Urban Wildlife

Visitors are invited to celebrate the season with family fun throughout Florida

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida State Parks is hosting a variety of fall festivals full of family fun this month. From Halloween alternatives to seasonal celebrations, Florida’s award-winning state parks are hosting events for all interests.

St. Johns RIVERKEEPER recently launched an iPhone app to complement its Get Your Feet Wet guide

 St. Johns RIVERKEEPER recently launched an iPhone app to complement its Get Your Feet Wet guide to the St. Johns River. 

The “Get your Feet Wet, iPhone edition” guidebook app is a valuable resource that allows users to explore and learn about the St. Johns River from Palatka to the Atlantic Ocean with the convenience of their phone.

Keeping Critters out of Your Home

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- They can cause the kind of damage that can lead to costly home repairs. They are the four-legged critters looking for a place to stay warm.

"There are rodents, squirrels and raccoons always around this time of year looking for nesting sites," said Jeff Saylor.

Saylor, with Arrow Exterminators, said those nesting sites are in First Coast homes.

Saylor the entry points are easy to find; just look near the air conditioning systems.

"Service lines are easy access points for rodents to get into your home," said Saylor.

He said another weak spot is the soffit, the area under the eaves of the roof. 

"Rats can get through an area the size of a quarter, mice can get through about the size of a dime," he said.

Even a tree near your home can become an access point.

Saylor's advice is pay attention to the surroundings.

Stone Crab Season Opens Oct. 15

The commercial and recreational harvest season for stone crab claws in Florida opens on Oct. 15.  The season will remain open through May 15.

Stone crab claws must be at least 2 3/4 inches in length to be harvested legally, and claws may not be taken from egg-bearing female stone crabs.  Recreational harvesters are allowed to use up to five stone crab traps, and there is a daily bag limit of one gallon of claws per person or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less.

Click here for more information regarding the recreational harvest of stone crab claws.

Click here for commercial stone crab regulations and licensing information (click on "Fishing - Saltwater").

Animal Emergency Hospital of St. Johns Open House Oct. 9

Animal Emergency Hospital of St. Johns is having an open house on Oct 9th, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Pony rides, silent auctions, give a ways, food, pet information, vaccines etc etc.

All proceeds go to the St. Augustine Hhumane Society. 2505 Old Moultrie Rd. St. Aug.

Mandarin Park and Boat Ramp Closed Temporarily for Improvements

Mandarin Park and Boat Ramp will be closed to the public beginning Monday, Oct. 4 through the end of the year while the city makes improvements to the park and boat ramp.

Improvements include new ADA-compliant play equipment, new signage throughout the park as well as resurfacing and expanding the parking lot to add additional spaces. The park is expected to re-open early 2011.
 
During the closure, residents are encouraged to utilize other area parks and boat ramps which include:

(Parks)

  • Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road
  • Chuck Rogers Park, 1950 San Jose Blvd.
  • Alberts Field, 2073 Brady Road
  • Losco Regional Park, 10931 Hood Road
  • Julington Durbin Creek Preserve, 3130 Bartram Park Blvd.

 

(Boat Ramps)

New Blood Perks Up Florida Panther Population

USA Today - By the early 1990s there were only 20 to 25 Florida panthers left out of what was once a large and thriving population – and those that remained were sickly and inbred, destined for extinction within 20 years, experts estimated. So in 1995 conservation managers moved eight wild-caught female pumas from Texas to the area – a reintroduction so successful that between 1995 and 2008 a total of 424 panther births have been documented.