In this Issue:
  • The Marshes, they are a-changin’
  • In Search of Horseshoe Crabs
  • The American Alligator: a new nuisance for the panhandle?
  • Panhandle Outdoors Water School – St. Joseph Bay
  • The Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
  • The Summer of Sharks
  • Ecotourism in Northwest Florida
  • Sea Turtles of the Panhandle: 2016 Nesting Numbers and Notes
  • Manatee Sightings in the Panhandle
  • Look Who Is Enjoying the Beach This Spring… An Alligator!
  • Coastal Wildlife

    The Marshes, they are a-changin’

    Discovering something new is possibly the most exciting thing a field biologist can do. As students, budding biologists imagine coming across something no one else has ever noticed before, maybe even getting the opportunity to name a new bird, fish, or plant after themselves. Well, here in Pensacola, we are discovering something that, while already …

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    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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    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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    Panhandle Outdoors Water School – St. Joseph Bay

    Our first POL program will happen this week – August 17 – at the Navarre Beach snorkel reef, and is sold out!  We are glad you all are interested in these programs.   Well!  We have another one for you.  The Natural Resource Extension Agents from UF IFAS Extension will be holding a two-day water school at …

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    The 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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    The Summer of Sharks

    I am calling this “Summer of Sharks” as if this summer is more of a problem than others are. In fact, it is not… no more, so than any other summer –so we could call any summer the “summer of sharks”.   “Shark Fever” is more correlated with when and how the press covers the …

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    Ecotourism in Northwest Florida

    What do you imagine when the word “ecotourism” comes to mind? I know  I usually daydream about a trip my husband I took to Costa Rica several years ago, surrounded by lush tropical rainforests as we ziplined through the canopy. I might also think about visiting a National Park, following a neatly maintained trail and stopping …

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    Sea Turtles of the Panhandle: 2016 Nesting Numbers and Notes

    There are five species of sea turtles that nest from May through October on Florida beaches. The loggerhead, the green turtle and the leatherback all nest regularly in the Panhandle, with the loggerhead being the most frequent visitor.  Two other species, the hawksbill and Kemp’s Ridley nest infrequently.  All five species are listed as either …

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    Manatee Sightings in the Panhandle

    On May 7, 2017 Marsha Stanton spotted a manatee swimming by her pier in Big Lagoon near Pensacola. 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 …

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    Look Who Is 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 Pensacola Beach, on the Gulf side, near the gate to Ft. Pickens. This is certainly not something you see every day. Two questions came up… One, Is this weird? Two, Can alligators tolerate salt water? Let …

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