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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA research permit #15488

North Atlantic right whales have begun to appear in the calving grounds off the coasts of Florida and Georgia.

According to the Marineland right whale team, two mother-calf pairs were spotted recently, one of them close to shore at Ponte Vedra Beach.

And wildlife officials saw an injured right whale Sunday near Georgia’s Jekyll Island.  They say the whale’s injuries probably came from getting tangled up in something like a fishing net.  She’s also very thin and is missing part of her lip.

A humpback whale has also been spotted near Flagler Beach.

bear sleeping
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via Flickr

Florida wildlife officials Thursday called last month's bear hunt a success, with 304 bears killed in two days and few hunters cited for violations — but critics called it a slaughter, saying most of the bears were killed on private land, where state regulations could be more easily skirted.

In a report released Thursday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said 304 bears were killed — 16 short of the so-called "harvest objective" of 320 that was set for the state's first bear hunt in 21 years.

Ray Hollister / WJCT News

Tuesday, St. Johns River water managers nearly unanimously approved a controversial plan to handle Central Florida’s looming water shortage.

For years, a consortium of water planners took input from agricultural, residential and conservationist stakeholders to craft what they call a balanced plan.

Northeast Florida river advocates are complaining their data is wrong.


From The Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs / YouTube

Two Jacksonville girls are celebrating a $1,500 dollar prize for their short film about recycling.


The Great Red Spot on Jupiter continues to shrink, spectacular new images from the Hubble Space Telescope show. (See big versions of the pictures here and here.)

But, scientists say, the big storm, which has been swirling around the planet for hundreds of years, will likely put up a fight before it dissipates.

NASA and the European Space Agency report:

Republican Congressman David Jolly of St. Petersburg recently introduced legislation that would hire fishermen to collect red snapper data in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishermen have complained about federal limits on catching red snapper. Jolly said this may give fishermen more days on the water, if it shows the population is healthier than federal research suggests. But some say it could actually mean less days on the water. 

William Campbell, Satoshi Omura and Youyou Tu were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday, for their discoveries of therapies for the treatment of parasitic diseases.

Nearly two-dozen environmental groups are joining a legal effort aimed at stopping Florida's first bear hunt in two decades.They filed a "friend of court" brief Friday in Tallahassee in support of the lawsuit against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The groups include the Animal Legal Defense Fund, South Florida Wildlands Association and Stop the Florida Bear Hunt.

So many people are raising bees in Florida, the state is bucking a national trend when it comes to the number of managed bee hives.  While colony collapse disorder, parasites, pesticides and other threats plague bee populations around the world, the state Department of Agriculture says the number of managed bee colonies here has increased 145% in the last eight years.  Florida has emerged as an anomaly in large part because of the growing popularity of backyard beekeeping.

I forgot to schedule a haircut last week. I regularly forget my usernames and passwords. I've forgotten anniversaries, birthdays and promises.

If these confessions sound familiar, it's because we forget all the time. And when we notice we've forgotten, it usually means the thing we forgot was important. Forgetting in these cases is a failing and we naturally wish our memories were more complete. It's no wonder, then, that forgetting has a bad rap.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Northeast Florida lawmakers are opposing a plan for Central Florida to withdraw more than 150 million gallons of water from the St. Johns River every day.

The Duval County Legislative Delegation passed their mostly symbolic resolution Thursday.

Conservationists are applauding the delegation’s move.


Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

Mount Aso — a volcano on Japan's southern main island of Kyushu — has erupted, spewing black smoke and ash more than a mile into the air, the Japanese Meteorological Agency says.

So far, there have been no reports of injuries or damage, but ash fell as far as 2.5 miles from the crater.

Mount Aso, which stands 5,222 feet high, is the country's largest active volcano.

Environmentalists are protesting the appointment of a new executive director to the South Florida Water Management District. They say Pete Antonacci's appointment is another example of growing state influence in Florida's five water districts.

Antonacci had been Governor Rick Scott's general counsel. He lacks a background in science.

Floridians for Solar Choice

In a battle involving two solar-energy ballot initiatives, a political committee backed by major utilities collected $335,000 in August — and had raised $798,000 in less than two months, according to a newly filed finance report.

The group, known as Consumers for Smart Solar, also had nearly $400,000 in the bank as September began.

Meanwhile, rival group Floridians for Solar Choice, which awaits a state Supreme Court decision on its proposed ballot language, appeared to be living almost paycheck-to-paycheck based on a financial report filed Thursday.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The Jacksonville Zoo is celebrating the hatching of two very different species of endangered animals.

The zoo recently welcomed Louisiana Pine Snakes...and a South American Magellanic penguin.

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