wildlife

Workshop highlights how to deal with presence of coyotes

Workshop highlights how to deal with presence of coyotes

Black bears take center stage in terms of grabbing the attention of the community, but coyotes are also a big part of the wildlife scene here in Florida. Elizabeth Heikkinen, an assistant wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discussed coyotes in more detail with the community Thursday afternoon. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

Make your own backyard wildlife garden

Make your own backyard wildlife garden

All living things have four basic needs for their habitat: fresh water to drink, food to eat, shelter and a place to raise young. Without these things they cannot thrive, and their species can be in danger of extinction. Each part of a ecosystem is dependent on the other parts to succeed. Read the full […]

Interns at refuge help wildlife, gain skills

Interns at refuge help wildlife, gain skills

Caring for the roughly 2,000 animals that come through the front doors of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge each year is more than a full-time job, and the students who make it happen do so without pay. Board member Carol “Stormy” Andersen said she is incredibly thankful for the refuge’s internship program. Read the full […]

Wildlife refuge officially breaks ground

Wildlife refuge officially breaks ground

In a celebration honoring community support, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge ceremonially broke ground Saturday at its new facility in Holley. After brief speeches and thank-yous under an old-growth oak tree, the refuge’s board and a group of dignitaries “turned dirt” on the property, launching the building phase of a project that has been in […]

Panther numbers increasing due to conservation efforts

Panther numbers increasing due to conservation efforts

Panthers have plenty of options when it comes to preying on wildlife. But there are instances when they will target domesticated animals, including pets. That’s called depredation, according to Carli Segelson, who works within the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. Read the full article in the May […]

Shorebird season underway at Gulf Islands

Shorebird season underway at Gulf Islands

The first shorebird nest was discovered at Gulf Islands National Seashore late last week, meaning shorebird season is officially back. The seashore provides a nesting habit for several species of ground nesting shorebirds, including least terns, snowy plovers, Wilson’s plovers and black skimmers. Read the full article in the Mar. 15 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Cold snap stuns beach wildlife

Cold snap stuns beach wildlife

Despite the sun beaming down from a nearly cloudless sky, sheets of ice still were still lingering around the edges of tidal pools along Santa Rosa Sound at midmorning last Friday. Standing at the water’s edge, Jeff Waldorf looks like something out of a science fiction film. He slowly turns his head back and forth, […]

Recreational options abound at Eglin

Recreational options abound at Eglin

For more than 50 years, military land has been open to the public for outdoor recreational activities, and that includes the Eglin Air Force Base Reservation at Jackson Guard. The Sikes Act triggered that opening in 1960, ensuring that wildlife and natural resources on military lands are protected and enhanced. Chris Johansen, a wildlife biologist […]

Blackwater State Park popular destination for outdoor lovers

Blackwater State Park popular destination for outdoor lovers

Mention Florida and sunshine and sandy beaches come to mind. But the Blackwater River State Park is far from a hidden treasure. Contrary to what some may think, it’s a destination hot spot. “We get quite a bit of attention,” especially in the hot, summer months,” Park Services Specialist Darryl Hatfield said.  “At the state […]

Wildlife refuge joins #GivingTuesday

Wildlife refuge joins #GivingTuesday

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) Tuesday will be accepting donations to support their residents and future visitors at their new facility in Holley. The donation drive is part of #GivingTuesday, a global fundraising movement for nonprofits that follows the Thanksgiving shopping weekend. ECWR is a rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 1,200 sick, injured or […]

Hunting creates memories, aids wildlife conservation

Hunting creates memories, aids wildlife conservation

Hunting season begins this week for deer and turkey in this part of Florida, and there is no shortage of opportunities for those who love to hunt. “Florida is blessed to have nearly 6 million acres of public hunting land, and even if you don’t have a quota hunt permit, there are still wildlife management […]

Coyote sightings put area residents on edge

Coyote sightings put area residents on edge

  In Navarre, the common wildlife concern is black bears. They steal from backyard bird feeders, overturn garbage cans and cause complaints, but they are not the only large predator roaming our area. Coyotes have been reported in Florida since the 1970s, and for residents of the Navarre Shores subdivision they have become a nuisance, […]

Unlikely guest checks into wildlife refuge

Unlikely guest checks into wildlife refuge

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge has an unusual guest in its care: a red-footed booby. Unlike the refuge’s usual residents, this strangely named bird is by no means native to the area. As the name suggests, these birds have scarlet feet similar to those of a duck, long white wings and a bright blue beak […]

Volunteers are key in Gulf Islands cleanup

Volunteers are key in Gulf Islands cleanup

Gulf Islands National Seashore offers visitors opportunities to see wildlife and enjoy water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. Keeping the seashore looking great isn’t easy, however, and the efforts to do so go on throughout the year. “It’s a never-ending job,” Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown said. “We’ll do a […]

Biologist aims to curb bear-human conflicts

Biologist aims to curb bear-human conflicts

Mike Orlando has worked as a bear biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for more than 20 years and has been involved in his fair share of encounters with bears. It comes with the territory of his job. Read the full article in the April 13 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online […]

