them. Federal and state laws protect sea turtles and forbid taking, possessing, disturbing, mutilating, destroying, selling and harassing all types of sea turtles, their nests and their eggs. Even better in Brevard County, call the local nonprofit Sea Turtle Preservation Society's emergency hotline at 321-206-0646 if you find a sea turtle in need. This years sea turtle nesting season is already a success, and the storm season will not change that fact, STPS posted on its website.
Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive to reopen to vehicles Friday
APOPKA, Fla. One of Central Floridas hidden gems is reopening to vehicle traffic on Friday after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive will again allow vehicles to enter the area on Friday, June 12, the St. Johns River Management District announced in a press release. The group said people must remain in their vehicles to avoid group gatherings and keep traffic flowing efficiently. During the drive, visitors can see any one of 362 bird species that inhabit the area. www.sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/announcements/.