In this Issue:
  • Steps for Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife
  • Your Christmas Tree Could Benefit Winter Wildlife
  • Consider a Native Evergreen This Christmas
  • Bats – Helpful, Not Harmful
  • Battling Bat Myths
  • Helping Turtles Cross Our Highways… Safely
  • From Fear to Fascination: White Sharks in the Panhandle
  • The World of Worms – the Annelids… Part 3 of 3
  • Do Constricting Snakes Really Kill Their Prey by Suffocation?
  • The Giant Banana Spiders – part of our panhandle summer
  • Urban Wildlife

    Steps for Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife

    As a County Agent, I receive a wide variety of calls from clients relating to wildlife. The majority of these calls are quite positive; clients need help improving wildlife habitat or simply need a creature identified to satisfy their curiosity. However, from time to time, situations develop where wildlife behavior becomes a nuisance to a …

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    Your Christmas Tree Could Benefit Winter Wildlife

    Americans purchased approximately 30 million live Christmas trees last year. If you plan to have a live tree this winter, and you’re wondering what you could do with your tree once it has finished its role as holiday decoration in your home, read below. Rather than simply dragging your tree to the curb for the …

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    Consider a Native Evergreen This Christmas

    Throughout history the evergreen tree has been a symbol of life. “Not only green when summer’s here, but also when it’s cold and dreary” as the Christmas carol “O Tannenbaum” says.  While supporting the cut Christmas tree industry does create jobs and puts money into local economics, every few years consider adding to the urban …

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    Bats – Helpful, Not Harmful

    If you think you’d prefer a world without bats, we present to you three reasons to reconsider. Most negative stereotypes about bats are untrue. The reality is that bats benefit us in numerous ways. Here are a few facts that may convince you we should be thankful for bats rather than fearful of them.   …

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    Battling Bat Myths

    As we enter Halloween season, one of the most popular images of this spooky time of year is that of a bat. The creepy tales of vampire bats and Dracula are enduring and certainly exciting. Unfortunately, many negative connotations exist around this fascinating species. Perhaps you’ve heard they carry rabies, that they will fly into …

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    Helping Turtles Cross Our Highways… Safely

    When doing programs about snakes I find plenty of people who hate them… but I have never found anyone who hated turtles. I mean what is there to hate?  They are slower, none of them are venomous, they have shoulders… people just like them.  And to that point, when people see them crossing the road …

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    From Fear to Fascination: White Sharks in the Panhandle

    From Fear to Fascination: White Sharks in the Florida Panhandle UF/IFAS Extension – Florida Sea Grant  By Rick O’Connor (Escambia County) and L. Scott Jackson (Bay County) Recently, I was walking on our local Gulf fishing pier checking fishing line recycle bins. You can’t walk on a Gulf pier without looking over to possibly catch …

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    The World of Worms – the Annelids… Part 3 of 3

    In the final segment of this 3 part series on worms we will discuss the largest, most commonly encountered members of the worm world… the Annelids. Annelids differ from the other two groups of worms we have discussed in that they have segmented bodies. They are largest of the worms and the most anatomically complexed. …

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    Do Constricting Snakes Really Kill Their Prey by Suffocation?

    Most people, including myself, have been taught this. Snakes are in an unusual situation of trying to kill prey with no hands or claws. A few can inject venom, others either swallow it whole (such as an egg) or the coil around their prey “suffocating” it – or so we thought. It has been my …

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    The Giant Banana Spiders – part of our panhandle summer

    TELL ME NO!  Please tell me these huge spiders are not a part of our summer. People are afraid snakes… that’s a given – but there are just as many afraid of spiders.  Honestly, after years of leading field hikes into the north Florida environment, when we encounter a spider web on the trail I …

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