FWC seeks input on conserving Florida burrowing owls in urban landscapes

FWC seeks input on conserving Florida burrowing owls in urban landscapesFlorida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent this bulletin at 06/19/2017 10:31 AM EDT

June 19, 2017

Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: https://flic.kr/s/aHskZUQWTU

Suggested Tweet: Share your ideas on conserving burrowing #owls in #Florida urban landscapes with @MyFWC! https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/1a38e98

FWC seeks input on conserving Florida burrowing owls in urban landscapes

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold a public meeting in July to provide information and gather input on the agency’s development of Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for the Florida burrowing owl.

The burrowing owl meeting is scheduled for July 6, 6 to 9 p.m., Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium Field House, 3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311. The meeting will be an open-house format so members of the public are welcome to come and go at any time.

In January, the listing status of the Florida burrowing owl changed from Species of Special Concern to state Threatened, as part of rule changes implementing the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Plan approved in November 2016.

The meeting will focus primarily on the process for developing permitting guidelines and on interim permitting processes for Florida burrowing owls in urban areas. The burrowing owl’s habitat was once native dry prairies, but today this owl is as likely to be found in open areas of urban and suburban landscapes. They dig their own burrows, but also may move into the burrows of other species, such as the gopher tortoise, or occasionally inhabit manmade structures such as pipes and drains.

“The FWC is inviting the public to meet with us, ask questions and offer input about permitting guidelines and the regulatory process for burrowing owls,” said Craig Faulhaber, the FWC’s avian conservation coordinator. 

FWC staff at the meeting will provide information on the protections that apply to burrowing owls, the process of developing Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines, and the interim permitting process until guidelines for this species are in place.

The Florida burrowing owl lives primarily in peninsular Florida and is the only burrowing owl east of the Mississippi River. As one of 57 species in the Imperiled Species Management Plan, the burrowing owl has a Species Action Plan that describes its biology, habitats and the FWC’s goals and actions for conserving this threatened species.

FWC prepares residents for black bear encounters – News4Jax (WJXT)

Following a rash of black bear sightings in and around St. Johns County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hosted a community meeting Thursday evening in Nocatee.
Wildlife officials geared residents up for summer — when experts said it’s likely there will be even more bear sightings.
During the meeting in the Nocatee Room of Crosswater Hall, FWC leaders reported that more than 3,000 black bears are currently roaming Florida — up from 300 in just a few decades. They also said bear-related calls increased by 6,000 over 13 years.

Halapata Chobee (Big Alligator)

I’ve been tussling with the idea of writing about alligators over the past few weeks. I was inspired by a story told to me first hand by a couple of delightful and intrepid ladies. The account of their alligator adventure caused me to laugh out loud every time I have tried to put the story on paper. It is difficult to write while laughing. The account also caused me to relive or rather revive some of my own encounters. Continue reading “Halapata Chobee (Big Alligator)”

How to Eat the State Tree

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If there ever was a tree of life it would or should be the Sabal Palm. It has provided humans with food, shelter, and fiber for thousands of years. The breeze ruffling through its broad leaves provides serenity. The sound has lulled many a Florida cowboy, hunter and camper to sleep under the glorious shade it provides.  A cross section of the woody portion of the leaf looks like a softly rounded pyramid. The tree provided hours of entertainment for me and the kids I grew up with. We all had pocket knives. Dry or green the woody portions of the leaves were easily carved into darts, arrows, spears, wind mills, helicopters, fishing lures, marshmallow and hot dog grilling sticks. Street vendors can now be found selling elaborate weaving of the leaves turned into art. The trees were everywhere. The trunks have been turned into pilings, support posts for some of the gracious porches that wrap around old ‘Cracker’ houses in the interior of Florida as well as along the coast. Most have been replaced over the years, first by heart pine, then pressure treated timber. The logs are also effective in repelling cannon balls. Fort Moultrie (Fort Sullivan then), built to protect Charleston Harbor during the Revolution, came under attack June 1776 by British war ships. The palm logs remained impervious to the bombardment by ships and, by the end of the day, the British ships, heavily damaged, limped off. Four hundred patriots and palm logs handed the British a stinging defeat and set the tone for the rest of the Revolution. The event is still celebrated as ‘Carolina Day’. The name of the fort was changed to honor Commander William Moultrie who led his band of patriots to victory. The ground underneath is still called Sullivan’s Island. Continue reading “How to Eat the State Tree”

Guava Man Cometh

I’ve made cryptic references in a couple of posts about this incredible tropical fruit that lends itself to jams, jellies, syrups, desserts, grilled meat, and sauces without mentioning much about its origins. Many botanists agree that the lowly guava is native to Mexico, Central America and the Yucatán Region. It is well suited to thrive in South Florida. For the record, it is no more invasive than orange trees.

Continue reading “Guava Man Cometh”