Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

December 27, 2011

Johnny Sees the World

What a great story to end the year with.......
A young Endangered Kemps' Ridley Turtle may need a passport soon after years of touring the world in search of medical treatment.
This little world traveler was given a name along the way by one of his many new admirers and has become pretty well known in Reptile Rehab Circles.
Several International groups worked really hard to make all of this happen for "Johnny" who became a pet project and now heads to Florida on the final leg of his long journey of healing to the MOTE Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.
If you would like to watch Johnny's new adventures after his release,
just click on his name and agree to be good~

December 24, 2011

Christmas Thinking

Today, while listening to the sweet Christmas music on my radio and finishing the last bits of food for tonight, my mind contemplated the year just passed.
There has been some progress made this year for Endangered Wildlife in Florida, but, not all of the news was good.
In spite of the many, many letters written to those with all of the control over the wildthings that I care so much for here, I see that the world is still the same today, nothing has really changed for the better or shockingly, the worse.
What I will take away from this lesson in life is that, I cannot, by myself, change most of the things that affect the Endangered Wildlife in Florida.
I am only one person with a big mouth and a computer.
But, I can be a part of a considerably vocal group of Floridians who simply have one wish and that is to see that our Endangered Wildlife are given the chance to survive, without negative, human impact or interference.
Maybe next year we will come a little closer to that objective.
Here's looking forward to a wonderful 2012.
Merry Everything to Everyone and
of course, Peace on Earth.

December 21, 2011

Poaching Coral From the Florida Keys

If you have ever been down to our Florida Keys, then you already know what a pristine beauty the entire area is.
One of the most Endangered parts of the Keys is the Coral Reef and it is the only one in the United States.
The people involved in this crime knew exactly what they were doing, as well as the precarious state of the Ecosystem that the stolen property inhabits.
If these thieves are not dealt with severely, others in this illicit trade will not be deterred, quite the opposite, they will take any light sentence as a green light to continue stealing.
As the story points out, most of the stolen coral dies in shipping, just as with the Ghost Orchid.
Neither of these Endangered species do well away from their natural habitats.
So, in the end, it is all for nothing, with fewer and fewer of these living treasures remaining on our planet for future generations to enjoy.

December 18, 2011

What Not Making the Right List Means for Animals at the End of the Log

When two of the most respected scientific sources not only agree, but also offer pretty much the same solution to a problem, those who care for wildlife must pay attention.
This week, both the Scientific American and the Center for Biological Diversity have come to a consensus about the ESA List and the animals not on it.
They both believe that the animals who do not make the ESA List, but remain only on the IUCN Red List, are at peril.
The fact is that those on the ESA List, get both the money and the muscle needed to protect them, those on only the IUCN List do not.
While these animals wait to be upgraded to a place where they may find some safety and have a chance to make it, many may die or become extinct languishing on the wrong List.
Once again, the United States lags behind the rest of the world in its attitude towards threatened animal species and remains buried in paperwork.
Lives are at stake and we must end this bureaucratic bungling.
Could it be that the reason behind all of this delay is once again, money?
Moving animals onto the ESA List, means that more money will need to be allotted to these new members and a lot of money will need to be spent by a country already in an economic freefall.

December 14, 2011

My Beautiful Longleaf Pines

Life here in Florida can often be a somewhat mixed blessing.
While we do have spectacular wildlife to be seen at nearly every turn, the scary part is that their habitats and their lives are being annihilated just as quickly as humans and machines can do so.
Point is case, the ancient, critically endangered longleaf pines.
A hundred years ago, these trees were a canopy so deep that they covered nearly all of the lands of the American Southeast.
Today, they have just a last few bastions of hope here in Central Florida.
Each time that we pass a logging truck near our home in the Ocala Forest, usually with a Georgia license plate, loaded down with pine trees on their way to becoming chemically mixed pellets for heating, fireplaces and such, I wonder if the drivers knew which trees were the ones that were not supposed to be cut.
These priceless pine trees were also once the only home of some very endangered birds, like the red cockaded woodpecker, the ivory billed woodpecker and others, who chose this particular tree for the specific needs it provided for them.
And, with each tree that falls, goes another creature who will eventually become homeless.
It is not like there are no other trees to cut down because there are so many.
These once proud sentinels of our past, must be allowed to survive, because when they are all gone, like the Ghost Bird, or Ivory Billed Woodpecker, will it matter that we could have and should have made other, smarter choices?
We cannot continue in this blind, mindless rampage on our environment.
In the end we will all lose.

