Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

May 17, 2015

Coral Crisis

Many thousands of species call Coral Reefs home~
Picture credit: underwater universe

Yesterday on WUCF, our local PBS Channel, there was an excellent dual story about Coral Reefs and the depressing decline of them worldwide and also one about the alarming situation with Oysters.
Coral Reefs are one of the most threatened and most in peril of all the world's ecosystems and the future does not look good, unless, we step in and do what is necessary to stop what may soon become complete decimation.
Renowned Australian Scientist, Marine Ecologist, Dr. Katharina Fabricius and her team have worked tirelessly for many years studying the negative impacts of various factors on Coral Reefs and Marine Life around the Globe and the program yesterday was dedicated to their work.
Living here in the Sunshine State, we are blessed with the ability to take a short drive down to the Keys and see our very own Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
But the pleasure of the seeing the immense beauty of Coral Reefs, may be short-lived for all of us.
I can feel Al Gore breathing down my neck, as I write this, but one fact taught in my Geology Classes, was that the Earth has repeatedly, over millions of years, chilled and warmed since its inception.
However, our very bad habits are speeding things up right now.
Yes, we Humans are quite to blame for many of these changes in Global Marine Life and Coral Reefs, as well as other bodies of water and threatened wildlife.
The current impact of Global Warming, whether our Governor, or anyone else in Government or politics, wants to admit, believe, or deny it, is affecting everything that lives, grows and swims in our Global Seas.
And yes, we are causing and are to blame, for a great deal of this.
We Humans use pesticides, poisons and chemicals everywhere, without a thought as to what they will do to all living things, including us!
Rivers, streams, lakes and oceans are being murdered and are dying a slow painful death, due to our ongoing ignorance, greed and stupidity.
We cannot continue our evil ways and expect that the planet will just deal with it.
Our planet and entirely too many living things on it, especially our Coral Reefs, are in crisis mode.
We made this mess, now we need to clean it up.

Places to learn more:
Coral Reefs
Florida’s Coral Reefs
Coral reef fish danger – Blue Planet – BBC Environment
Coral reefs and climate change: A message for Copenhagen
Ocean acidification 
Oceans of Acid: How Fossil Fuels Could Destroy Marine Ecosystems
Elements in the Ocean
Acid tests for corals
New Study Warns Warmer, Acidic Oceans Will Kill Coral Reefs
The Australian Institute of Marine Science
Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

May 10, 2015

Lovely Leatherback~

A Nesting Florida Leatherback Sea Turtle
Dermochelys coriacea
Photo credit: NOAA – Public Domain

For those fortunate ones of us who live here in the tropical paradise known as Florida, the news this morning brought a rare and treasured site and story, it was of a Leatherback Sea Turtle who had been recently seen on the beach at Canaveral National Sea Shore, laying her eggs.
According to reporter Dan Billow, who has covered the Florida Space Coast for over 25 years for WESH TV, this was a once in a lifetime occurrence.
What made it so,  was the fact that the lovely Leatherback weighing in at over 800 pounds, was doing her nesting and egg laying in broad daylight, something that rarely ever happens.
The Leatherback is the largest of our Florida Sea Turtles and this was a blessing for those of us here, who love them and do everything possible to ensure their safety during nesting season, which hopefully will also guarantee their future.
The Leatherback is one of three Florida Sea Turtles who are listed as Endangered, the List also includes the Green and Hawksbill Sea Turtles.
The story today about this Sea Turtle mother makes what we saw happen in our own front yard yesterday even sweeter.
Harriet our resident Gopher Tortoise, was next to her primary hole/tunnel, at about noon, quite busy sending sand flying, it appeared that she then made a small mound or nest and looked to be laying her own eggs.
We both found this news interesting, as we did not know that Sea Turtles and Gopher Tortoises did their nesting at the same time.
We may be grandparents again soon and we are, as to be expected, both thrilled.
The representative from the Park Service and the TV News reporter both agree that things may finally be looking up for this gentle giant.
Congratulations and Happy Mother’s Day to a Lovely Leatherback~

Places to learn more:
Rare 800-pound sea turtle nests on Brevard County beach
800 Pound Leatherback Sea Turtle Lays Eggs
Canaveral National Sea Shore
Loggerhead Nesting In Florida
Endangered or Threatened Species
Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) – NOAA
Leatherback sea turtle – Wikipedia
Leatherback Sea Turtle – Gator – Woman.com