Wildlife

Gulf Breeze bear trap removed

Gulf Breeze bear trap removed

In keeping with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) policy, a bear trap has been removed from the area of Gulf Breeze where a pet dog was attacked and killed. FWC Regional Public Information Director Bekah Nelson said the initial incident occurred July 28 shortly after 10 p.m. Residents of Vestavia Way reported that […]

Refuge receives grant for marine mammal rescue, research

Refuge receives grant for marine mammal rescue, research

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) has received a grant of nearly $251,000 to support the Marine Mammal Stranding Team’s efforts to rescue and research some of the Gulf of Mexico’s most endangered species. ECWR executive director Carol “Stormy” Andersen said the grant award caps off a yearlong effort to secure the funds through the […]

Bears close Navarre Park for a nap

Bears close Navarre Park for a nap

Friday two bears were caught napping in a pine tree in Navarre Park. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC), along with the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, closed Navarre Park for the safety of visitors. According to FWC’s website, the black bear is the only species of bear in Florida. Bears are solitary by nature […]

Fish and Wildlife officers stay busy this summer

Fish and Wildlife officers stay busy this summer

In one case, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to a boating accident in which a rented personal watercraft struck a swimmer in the head. In another instance, officers responded to a home where a man had a dead deer on his front porch because he brought it home after shooting it illegally. […]

FWC continues efforts to conserve panther population

FWC continues efforts to conserve panther population

While there have been calls and e-mails to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission from the public about panther sightings in the Panhandle, Kip Frohlich of the FWC said there haven’t been any confirmed for quite some time. “We’ve gotten calls and -emails in the past, but it’s been many years since we’ve had one […]

Cottonmouth bite scares Navarre family

Cottonmouth bite scares Navarre family

Koebi King didn’t see the 3-foot-long cottonmouth snake that bit him just after midnight on Aug. 4 until after the fangs had suddenly sunk into his ankle and been withdrawn. “At first it felt like something had just scraped my leg. Then it started to feel like fire,” said King, 14, who lives in the […]

State, DOD buy 165 acres at Whiting Field

State, DOD buy 165 acres at Whiting Field

Gov. Rick Scott and cabinet members approved the purchase of the 165-acre Clear Creek/Whiting Field parcel in Santa Rosa County for $705,000 from Paradise Bay Developers. This Florida Forever acquisition will expand a conservation corridor between state and private conservation lands for wildlife and recreational use as well as buffer Whiting Field Naval Air Station […]

15 projects eyed for RESTORE funds

15 projects eyed for RESTORE funds

Santa Rosa County’s local RESTORE council has identified 15 projects which could be recommended for funding through county’s first direct allocation of RESTORE Act funds, and several Navarre area projects made the list. If the projects make the final cut later this year, including surviving a 45-day public comment period and receiving county commission approval, they could be implemented […]

FWC approves limited bear hunting in Florida

FWC approves limited bear hunting in Florida

For the first time in two decades, bear hunting will be allowed in the state of Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved hunting at its three-day commissioner meeting last week in Sarasota. Several areas of the state will be open for hunting over the course of a short season in late October. […]

FWC: Fireworks and nesting birds don’t mix

FWC: Fireworks and nesting birds don’t mix

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) asks the public to help protect beach-nesting shorebirds across the state this holiday weekend by giving them space and keeping personal fireworks off the beach. Shorebirds are nesting on beaches along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida, with many still watching over flightless chicks during the […]

Wildlife commissioners approve bear hunting

Wildlife commissioners approve bear hunting

Florida wildlife officials on Wednesday approved a new bear hunting season in the state just a few years after it was removed from the state’s threatened species list. After hours of impassioned public comment, mostly in opposition to the new hunting regulations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted 5-1 for a limited black […]

Bald eagle rescued after shooting

Bald eagle rescued after shooting

Nancy Forester crossed “rescuing a bald eagle” off her bucket list last week. Forester, a volunteer docent with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR), frequently receives calls to rescue animals. Sometimes, she fosters them until they are well enough to go back into the wild. “This eagle is a dream rescue,” Forester said. According to Brittany […]

FWC establishes new hunting area at Escribano Point

FWC establishes new hunting area at Escribano Point

Tony Young said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is always looking for new hunting areas in the state. The media relations commissioner for the FWC’s Division of Hunting and Game Management believes the addition of the Escribano Point Wildlife Management Area is a good one. During the 2015-16 hunting season, the 4,017-acre WMA […]

Gulf Breeze Zoo welcomes new director

Gulf Breeze Zoo welcomes new director

Not every zoo in the country has a director that holds a degree in landscape architecture, as well as has the credentials to run a zoo, but Gulf Breeze does. And that combination has been extremely useful since new zoo director Steve Jagielski arrived about six weeks ago. “I’m a ‘hands on guy.’ I don’t […]

Turtles hooked, saved at pier

Turtles hooked, saved at pier

Folks on the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier (NBFP) jumped into action Aug. 12 as two sea turtle were rescued after being accidentally hooked. Snappy, the larger of the two turtles at 15 inches and 12.5 pounds, was snagged and swallowed a fishing hook. As soon as fishing pier staff got word, the Responsible Pier Initiative […]

Residents oppose Soundside rezoning

Residents oppose Soundside rezoning

A company looking to develop about 185 acres along Soundside Drive invited nearby property owners to an informational meeting July 31 in an effort to alleviate concerns many had expressed prior to the county’s zoning board meeting in June. About 60 people arrived at the meeting opposed to the company’s rezoning request that would allow smaller lots sizes on […]

Decals support turtles, manatees

Decals support turtles, manatees

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced July 31 that newly designed sea turtle and manatee decals are available at local tax collectors’ offices and at myfwc.com. The decals are $5 and help support FWC’s conservation efforts. The backs of the decals include important information about manatees and sea turtles, including precautions beachgoers should take […]

Nearly 70 volunteers clean the beach

Nearly 70 volunteers clean the beach

Plastic bags. Bottles. Cups. Straws. Cans. Fishing line. Just some of the items collected by nearly 70 volunteers Saturday as part of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s monthly “Trash Bash.” In all, volunteers removed more than 215 pounds of trash from Navarre Beach in just more than two hours.  

Red tide causes fish kill in northeast Gulf

Red tide causes fish kill in northeast Gulf

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed a large-scale offshore fish kill in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Citizens have reported observations of thousands of dead and dying bottom-dwelling reef fish, as well as sea turtles and crabs, to the FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline. Satellite images revealed an extensive surface bloom of Florida’s […]

2 teens arrested for torturing tortoise

2 teens arrested for torturing tortoise

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) arrested two Jacksonville-area teenagers Friday on charges of torturing a gopher tortoise. Danielle Susan Dionne, 15, and Jennifer Emoke Greene, 18, have been arrested on charges of felony cruelty to animals, a third-degree felony, and taking, harassing, harming or killing a gopher tortoise, a second-degree misdemeanor. […]

Loggerhead turtle returns to Gulf

Loggerhead turtle returns to Gulf

A juvenile loggerhead sea turtle was returned to the Gulf of Mexico July 9 after several months of rehabilitation at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach. The turtle, named Captain Hook by volunteers, weighed only two pounds and suffered with mobility problems when discovered on Okaloosa Island. Read more in the July 17 issue […]

Nurse shark freed from reef

Nurse shark freed from reef

A nurse shark that had apparently won a battle with a fisherman became snagged July 8 at the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary Gulf-side reef. Thanks to the quick response of two divers and a local swimmer, the shark was freed and able to go on its way. According to local kayak fisherman and reef enthusiast […]

Teamwork gives ospreys new home

Teamwork gives ospreys new home

Good neighbors, members of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) and the Midway Fire District worked together last week to give three juvenile ospreys a new home in Gulf Breeze. According to ECWR volunteer Nancy Forester of Navarre, two avid bird watchers noticed an osprey nest had collapsed and found two young ospreys on the ground. The […]

Update: Bay scallop season open in Gulf

Update: Bay scallop season open in Gulf

The recreational bay scallop season opened in some Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) June 28, three days earlier than the season was slated to start. The portion of Gulf state waters is from the Pasco-Hernando county line north and west to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay […]

New chick signs

New chick signs

Personnel from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) posted four, bright yellow signs on the Navarre Beach Causeway Bridge Friday hoping that they will help slow traffic passing through a shorebird nesting area. The signs are the latest effort to protect the shorebirds and their chicks that are not yet able to fly. […]