Audubon Florida News

Topic: Publications



Audubon Florida Naturalist Magazine Winter 2015 Annual Report

posted on December 29, 2015 in Publications

When we see Florida’s birds in their native habitats we are reminded of the beauty in the world.Audubon_Naturalist_AnnualReport_Winter_2015_COVER

We also know that our efforts are making a difference – from clean water to abundant wildlife.

Their role is to overcome the odds, to make the best of changing habitats, to nest and nurture the next generation, and to give us hope for the future.

Our role is to protect the land and water that birds and other wildlife and people need to survive.

Thanks to your help, Audubon Florida leads the way to restore the Everglades, manage habitats for endangered shorebirds, and enforce the rules that reduce pollution and keep development away from special places.

Together we make a difference.

Click here to start your free PDF download of Audubon Florida’s 2015 Naturalist Magazine Annual Report. Inside you will learn the many ways Audubon Florida members, volunteers, and donors helped to protect birds and wildlife in 2015.

Thank you for all that you do.

 

“Parks: The Heart of Natural Florida” – Summer 2015 Naturalist Magazine Now Available

posted on September 28, 2015 in Publications

Audubon_Naturalist_Summer_2015_cover_SMThe heart of Florida is not a theme park, a palatial shopping mall, a beach lined with sprawling resorts, or a designer golf course. You find Florida’s heart in its nature parks and conservation lands.

Picture windswept dunes and sun-kissed beaches, clear springs that make you feel like you’re flying, not swimming, Florida Scrub-Jays in their rare scrub habitat, perched high and dry along Florida’s ancient backbone, moist and mysterious oak hammocks where time seems to stand still, and sprawling marshes of sawgrass, mangrove islands, and of course, the famed River of Grass.

We are fortunate that our predecessors had the foresight to set aside many of these special places through programs like Florida Forever, Preservation 2000, and municipal environmental lands programs.

State forests, wildlife management areas,water management district lands, and local conservation areas, combined with our award winning system of 171 state parks and trails, help make up the remarkable and accessible habitat mosaic of natural Florida.

Yet while the benefits are well understood, Florida’s parks have never been under greater threat. This issue of the Audubon Florida Naturalist Magazine is a celebration of these special places and a call to action for citizens to defend their parks.

Click here to start your free PDF download. Please feel free to share!

Audubon Scientists: “Everglades Restoration Cannot Wait”

posted on February 17, 2015 in Everglades,Publications,Wildlife

Audubon_wadingbirds_2014_coverNew South Florida Water Management District Report Highlights Steep Decline in Wading Bird Nesting

Each year the South Florida Water Management District releases its annual South Florida Wading Bird Report. Now in its 20th year, this report provides information on the status of wading bird nesting around the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. Wading birds are valuable ecological indicators that provide insights into the health of this unique ecosystem.

Twenty years of data show that while state and federal restoration managers are making progress, much work remains to save the River of Grass and its avian inhabitants.

The 2014 report shows that wading bird nesting was 28% lower than last year.

Contributors to the report (including Audubon Florida) recorded a total of 34,714 nests. Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, and Snowy Egrets showed the most dramatic reductions in nesting, dropping by 83%, 42%, and 47% respectively.

The decline in nesting of these and other wading birds species is due to the lack of suitable foraging habitat across South Florida, highlighting the urgency of Everglades restoration projects. The survival of wading birds in the Everglades depends on how quickly important restoration projects move forward and restore the flow of freshwater.

Download Audubon’s Fact Sheet on this year’s wading bird nesting efforts and to see our recommendations for ensuring the recovery of populations in decline and to learn where restoration efforts are allowing bird populations to bounce back. Feel free to print and share this document at your next Audubon Chapter Meeting or community gathering.

For more information, please see the following news reports about this issue:

Fact Sheet: 2014 Everglades Wading Bird Nesting Report

posted on January 29, 2015 in Everglades,Publications,Wildlife

Audubon_wadingbirds_2014_coverThis month the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) released the annual South Florida Wading Bird Report, which showed a steep decline in wading bird nesting in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. Wading birds are important ecological indicators – their health reflects the heath of the broader ecosystem.

The data in this year’s report shows that Everglades restoration cannot wait. In their report, the SFWMD estimated wading bird nesting in 2014 to be 28% lower than last year. A total of 34,714 nests were recorded. Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, and Snowy Egrets showed the most dramatic reductions in nesting, dropping by 83%, 42%, and 47% respectively.

The survival of wading birds in the Everglades depends on how quickly important restoration projects move forward and restore the flow of freshwater.

Click here to download Audubon Florida’s summary of this important report and learn more about the health of wading birds in the Greater Everglades.

The Lake Okeechobee Ecosystem: A Delicate Balance of Water

MacStone_LakeOkechobee-3614The marshes of Lake Okeechobee are a paradise of biodiversity. Everglade Snail Kites, Roseate Spoonbills, Tricolored Herons, and a plethora of other wildlife abound in this great ecosystem at the heart of the Greater Everglades.

For this incredible habitat to thrive, Lake Okeechobee’s water levels cannot be too high or too low. Marsh habitat drowns when water is too deep. When water is too low, marsh habitat dries up and is destroyed.

Last century, the Northern Everglades faced serious alterations to its natural system, as developers ditched and drained land. As a result, the natural system is off kilter and Lake Okeechobee now experiences rapid fluctuations in water levels. This results in harmful effects to the delicate Lake ecosystem. Water managers send large releases of Lake water to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries for flood control. These releases have long term negative impacts on their ecosystems and local communities.

In addition, some water users in the south demand the Lake function as a reservoir for their water supply needs, despite the fragile nature of the ecosystem.

Lake Okeechobee’s natural balance of life must be protected. The Audubon Everglades Conservation Team advocates to state and federal partners to manage Lake Okeechobee with its precious ecosystem in mind. The long term fix is to store more water north of the Lake. Audubon supports Kissimmee River Restoration, easement programs, and partnerships with ranchers and landowners to achieve this goal. There are many exciting Everglades restoration initiatives that can help.

Lake Okeechobee’s water levels require proper management to protect this treasured habitat for years to come. Click the link below to download our fact sheet to learn more about the liquid heart of the Everglades. Please feel free to print and distribute at you next Audubon Chapter meeting or community gathering.

Click here to download fact sheet.

Now Available: Audubon Florida’s Naturalist Magazine – Spring 2014

posted on May 9, 2014 in Publications

Audubon_Naturalist_Cover_Spring_2014Download your (free!) copy of Audubon’s popular conservation magazine right now – and share with your friends!

It’s a big year for some of Audubon Florida’s most celebrated institutions. This year marks the 80th anniversary of Audubon’s Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries in Tampa Bay, the 75th anniversary of Audubon’s Everglades Science Center at Tavernier, and the 60th anniversary of Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the Western Everglades.

These special anniversaries remind us of what Audubon is all about – committed citizens, impactful science, solutions-focused policy work, and proven conservation results. 

You are invited to download our latest edition of Audubon Florida Naturalist, where we celebrate Audubon’s rich history in Florida and share our vision for the future. Learn more about our work along Florida’s coasts, at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, and along the hemispheric Atlantic Flyway. Find out how people like you are playing a role as citizen scientists, advocates, center volunteers, and donors.

This is shaping up to be a Big Year for Audubon Florida. We want you to be part of it!

DOWNLOAD: http://bit.ly/1j3dm4g

Also, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and our blog to get the latest conservation news, information, and breaking alerts throughout the year. We love interacting with you and reading about your passion for Florida’s environment!

Thank you for all that you do and enjoy the latest Naturalist!

P.S. Don’t miss the information about our Audubon Assembly in October, legislative news, new state office location in Miami, and two day online fundraising drive on May 20 and 21.

Now Available: Audubon’s State of the Everglades Report – Spring 2014

posted on April 16, 2014 in Everglades,Publications

Audubon_SOTE_Spring_2014_coverMillions of wading birds – Spoonbills, Egrets, Herons and Storks – once dominated Everglades landscapes. Now their numbers have been reduced by 95%. Although a few species are showing some rebound, others just don’t have enough dependable foraging habitat to feed their young.

This spring issue of State of the Everglades provides an update on 2013’s wading birds.

Last year, over 48,000 wading birds nested in the Everglades.This is an improvement, but not enough. Restoration progress and success have contributed to an increase in nesting, but it is still just a fraction of restoration goals.

