Coastal Wildlife

In Search of Horseshoe Crabs

Back in the spring, I wrote an article about the natural history of this ancient animal. However, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is interested in the status of horseshoe crabs and they need to know locations where they are breeding – and Florida Sea Grant is trying to help. If you are not …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/10/06/in-search-of-horseshoe-crabs/

The American Alligator: a new nuisance for the panhandle?

I recently saw a photograph of an American Alligator (Alligator mississppiensis) crossing Perdido Key Drive on a heavy rain day.  This encounter would surprise some, and unnerve many.  The majority of the nuisance wildlife calls I receive are for snakes.  I have never received a call for an alligator but no doubt, my colleagues in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/09/15/the-american-alligator-a-new-nuisance-for-the-panhandle/

DNA Barcoding Our Way into Understanding the Lionfish Problem

In the late 1980’s a few exotic lionfish were found off the coast of Dania Florida. I do not think anyone foresaw the impact this was going to have.  Producing tens of thousands of drifting eggs per female each week, they began to disperse following the Gulf Stream.  First in northeast Florida, then the Carolina’s, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/09/08/dna-barcoding-our-way-into-understanding-the-lionfish-problem/

Night Lighting: Become Wildlife Friendly

Many of you have heard this before – artificial lighting on the beach is bad for sea turtles – so this article is nothing new. However, this article will expand to discuss the problem with night lighting in general. Yes, it is true – sea turtles struggle with evening lighting. They prefer to conduct their …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/09/02/night-lighting-become-wildlife-friendly/

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)

Also known as the Water Moccasin, this is a snake that is all too familiar with most Floridians… Or is it? Several non-venomous water snakes are often confused with the cottonmouth and are thus killed.  That said, cottonmouths are common in the state near areas of water and many residents do have encounters with them. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/07/31/cottonmouth-agkistrodon-piscivorus/

Big Lagoon and Santa Rosa Sound Scallop Search Postponed Due to Bad Water Conditions

The first of two bay scallop searches set up by Florida Sea Grant in Big Lagoon and Santa Rosa Sound will be postponed.  The first was scheduled for this Saturday – June 24 – but water conditions as result of the recent weather have made snorkeling for scallops almost impossible; the water visibility is zero.  …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/06/22/big-lagoon-and-santa-rosa-sound-scallop-search-postponed-due-to-bad-water-conditions/

Manatee Seen in Big Lagoon

Yep, on May 7, 2017 Marsha Stanton spotted a manatee swimming by her pier in Big Lagoon. I am sure this was an exciting moment and Marsha was interested in letting someone know so that the unusual encounter could be logged. There are four species of manatee in the world; the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/05/22/manatee-seen-in-big-lagoon/

It’s May… and the Official Beginning of Turtle Season

Almost everyone who lives along the beaches of Escambia County is aware that May is the beginning of sea turtle season – but it is actually the beginning of nesting season for most of Florida’s turtles. Florida is one of the most turtle species rich locations on the planet.  25 species call Florida home, 22 …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/05/04/its-may-and-the-official-beginning-of-turtle-season/

Look Who’s Enjoying the Beach This Spring… An Alligator!

I received a call the week before Earth Day to let me know that an alligator was laying on the beach, on the Gulf side, near Regency Villas. This is certainly not something you see every day. Two questions came… One, Is this weird? Two, Can alligators tolerate salt water?   Let us start with …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/04/27/look-whose-enjoying-the-beach-this-spring-an-alligator/

Horseshoe Crab; the Ancient Mariner

Growing up in this area, I do not remember seeing many horseshoe crabs around here, but I do remember them.  What I actually remember was how common they were further east in the Panama City and St. Joe area.  These animals are big fans of grass beds, as are sea urchins and scallops, and all …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/04/11/horseshoe-crab-the-ancient-mariner/

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