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Posts Tagged "Florida"

Extinction Countdown

Endangered Manatees Face a New Threat: Lawsuits

manatee

What do manatees and bureaucracy have in common? They both have a tendency to move slowly—sometimes painfully slowly. In Florida manatees’ own lethargy puts the animals at risk of being killed or injured by the speedboats that zip through the state’s waterways. Sluggish bureaucracy, meanwhile, has created an opportunity for groups who oppose the manatees’ [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sea Turtle Hatchlings Saved by LED Lights Funded by Deepwater Horizon Fines

leatherback hatchling

A sea turtle’s life begins in darkness. After about 60 days of incubation inside their eggs, turtle hatchlings use a temporary tooth called a caruncle to break out of their shells. That’s just step one. At this point, they are still buried in nests about 50 centimeters below the beach surface. As dozens of baby [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Alligator Snapping Turtles, the Dinosaurs of the Turtle World, Are Actually 3 at-Risk Species

alligator snapping turtle

Alligator snapping turtles look pretty intimidating. These massive, prehistoric-looking reptiles can reach more than 66 centimeters in length and weigh more than 100 kilograms. Add in their unusual ridged carapaces, finger-long claws and sharp, beaklike mouths and you’ve got an impressive package. But in truth, alligator snapping turtles aren’t all that aggressive. They tend to [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Fewer Manatee Deaths in 2012, but Threats Remain

manatee

Unlike a lot of other endangered species, the Florida manatee didn’t have all that bad a year in 2012. Only 392 manatees were found dead in Florida last year (pdf), according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This figure is a drop from 453 in 2011 (pdf) and well below the record high [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Have You Seen This “Extinct” Snake? Snapping a Photo of It Alive Could Be Worth $500

South Florida rainbow snake

The Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson and the Center for Snake Conservation in Louisville, Colo., have put up a $500 reward for evidence that the South Florida rainbow snake (Farancia erytrogramma seminola) is not extinct, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared in October [pdf]. The organizations are hoping that professional and amateur [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Wolves lose, tigers gain, penguins in peril and other updates from the brink

Sometimes there are so many stories about endangered species that not all of them can be covered in depth by this blog. Here are some quick updates on stories previously covered in Extinction Countdown. Wolves still being targeted Even though conservation groups had proposed a compromise to keep gray wolves (Canis lupus) protected under the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Another record year for manatee deaths

manatee

Frigid waters off the coast of Florida have killed a record number of endangered manatees this year, according to state wildlife officials. The manatee—full name, the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus)—has been protected by the Endangered Species Act since 1974. As of December 10, 699 manatee deaths had been documented this year in Florida waters, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Florida to try a RADical new idea to protect endangered panthers

Florida panther

Last year 17 Florida panthers (Felis concolor coryi) were killed when they were struck by vehicles, an all-time high and a terrible blow to one of North America’s most endangered mammals. Only 100 or so panthers remain in Florida, and the species shows signs of heavy inbreeding due to its limited population. Panthers are already [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rabbit season? Duck season? In Florida, it’s time to hunt pythons

Florida has set March 8 through April 17 as a special python-hunting season in an attempt to control several species of invasive reptiles, which are wreaking havoc on the south Florida ecosystem. Species to be targeted include Indian and Burmese pythons (Python molurus and P.m. bivittatus ), African rock pythons (P. sebae ), green anacondas [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Motored Down: Record number of manatee, Florida panther deaths in 2009

panther roadkill

2009 was the deadliest year on record for Florida panthers (Felis concolor coryi) and manatees (Trichechus manatus), two endangered species that most often lose their lives when their habitats collide with that of humans. A record high 17 panthers were struck by vehicles and killed in Florida last year, two deaths above the previous high [...]

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Observations

More Science in the Sunshine State

In the Sunshine State, science is ready to bloom. On December 5, I attended the official grand opening of the new, $64 million, 100,000-square-foot Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience in Jupiter—and the first of the Max Planck Institutes outside of Europe. The institute will focus on the human brain, which scientific director and CEO [...]

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Plugged In

Turning off the Lights Won’t Save Oil

pecss_diagram_2009_small

Today, more than 80% of the energy used in the United States comes from fossil fuels – specifically from petroleum, natural gas and coal. In the transportation sector, this number is even higher with fossil fuels (almost exclusively petroleum) supplying 97% of the total energy used. But, on the electric power side of the equation, [...]

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