November 12, 2011
The Florida Scrub Jay
This excellent work by Tom Palmer of the Lakeland Ledger, is one of the best articles to come out in a long time about the only indigenous bird of Florida, the Scrub Jay.
These birds, as have many other species in the state, have been chased from place to place, all over the state, as the builders, contractors and strip malls have moved in and pushed them out.
Too many of Florida's Ecosystems have become concrete playgrounds for the wealthy visitors who come, enjoy and go home without a thought to what their pleasures have cost our wildlife.
As Palmer so correctly points out, the Scrub Jay is a barometer on the health of Florida's fragile scrub lands, much of which are contained within the Lake Wales Ridge, which is also home to many other endangered species, including the sand skink, the gopher tortoise and the scrub morning glory.
So, if the Scrub Jay and the scrub lands are in serious jeopardy, what does that mean for the rest of Florida?
It means that it's time for all of us who live here year round to get off of our behinds and start writing, calling and bringing the kind of noise now on Wall Street to the white sandy beaches of Florida, only this time it's about saving the wild places and wild things, who cannot camp out on the sidewalks of New York or D.C.