Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

May 30, 2012

Be Croc Smart!

If you plan on swimming in any of the
An American Crocodile
A Florida Crocodile
canals in the Keys in South Florida, 
better watch out for the Crocs!
In a turnaround something like that of the
nearly eradicated Bald Eagle years ago,
the Florida Crocodile has made a remarkable comeback.
So, from now on, the FWC says, before you swim,
anywhere in this area, know exactly who or what,
is in the water with you.
Or in other words:
"Be CROC aware and swim only if you dare!"

May 27, 2012

Panthers Get Some Room to Breathe

Much of the recent news about the Florida Panther
has been either sad or bad, their tragic deaths resulting

The Florida Panther
from humans, machines or other Panthers.
But today it is all much better, even downright good.
A large chunk, nearly 1,300 acres, of prime real estate
in South West Florida has just been purchased and set
aside to become a "travel corridor" for the Florida Panther.
The land could have resulted in housing, but thankfully a
down market and pesky regulations, paved the way for the nearly
 $7 million sale that was paid for by Environmental groups,
Florida Fish and Wildlife and shut my mouth, Wal Mart.
If it had gone into auction, who knows what would have become of this priceless piece of land
that will now become a breath of new life for one of the worlds most Endangered animals.
It all sounds good, but still it bothers me that the property is now owned by a cattleman.
What happens when nature takes it course and some cattle are lost, as is to be expected?
Will this new owner understand this, or react as most cattle people have in the recent past
and demand punishment for the Panther?
Will this be the beginning of a good partnership?
We shall see.

May 24, 2012

The News From The Keys Is Good

    A Florida Key Deer Fawn  A Wood Stork  An American Crocodile  A Green Sea Turtle

It would seem, that with the exception of the Miami Blue Butterfly, many of the
Endangered Species in the Florida Keys are doing pretty well.
The Key Deer, Wood Stork, Crocodile, Green Sea Turtle and Manatee are the winners
in this latest report, "On Time, On Target" from the Center for Biological Diversity.
Executive Director Kiernan Suckling says, "some of Florida's signature species are on
their way to recovery, thanks to the Endangered Species ACT, (ESA)."
Maybe it's like they say, "Everything is just better in the Keys!"

May 21, 2012

Why Not Start The Week With A Smile?

      Whooping Crane        An American Crocodile
After just celebrating Endangered Species Day Friday, this is such a great follow up.
There are some sweet success stories to be found in the world of Endangered Species,
and I can't think of a better way to start off a week or a Monday.
The list below includes several from Florida, e.g., a bird, a fish and a croc,
so we are thankful for the existence of the ESA, the Endangered Species ACT,
which has had leagues of doubters and critics since its inception in 1973.
These stories have regional data and maps and make the point that in most cases,
a 90% success rate is considered overwhelmingly to be a success!

May 18, 2012

Today Is Endangered Species Day!

It is a good day to find an event near you and learn more about the beautiful
Wildlife who are depending on all of us to make sure that next year they
will still be around to help celebrate this day too.
These web sites will give you lots of good ideas:

May 15, 2012

The Timucuan People

The Native People who once lived in Florida are not
an Endangered Species, they are today mostly
A Timucuan Village
A Timucuan Village
considered to be extinct. 
Before the invasion of this place now called Florida
hundreds of years ago, there were many Tribes
of Native People all over this state.
One of those Tribes was the Timucuans
and they once lived where I do now.
Sometimes when I look out in the early morning when it is still and
there are no noises to interrupt, I think of them and wonder how they lived
and what this place called the Ocala Forest must have meant to them.
We moved here in 2004 and the most important factor in choosing this
particular place, was the lack of humans and abundance of wildlife here.
Did they choose it for the same reasons?
I am sure that they must have loved it here just as much as we do and probably
for the very same reasons.
I wish I could have met you, there are so many questions.
There are a multitude of web sites to learn more about them, this is only one:

May 12, 2012

Simple Surprises Make Life So Sweet

Male Pileated Woodpecker        Female Pileated Woodpecker
Photo credits: Noel Lee (Male) and Dick Daniels (Female)
I had something else chosen to write about this early morning,
but as my computer was warming up and I was getting ready to write,
an intruder, make that intruders, barged into the tranquil silence here in the forest
and changed everything.
For no apparent reason, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, flew up and started
checking out the nest box on an old dead tree right in front of the window where I write.
They clucked and squawked quite loudly the entire time that they were there.
Poking, picking and looking all around the nest box/birdhouse at the top of the tree,
which by the way was intended for much smaller birds.
This bird normally makes its home in old dead trees in the forest,
so there was no chance this was a house hunting expedition.
No, the Pileated is not endangered, but they are so captivating, being,
with the exception of the presumed extinct Ivory Billed,
the largest Woodpecker in North America.
It was just such a gift to see them up so close and together.
They were simply stunning to watch and I just felt like you should know.
Thankful for having eyes this early Saturday morning.......

May 9, 2012

An Introduction, Of Sorts!

Come say hello to the newest creature
to join Gator-Woman.com, the Seahorse.
A Dwarf Seahorse
A Dwarf Seahorse
 Photo graciously lent by
J. Jeffords/Dive Gallery

To be exact, the Dwarf Seahorse,
whose page is here: Dwarf Seahorse
At the present time, neither this Seahorse,
nor as far as I know, any other Seahorse,
is listed as an Endangered Species, but after
receiving a press release this week from
the Center for Biological Diversity about
the situation with the Dwarf Seahorse here in Florida,
I did some checking and decided to make them a page
in anticipation of what sadly may become Florida's
newest member on the Endangered Species List.
I sincerely hope that as was the case with the
Miami Blue Butterfly,  those in charge do not
wait until none can be found to finally list them.
Meet the fascinating Dwarf Seahorse

May 6, 2012

Manatees Will Get New Safe Passage In Flagler

At a recent meeting in Crystal River,
Manatees headed for a disaster
Manatees Headed For A Disaster
the Florida Fish and Wildlife decided to give 
Manatees a little more room for safe passage
in the Intracoastal Waterways of Flagler Beach;
still all totalled, it is less than three miles long.
This new Manatee speed zone law does not go into
effect until May of 2013 and will only be enacted
between the months of May and September.
The fine for failure to adhere is $60.
For the moment, it would seem that wildlife advocates
and area Boaters are at peace.
How long it will last depends on whether or not the Manatees continue to be safe.

May 3, 2012

Today Is A Marine Life Threefer

       A Green Turtle Hatchling      A Loggerhead Hatchling      A Right Whale Mother and Calf
First, May 1st is the beginning of Sea Turtle Nesting Season for several Counties on Florida's Atlantic Coast and from now until October 31st, the lights of residents must be off at night on the beach.
This is to help avoid confusion and/or death for the babies of the four species of sea turtles who will be hatching and heading out to sea for the first time during this period.
Second, there is now serious concern that Global Warming may be helping to speed up the
demise of the already critically Endangered Right Whale.
And third, high noise levels due to seismic testing in the waters off of the Atlantic Coast
are drowning out the normal everyday activities of marine life, both dolphins and whales.
There is a petition here for you to read and hopefully sign: