Snail Kites Move North As Health Of Everglades, Lake O Wane

Jul 16, 2021
black bird sitting in grass
Audubon via WGCU

The snail kite is a bird of prey that, until very recently, was only found in South Florida. And the snail kite, also until very recently, has eaten one thing: Florida’s native apple snail, which the snail kite has uniquely evolved to be able to eat.

Residents walk a flooded street to reach their homes, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, where Tropical Storm Eta caused severe flooding in areas already saturated from previous downpours.
Marta Lavandier / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis would get more than he requested for Everglades restoration and water projects in the coming year under an initial Senate budget proposal that also would set up a grant program to address sea-level rise.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
News Service of Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis followed up on a campaign promise Thursday by signing an executive order designed to address the environmental issues that have been plaguing the state.

Florida Everglades plants and water
Keo the Younger via Flickr

TALLAHASSEE — The House accepted a long-term Senate proposal to sink more than $250 million a year into Everglades restoration, the state's natural springs and Lake Apopka, as the Legislature concluded its regular session Friday.

Rick Scott
The Office of Governor Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott, who environmentalists said was reluctant to support wildlife and conservation efforts for most of his first term, will ask lawmakers to designate money for the next 20 years for Everglades restoration.

Scott on Tuesday outlined a $5 billion plan for the Everglades that would begin with $300 million in the upcoming year. The plan, which includes money for building water-retention reservoirs and maintaining the upland habitat of endangered Florida panthers, was announced as Scott prepares to release his proposed 2015-16 budget this week.

The New York Times has this profile of some of the wildlife biologists in South Florida who are attempting to stop the spread of invasive Argentine black and white tegu lizards.

In southwest Florida, county officials are fighting the state over a new oil drilling process that's known by many different names: acidification, acidizing, acid stimulation and acid fracking.

Collier County has charged that state regulators have been lax in their oversight of the drilling, jeopardizing public health and the environment.

A DNA test shows that a five-foot-long West African crocodile captured alive by authorities on the edge of the Everglades National Park in March did not come from a nearby breeder.

At least 10 pilot whales are dead and dozens stranded in the shallows off Florida's southwest coast, as wildlife workers struggle to redirect them back out to deep water.

Blair Mase, the marine mammal stranding network coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says four of the whales had to be euthanized on Wednesday, and six others had already died since the stranding was first identified on Tuesday.

Sonel.SA/Wikimedia Commons

TALLAHASSEE (The News Service of Florida) — Florida intends to continue the fight against Giant African land snails and citrus greening next year and could direct more than $80 million to Everglades restoration efforts, according to budget requests Wednesday from state agriculture and environmental agencies.

The legislative budget proposals also would increase funding for freshwater springs protection and provide $1.5 million to give pay increases to the state's wild-land firefighters.

This year’s heavy rainfall has sent water levels in the Everglades to their highest level on record for this time of year.

The high water has caused animals to take refuge on a few tree islands, where they are more vulnerable to predators.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are calling for emergency action to have the floodgates opened immediately to lower the water levels in the conservation area of concern.

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy campaign is one step closer to getting a constitutional amendment to fund the Florida Forever land preservation program.

On Thursday, the group announced that it had collected enough signatures to qualify the measure for review by the Florida Supreme Court. A proposed amendment is eligible for state Supreme Court review when its backers collect 10 percent of the total 683,149 signatures required—or 68,314 John Hancocks.

When the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was approved in 2000, it was a historic move to "restore, protect and preserve" water resources in central and south Florida. The 30-year framework was designed with the ultimate goal of restoring historic water-flows to a "dying ecosystem." Project leaders and scientists are now focused on incorporating climate change adaptation into the plans and acknowledging that the Everglades will likely never look the way it once did.