Urban Wildlife

FWC Determines Fungus Caused St. Johns Fish Kill

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute have determined the cause of a recent fish kill in the St. Johns River. Testing confirmed that a fungus led to the fish die-off that occurred in the river in mid-October.

The FWC received reports of dead fish and fish with ulcers beginning Oct. 20. Reports came from an area of the river just south of Interstate 95 near Jacksonville and as far south as Green Cove Springs. The FWC responded by analyzing dead fish and water samples from the area.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season has Ended

St. Johns County officials have announced that sea turtle nesting season has officially ended. Although October 31st marked the traditional end of the season, St. Johns County extended the season until the last four turtle nests hatched, in compliance with the County’s Habitat Conservation Plan.

The 2010 season was record-breaking for St. Johns County, with a total of 902 turtle nests on the 41 miles of beaches. This is the most since the County began keeping records in 1988. By comparison, last year the total was 270 nests, and the average prior to this year was 255. Beaches throughout Florida saw an increase in turtle nests, but officials are unsure what caused the increase. Data from more than one year will be needed to make any conclusions.

State Parks Waive Entrance Fees for Veterans Day

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service will offer free day-use entrance to Florida State Parks on Thursday, November 11, 2010.

In honor of the services and sacrifices of United States veterans, their families and communities, day-use entrance to all of Florida State Parks will be waived to park visitors on Veterans Day. This offer does not include Skyway Fishing Pier State Park.

For more information on Florida’s state parks or Veterans Day event details visit www.floridastateparks.org or www.twitter.com/FLStateParks.   

FWC Seeks Input on Possible Changes to Red Drum Rules

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is continuing a series of public workshops to review its analysis of the latest red drum (redfish) stock assessment and discuss possible red drum rule changes.

The FWC wants to hear what people think about its proposals to create regional management areas for red drum and raise the daily bag limit from one fish to two per person in northern Florida.  The Commission also wants to receive comment on possible red drum rule changes in southeastern Florida.

Family Fun Day at Marineland, November 27th

Save the Date! You and your family are invited to Marineland’s Dolphin Conservation Center on Saturday November 27th from 11 A.M. – 3 P.M. to enjoy an afternoon of fun and games.  A local band of young musicians known as “Penguin Teeth” will provide musical entertainment. Food will be provided by JT’s Seafood Shack.  Kid friendly games, crafts, educational activities, prizes, and of course DOLPHINS, will complete this afternoon of family fun.  Admission to Marineland is half price all day. Special activities will take place between 11 and 3.  We look forward to seeing you!

Alligator Farm Offers Kids' Events

In November, The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park will offer two great events for kids: Parents’ Night Out and a special holiday Zoo Camp to provide kids with a fun, supervised activity during the Veteran’s Day school holiday.

"What's Growing in St. Augustine" Project Pairs Children and Seniors

Through a partnership of the St. Johns County Health and Human Services Department and THE PLAYERS Championship Boys & Girls Club in St. Augustine, ten children got a hands-on lesson in both horticulture and community service. The students spent three weeks putting together windowsill gardens, and last week each student hand-delivered his or her garden to a resident at Emeritus of St. Augustine Assisted Living Facility.