December 11, 2011

The Title Should Read Nuisance Homeowners!

Just reading the title of this story in the Orlando Sentinel gives me chills.
This type of thinking is why Black Bears in Florida end up being killed by State Officials.
The problem is that some really stupid homeowners do all of the wrong things and then cry to authorities to come save them from the terrible beasts in their yards.
If these stupid people would stop leaving these food sources out in their back yards, the Bears would stop coming.
People have been reported to having left whole animal carcasses and all kinds of pet/animal foods out at night which is a great, convenient, source of food for a hungry Bear.
Bears also really love bird seed, so will knock down any type of feeder to get at it.
Bears will always follow the food!
Please, keep it locked up or inside at night and save the life of a Bear!
*FYI, the final Black Bear Public Workshop Management, or discussion meeting is December 13th at 6 PM at the City Hall, 200 East University Ave. in Gainesville.
If you live in the area, perhaps you may wish to drop by and see just what is being planned for the future of Florida's only Bear, our beautiful Black Bear.

December 8, 2011

Does Living in the Waters of a Nuclear Plant Come With Risk?

The question must be raised again, as when the Manatees at Crystal River, were doing the same, is the water flowing out of this or any Nuclear Power Plant safe?
I have frequently been concerned that Manatees were being put at a risk, which could result in even minute genetic/DNA alterations, or other detrimental affects from the water at Crystal River and was assured by a Florida Biologist, that the water was perfectly safe for them.
But, I had my doubts.
Now that Crocodiles are mimicking the Manatees at Turkey Point in South Florida, I once again would like to have any Biologist in this state assure the public that there is absolutely no nuclear radiation in the waters that these Threatened and/or Endangered Mammals are residing in.
Still, I still have my doubts.

December 5, 2011

For the Florida Panther, Sometimes Humans Can Do Good Deeds

The Florida Panther is the single most Endangered Animal in the US, maybe even in the World and it is finally getting the break it needs in Southwest Florida to stay alive.
Car collisions have always been the number one killer of the Panther and this new Wildlife Crossing, paid for by City Gate, in their habitat in Collier County, is their single best hope for survival.
The Crossing was finished in May of this year and has already been shown to be a success and now in the final step of this plan to save our Panthers, Collier County has agreed to take over its upkeep.
It all looks good for the Florida Panther and other wildlife in the area, who now have a safer alternative to crossing the road, than meeting a speeding car in the middle of the road in the dark.

December 2, 2011

Is Wal-Mart Chairman Really the Worst of the 1%?

I do not know, but after reading the first article today, it gave me pause.
I have been somewhat leery of the products and policies of this company, pretty much since it's inception in Arkansas back in the 1960's.
We had relatives there and went back for Easter break nearly every year.
Often, during this mini-vacation, we would drive over to see this new kind of shopping place like it was a tourist attraction.
Our first trip to Wal-Mart was in the early 1970's, at a store near their home offices in Bentonville.
I remembered thinking at the time, that it seemed like a kind of wannabe version of a Woolworth's Store.
Back then, no one really knew, understood or cared about the way that Wal-Mart did business.
There was no China connection to retailers here then, so no reason to question their sources.
Today this company is pretty much the Retail ruler of the world.
Which is why I bring all of this up.
It is all about power and money and what it can and does buy.
Who do you imagine the number one money contributor is to the world's major Environmental Organizations?
Yep, Wal-Mart!
Now what do you think any of this has to do with this insignificant, little web site dedicated to protecting Endangered Species?
Wal-Mart is/has been using/giving its retail muscle on/to these groups as a form of quiet or hush money for years.
They give each of these groups so much money, that they can and do buy their silence and their blindness in protecting the Environment.
If you doubt this, please read the first story and then do a little research on your own.
It was a real eye opener and it made my stomach turn over.
When I shop there, I am contributing to this: