Approximately twenty-five Cedar Keys Audubon Chapter members met at the Cedar Key Library on Monday afternoon at 5 pm to hear Ann Paul, Tampa Bay Regional Coordinator for Audubon’s Coastal Islands Sanctuaries.
Co-Presidents Crosby Hunt and Deborah Anderson updated members on the group’s upcoming events.
Paul’s presentation provided a full historical base upon which Audubon Florida was built. She contextualized Audubon from the 1800s through plume hunting and growing social awareness, to today. Through the years, Paul stressed, Audubon has nurtured relationships with critical agencies, such as the United States Fish and Wildlife Commission, expanding its conservational strength and influence.
Paul over vied her work at the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries. The Sanctuaries include water bird nesting and habitat islands in the west central Florida estuaries, including St. Joseph Sound, Clearwater Harbor, Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, and north Charlotte Harbor and Estero Bay. Pelicans, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, storks, oystercatchers, gulls, terns, and skimmers nest on these sites.
April 25, 2017
The Cedar Key Dolphin Project has been doing research on the bottlenose dolphins of the Nature Coast area (mostly Cedar Key) since 2001. This work is important for many reasons: dolphins are frequently thought of as ocean sentinels, which means that what affects them likely affects humans as well. Having this research continue with little interruption is also important, as it is the only way we can get information on this long lived species.
This summer, I have three goals:
I currently have some funding from the University of Florida, but I do not have enough to sustain a field season. To that end, I have set up a GoFundMe campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/ckdolphinproject. As of the morning of April 25th I am almost halfway to $2500.00, which will allow us to do research for 4 weeks. If I can raise $4000.00, we will be able to do research for eight weeks. Funds will be used for housing, travel, gas, and equipment maintenance.
There is a time limit as well! I need to hit close to my base $2500 goal by April 30th to start setting up the season. I've added some fun benefits for donating for locals.
There are two types of peafowl: blue, originating in India; green, from Myanmar. However we also see leucitic peafowl which are born with a loss of pigmentation. They are not albinos, as they retain their eye color. Males are typically called peacocks; females are called peahens and young...you guessed it…peachicks.
PHOTOS AND BLURB BY REBECCA GALLAGHER
Look for more CritterS photographs to come.
Ann Paul, Tampa Bay Regional Coordinator for Audubon’s Coastal Islands Sanctuaries, will present Florida’s Coastal Islands Sanctuaries on Monday April 24, at 5 pm at the Cedar Key Library.
Paul will present brief history and discuss the current programs and projects of the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries. The Sanctuaries include water bird nesting and habitat islands in the west central Florida estuaries, including St. Joseph Sound, Clearwater Harbor, Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, and north Charlotte Harbor and Estero Bay.
Pelicans, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, storks, oystercatchers, gulls, terns, and skimmers nest on these sites. Ann will discuss Sanctuary staff activities to protect the birds from disturbance by boaters and the management of the islands’ habitats.
If you’ve been to Cedar Key recently, chances are you’ve seen them. Whether you’re fishing at the Big Dock, walking down G Street in search of the perfect sunset, or trolling Dock Street for the best deal on a clam dinner, you will encounter significant signage: “Do Not Feed the Birds,” “Prevent seabird Entanglement ,” “Hooked a Bird? Don’t Cut the line,” and “Injured Bird? Contact one of the volunteers for assistance.” The signs are a relatively new feature of the Cedar Key fishing and birding community and are an attempt to address an old and familiar (to any who have fished off the main pier regularly) problem: sea birds (mainly pelicans) getting entangled in fishing lines.
The original idea came from Doug Maple, bird authority and former owner of Captain’s Doug’s Tidewater Tours, who started his own informal bird rescue more than ten years ago. “They were getting slaughtered down there,” Maple said, “and I was already down there with a boat.” Doug and, a bit later, Florida biologist Tiffany Black began helping fishermen unhook distressed pelicans and, when necessary, transporting them to veterinary facilities who could provide medical expertise such as the University of Florida Vet School. He then contacted the on site professional science community, led by the University of Florida IFAS, The Nature Coast Biological Station, and Sea Grant Florida.