Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

January 17, 2015

Ishi, et al.

Our baby Ishi, so far, the only child of our sweet Harriet

Not wishing to put you all to sleep or bore you yesterday with a excruciatingly long post, I decided to split it in half, this then, is part two.
All the news today is not  bad, some of it is actually wonderful.
To begin…
A group of investors on the Gulf Coast here have donated over 200 acres of pristine land to be used for the benefit of Florida wildlife like the Florida Panther, red-cockaded woodpecker and Florida Black Bear.
This was an unexpected and generous thing and the animals say “thank you”
My only objections are, that hunting will be allowed on the land perhaps reducing the primary  food source for the highly Endangered Panther that calls this area home and secondly, the donors built a golf course in 2001, adding to the hundreds that are already here.
At a meeting in Tallahassee yesterday, the FFWCC laid out their plans for spending the millions that have been allocated to the state for the purpose of improving, expanding and maintaining prime and pristine wildlife areas.
One of the beneficiaries of this money and these new proposals, will be a personal favorite that we love and admire on our property here in the Ocala Forest, the long leaf pine.
This magnificent tree at one time covered most of the south-east of this country and supported many species of birds, including the nearly extinct red-cockaded woodpecker and the already gone, ivory billed woodpecker.
Another species of bird to benefit from all of this, is the now teetering on extinction, Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.
The details of the meeting will be here as they are revealed.
You can read more about the long leaf pine and  Endangered birds here: Walking With the Alligators
Now for the two sad stories…
The magnificent Monarch butterfly may soon be listed as Endangered.
We have personally watched in horror here in the Forest, as their numbers in the past few years have dropped to nearly zero.
When we first moved here in 2006, they were all over our yard, but in the past two years they have nearly completely disappeared, along with other fragile species, like our green tree frog and green lizards, which by the way is the only lizard native to Florida.
These species are the “canary in the coal mine,” but for that to matter, someone has to ask why?
The blame for the Monarch decimation, lies squarely on the shoulders of companies like Monsanto, who know and care little, about the negative impact that their number one selling pesticide Round Up has had on the Global Environment and can I mention it doesn’t do much for people either.
Monsanto is a very powerful company and their long arms reach way into our Government and the agencies that should be harnessing them.
With the Monarch now approaching the same fate as the millions of Bison that once roamed this country, will our Government finally rein them in?
I guess that depends on whether or not we force them to, by boycotts, picketing and shunning both the company and those who choose to support them.
When I began writing this Blog, I was not convinced that anything done on Blogs had an impact on the real world, but after seeing what a Blogger did to Subway and their “rubber mat bread,” I now believe that we can and do make a difference.
We have the power to create change and we must use it for the good it can do.
This final story is the most painful for us personally.
If you have been here for a bit, you know about our baby Ishi, pictured above the day we found her.
She was the sole survivor of our resident dear Gopher Tortoise, Harriet.
We were so very grateful to have found her and are praying that she makes it to adulthood, unlike her siblings, which did not.
So, seeing this story about the kidnapping and planned murder of 170 precious, rare and Endangered ones like her, from the island of Madagascar where they live, makes our blood boil.
The idea that these monsters can take these beautiful creatures, murder them to make, God knows what, jewelry, or  ???, is simply beyond our comprehension.
Any one of them might have been our baby Ishi, so this post today is dedicated to Ishi, et al.
Places to learn more:
Investors donate land for wildlife habitat to DEP:
Florida funds to restore long leaf pine, endangered species habitat
Monarch Butterfly May Join Endangered Species List
Endangered tortoises found at Paris airport
Baby tortoises found at airport
Baby Tortoises

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