As Everglades advocates, we must learn what is happening to life throughout the ecosystem – from seagrasses and mangroves, to baitfish and top predators. It is a question of life and abundance. When fish and birds are scarce, there is something wrong with the system. When numbers of fish and birds rebound, the right things are being done. That information tells us the “State of Everglades.”

Take a moment to check out our latest report for a comprehensive and concise examination of these recent successes and other progress in the fight to restore the River of Grass.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.

Audubon Scientists Find Progress One Year After C-111 Spreader Canal Western Component Ribbon-Cutting

The C-111 Spreader Canal Western Component Great colonies of wading birds, including signature species like the Roseate Spoonbill, once congregated on the shores of Florida Bay. The ultimate measurement of restoration success is bringing those colonies back. Increasing freshwater flows to Taylor Slough in the Southern Everglades will restore critical foraging habitat and Florida’s birds will respond by building nests and hatching and fledging chicks.

The C-111 Spreader Canal Western Component is a major restoration project designed to improve freshwater flows to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. The project creates a nine mile hydraulic ridge designed to hold rain water and natural flows into Taylor Slough, a critical flow-path that carries water through the heart of Everglades National Park into Florida Bay. Water is then able to sheet-flow and filter into the ground, rehydrating this historic wetland habitat.

Now just one year after the ribbon-cutting of this important Everglades restoration project, Audubon Florida scientists are already documenting habitat improvements.

Roseate SpoonbillsThe C-111 Spreader Canal Project includes two components. The first phase, the C-111 Spreader Canal Western Component (phase one) has been operating for over a year, and the C-111 Spreader Canal Eastern Component (phase two) is still in the planning phase and will be completed in the future.

In the first year of operation, the Western Component has already improved flow and salinity conditions, which have led to improvement in the health and quality of wetland habitats in Florida Bay. This project is the first major constructed operational component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). CERP was approved by Congress in 2000 to reverse the ecological decline observed in the Everglades and Florida Bay.

For more information, please click here to download our latest Fact Sheet on this important Everglades project.

Audubon’s State of the Everglades Report Now Available

posted on November 25, 2013 in Everglades,Publications

Audubon_SOTE_cover_Fall2013Audubon’s Fall/Winter Report on the State of the Everglades is now available for download!

The year’s tragic conditions in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries exemplified the need for urgency in restoring the Everglades. Projects that allow more water to flow south will reduce the occurrence of toxic algae blooms and associated wildlife impacts.

Audubon recommended specific actions to respond to this environmental disaster and many have already been advanced by state and federal decision-makers. Your participation made a difference!

Take a moment to check out our latest report for a comprehensive and concise examination of these recent successes and other progress in the fight to restore the River of Grass.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Download this report to your iPad, Kindle, or other e-reader and learn about Florida’s wildlife while you enjoy this special time of year. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and our blog to get the latest Everglades news, information, and ways to help.

Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday from the Audubon Florida Everglades Conservation Team!

P.S. Check out page 5 for the update on Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary’s Wood Storks!

Climate Change and the Everglades

posted on November 20, 2013 in Climate Change,Everglades,Publications

everglades_slack12_flickrRestoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem has some great and obvious benefits including improving water quality, protecting South Florida drinking water supplies, and improving and protecting habitat areas for wildlife. However, restoration of the Everglades has another important benefit that doesn’t get as much attention: helping prepare for, and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Climate change can seem like a daunting global issue but there are strategies to lessen its impacts on a local level. For South Florida, continuing to invest in restoration will be key to delaying and minimizing some of the impacts. Healthier ecosystems respond better to change and more easily adapt to changing conditions. Restoring the Greater Everglades Ecosystem will also have the added benefit of improving the health and resilience of our coral reefs, and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries.

audubon_everglades_climatechange_nov2013_coverimageIn addition to the well-known benefits for water and wildlife, continuing to move forward with the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) will help slow the intrusion of salt water into aquifers, delay impacts of sea level rise along the coasts, improve flood control, and make sure ecosystems are healthier and more resilient.

In short, it is smart planning for our future with multifold benefits for people and wildlife.

For more information, please see the following two links:

 

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