County rejects BearWise funding

County rejects BearWise funding

Santa Rosa County had to decide if accepting the $150,000 in funding from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to implement the BearWise Safety program was worth it. Turns out it’s not. The board of county commissioners voted at its meeting Thursday to turn down the funds, which would have been matched by the […]

Wildlife Management Areas have come a long way

Wildlife Management Areas have come a long way

One purchase of land in 1941 has blossomed into something that now serves as a home for some of Florida’s most well-known and threatened wildlife species. It also provides a place for hunters and anglers to enjoy while allowing others to take advantage of golden wildlife viewing opportunities. Wildlife Management Areas now cover nearly 6 […]

Wildlife refuge eyes Holley for relocation

Wildlife refuge eyes Holley for relocation

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is looking for a new home, and they have set their sights on a 2 acre piece of property in Holley that has been offered up as a donation. The refuge, which rescues and rehabilitates a variety of animals in the Panhandle, has called Okaloosa Island home for approximately six […]

County weighs company for reef expansion project

County weighs company for reef expansion project

Expansion of Navarre Beach’s two artificial reefs could be a step closer if the Board of County Commissioners votes Thursday to select Taylor Engineering to guide the project toward completion. Paid for in part by a Deepwater Horizon Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) grant, the reef expansion would add 60 modules to the existing snorkel […]

Flight to freedom: Rehabilitated pelicans form new forever flock

Flight to freedom: Rehabilitated pelicans form new forever flock

As the sun set over a silent stretch of East Bay in Holley, three juvenile pelicans took flight toward freedom for the first time in months Wednesday, Nov. 16, during a hard release by the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. The trio came to the refuge roughly two months ago, each in a less than healthy […]

Thanksgiving hunting tradition provides wide range of benefits

Thanksgiving hunting tradition provides wide range of benefits

Thanksgiving Day isn’t just about turkey for many. Deer hunting is also popular in Florida, with hunters hitting the great outdoors throughout the holiday weekend now that deer season is underway. “White-tailed deer are the most popular game species in Florida,” said Tammy Sapp of the Division of Hunting and Game Management for the Florida […]

Venomous reptile regulations changes approved

Venomous reptile regulations changes approved

Draft rule changes were approved to existing venomous reptile regulations at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission earlier this month. Public safety was the driving force behind the change. “Public safety is our No. 1 priority when it comes to venomous reptiles and their lawful possession,” said Robert Klepper, a public information officer for […]

Volunteers play critical role in operation of national parks

Volunteers play critical role in operation of national parks

Paula Lamont strikes up a conversation with a couple who are on vacation in Florida while inside the visitor’s center at Fort Pickens Friday morning. The couple discusses the trip they are on and how they plan to head north next to hit a few more historical sites. Lamont mentions her experiences at some of […]

Bioblitz, a science-fantastic hit for all ages

Bioblitz, a  science-fantastic hit for all ages

It didn’t take long for the interest in science to be generated at the inaugural Bioblitz May 21 at Naval Live Oaks, which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. “Right before the start, we had a broadhead Gecko sitting there and everyone just started taking pictures,” said Susan Teel, the Chief of Resource […]

Hawk surprises cat while protecting its nest

Hawk surprises cat while protecting its nest

Near the corner of Perch Street and Eagle Lane in Holley by the Sea, a hawk protecting her nest of babies sent a warning message to an unsuspecting cat. The cat was not injured and appeared to be completely caught by surprise. Click here to view photos featured in the April 28 issue of Navarre […]

‘Look who’s 1’

‘Look who’s 1’

One of the Gulf Breeze Zoo’s reticulated giraffes, Gideon, celebrated his first birthday Sunday. Gideon was born March 27, 2015 and is the second offspring of Gabby and Geronimo. Other spring arrivals include a baby golden-headed lion tamarin born March 1. These tiny endangered monkeys are native to rainforests of eastern Brazil. The pond in […]

Eagle nest numbers continue to grow

Eagle nest numbers continue to grow

The health of bald eagles in the state of Florida has improved significantly in 40-plus years. Nests are being observed throughout Florida this year, including in Santa Rosa County. It is the first survey since the 2011-12 nesting season. Another month remains in the current nesting season so the numbers have yet to be updated. […]

Sharks tagged and released for Team American Kayaker

Sharks tagged and released for Team American Kayaker

It was a busy Sunday for a group of local fishermen as they caught a total of seven sharks off Navarre Beach for Team American Kayaker. This included a 10-foot Dusky shark caught by 12-year-old Tyler Gamble of Hurlburt Field. The shark was the largest one caught by the group who tagged and released all […]

Bear attacks dog in Navarre

Bear attacks dog in Navarre

Judith Christensen arrived home the night of Nov. 24 and went about her usual routine of letting her dog outside in the backyard of her home on Valley Road in Navarre. What she wasn’t aware of was that there was a bear lurking in the darkness of the evening and it quickly attacked the toy […]