Urban Wildlife

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.

Beaches Museum & History Center Opening Shell Exhibit

The Jacksonville Shell Club will present a multi-faceted look at shells including the scientific, cultural and aesthetic aspect of these natural creations. Featured components of the exhibit at the Beaches Museum & History Center, exhibited from November 9, 2010 to January 8, 2011 will be regional mollusks, shells and mollusks in fine art, jewelry, craft work and day to day usage through history. The major themes include the science of malacology, including breathtaking photographs of living mollusk animals and their shells. The clubs 2009 group project, a book of 803 local marine shells titled “Marine Shells of Northeast Florida” will be on display and available at www.neflshells.org.

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.

Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens 2nd Anniversary

In celebration of its 2nd Anniversary, the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens will proudly open to the public its newest trail, the Rosemary Ridge Trail, on Sunday, November 21st, 8:00AM – 5:00PM.

At 1 mile in length, the Rosemary Ridge Trail is the longest of the Arboretum’s six trails and runs through habitat unlike any other in the park.  Named for the native rosemary that grows there, the trail traverses a Xeric Hammock that offers expansive salt-marsh views and a Sandhill community of lofty pines and seasonal pond.  A side trail allows visitors to see the environmentally sensitive area where the native rosemary and deer moss grow.

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.

Atlantic Vermilion Snapper and Southern Fla. Spotted Seatrout Seasons Close Nov. 1

The recreational harvest seasons for vermilion snapper in Atlantic coastal waters off Florida and spotted seatrout in southern Florida waters will close on Nov. 1.  These closures are intended to reduce overfishing and increase the population of vermilion snapper in the Atlantic and help maintain the abundance of spotted seatrout in Florida waters.