Urban Wildlife

Bird Disease Detected in State

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is currently monitoring a Virulent Exotic Newcastle Disease diagnosis which occurred in Cormorants in Pinellas County last week.  Exotic Newcastle Disease is an extremely contagious and fatal foreign avian disease that affects most bird species but is not life threatening to humans.  Human contact with Exotic Newcastle Disease may cause minor irritations such as pink eye or skin irritations.

High School Students: Time to Enter Manatee Art Contest

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites high school art students across the state to participate in a contest to create a piece of manatee artwork that will be used on the 2011-2012 manatee decal.

Students in grades 9-12 in Florida should coordinate with their school’s art teacher to submit the artwork, because each school may submit no more than five entries. Home-schooled students also are eligible to enter the contest. Contest details and forms are available online at MyFWC.com/Manatee.

Atlantic Snook Harvest Closes Dec. 15; Catch and Release Still OK

The recreational harvest of snook will close in all Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, beginning on Dec. 15.  The annual winter harvest season closure of snook in these areas, which normally ends on Feb. 1, has been extended until Sept. 1, 2011, by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) due to the prolonged cold weather that impacted snook in Florida earlier this year.

Red Snapper Fishing is Prohibited in South Atlantic Federal Waters

NOAA Fisheries Service extended the prohibition of commercial and recreational fishing for red snapper in all federal waters of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic coast of Florida.  It is illegal to fish for, possess, or harvest red snapper from these waters.

Cold Weather May Lead to Fish Kills

Cold Weather May Lead to Fish Kills

As temperatures drop in Florida, the number of cold-related fish kills is likely to increase. Chilly winter temperatures can lead to fish die-offs in Florida’s marine habitats, rivers and lakes.

The good news is that these events are natural occurrences and typically do not cause permanent damage to the ecosystem or to fish populations. In some cases they are even beneficial, in that they help limit the spread of invasive, exotic species.

FWC Wants Public's Input About More Daylight Alligator Hunting

FWC Wants Public's Input About More Daylight Alligator Hunting

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to know what Floridians think about providing more daylight-hunting hours to alligator hunters. The public can comment via an online survey.

FWC Determines Fungus Caused St. Johns Fish Kill

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute have determined the cause of a recent fish kill in the St. Johns River. Testing confirmed that a fungus led to the fish die-off that occurred in the river in mid-October.

The FWC received reports of dead fish and fish with ulcers beginning Oct. 20. Reports came from an area of the river just south of Interstate 95 near Jacksonville and as far south as Green Cove Springs. The FWC responded by analyzing dead fish and water samples from the area.