Urban Wildlife

St. Johns County Health Department Lifts Rabies Alert

The St. Johns County Health Department has lifted a 60 day rabies alert that resulted from a report of a feral cat that tested positive for rabies.

The alert, which covered Rio Vista Avenue in St. Augustine, in an area bounded on the north by Ponce Island Drive; the south to Rambla Street;  the east to the Intracoastal Waterway and the west to Lewis Speedway, was issued on December 20, 2010.

How Many Birds Can You Count?

Chilly weather throughout Florida has kept residents inside and close to their heaters, under blankets and in their sweats, long sleeves and socks during December and January. However, spring is just around the corner and there is wildlife to discover in your backyard!

Get your binoculars ready, because starting Feb. 18, the largest bird count in North America begins. The Great Backyard Bird Count, which runs through Feb. 21, is a wonderful chance to add to your Bird Detective checklist and help scientists monitor birds across America. If you do not have a checklist, download it from MyFWC.com/Learning. In the left-hand menu, click “Fun Stuff.” From there, look on the right side of the page under “Educator Links” for “Jr. Birder Program.”

Eighth Annual NEFAR Charity Bass Fishing Tournament Set For April 30

Eighth Annual NEFAR Charity Bass Fishing Tournament Set For April 30

For the eighth consecutive year, the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR) will raise funds for the Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center in Palatka through a catch-and-release Charity Bass Fishing Tournament on April 30. NEFAR donates one hundred percent of all proceeds raised to Haven Hospice and has donated more than $124,000 during the past seven years.

North Florida Spotted Seatrout Season Closes Feb. 1

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) advises anglers that the recreational harvest season for spotted seatrout in North Florida will close for one month to help maintain spotted seatrout abundance. 

Live Alligator to be Presented at Liberty Pines Academy

Live Alligator to be Presented at Liberty Pines Academy

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park congratulates Ms. Kylie Rodgers from Liberty Pines Academy for her outstanding entry into the 3rd Annual Edu-Gator Contest! The prize, a young American Alligator, will be awarded to Kylie’s classroom on Wednesday, January 26th at 11:30 a.m. Katie Girvin, Curator of Education at the Alligator Farm, will make the presentation.

Kylie won the alligator for her classroom in an county-wide contest in which each fourth grade student was asked to submit an individual project answering the question “Why are American Alligators important?”  Kylie created a short film and submitted it to the contest, where it was named first-place winner. Kylie and the rest of Ms. Southworth’s fourth grade class at Liberty Pines Academy will enjoy the American alligator, an unusual class pet, for the remainder of the school year. 

Bird Disease Detected in State

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is currently monitoring a Virulent Exotic Newcastle Disease diagnosis which occurred in Cormorants in Pinellas County last week.  Exotic Newcastle Disease is an extremely contagious and fatal foreign avian disease that affects most bird species but is not life threatening to humans.  Human contact with Exotic Newcastle Disease may cause minor irritations such as pink eye or skin irritations.

Burn Ban Extended in St. Johns County

After consideration of current fire conditions, both across the state and locally, County Commissioners have adopted a resolution which authorizes the county administrator to extend a burn ban for St. Johns County effective (1/5/2011).  Significant rainfall is not expected in our area for at least another 7 days, meaning drought conditions will not improve, and conditions will remain unfavorable for most types of outdoor burning. The burn ban will remain active for a seven (7) day period (1/11/2011).  At the conclusion of the seven days, county officials will evaluate the weather and fire conditions in St. Johns County and decide whether or not to extend or lift the ban on outdoor burning.