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August 8, 2019

hatchling 850This summer has been flying by for our turtle team. We can’t believe it’s already August, and that means one thing – HATCHLINGS! On July 3, we observed that one of our nests on Morgan Beach had hatched! Upon excavating, we found that the nest was a very successful nest with 94 hatchlings that emerged, and only five eggs that didn’t hatch. Since then, we have seen the number of new nests slow down, and more and more nests hatch! So far, we have had 41 of our 104 nests hatch.

Every day in the field, we are checking all of the nests for signs of hatching! After a nest hatches, a depression will form in the sand. When we see a nest with a depression, we make a note of it, and wait 3 days. This 3-day period gives any hatchlings that may still be in the nest a chance to make it out as naturally as possible. After 3 days, we take off the cage, and carefully dig up the entire nest. We count the number of hatched eggs, unhatched eggs and anything else we may see.

Sometimes, there are still hatchlings in the nest that need a little help making their way out. We take the hatchlings out of the nest and place them on the beach, allowing them to make their way to the ocean. This process is super important because this is when the hatchling is “imprinting”. This means that the female hatchlings will know to return to the same beach when it is time for them to lay their own eggs.

Hatchling season is my favorite time of the whole season! It is so rewarding to see all of our nests starting to hatch and know that all of our hard work from earlier in the season is paying off. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds!

Laura Blessing
Turtle Intern

August 7, 2019

sims padel lessons 850Teens are learning about environmental science at Rookery Bay’s Summer Institute for Marine Science (SIMS) camp. It kicked off yesterday with a tour of the Environmental Learning Center and a kayak expedition on Henderson Creek. As part of their eco-studies, the students collected mangrove leaves while out on the water. More fun and science to come this week including pulling a boat trawl, a visit with scientists at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Vester Field Station and a snorkeling eco-tour at Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve.sims shirt

sims kayak

August 1, 2019

mangrove trimming photo850

Mangrove Trimming and Regulations Workshop

Sept. 4, 2019, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Spanish)
Sept. 17, 2019, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (English)

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
300 Tower Road
Naples, FL 34113

Register online
$25 fee includes materials and refreshments

This workshop will provide attendees a better understanding of proper mangrove maintenance, the value of mangroves, and the rules and laws that govern mangrove trimming. Attendees also will learn basic mangrove biology and identification. The course will consist of a combination of demonstrations, hands-on learning, discussion and lecture.

CEUS OFFERED: 4 CEP, 4 FNGLA, 2 FDACS (including 1 Natural Areas or 1 Right-of-Way), up to 3.5 ISA

Taller Sobre La Reglamentación Para La Poda de Manglares En Florida

4 de Septiembre de 2019, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
300 Tower Road
 Naples, FL 34113

Register online
Costo $25, incluye materiales y refrigerios

Este taller proporcionará información para una mejor comprensión sobre el mantenimiento adecuado de los Manglares, su valor, normativa y las regulaciones que rigen el recorte apropiado de los Manglares. Los asistentes también aprenderán conceptos biológicos básicos sobre Manglares y su identificación. La dinámica integral de este curso se centra en: Demostraciones, Aprendizaje Práctico, Discusión y Conferencia.

CEUS OFFERED: CEP, 4 FNGLA, 2 FDACS (incluyendo 1 en Areas Naturales, ó 1 en Right-of-Way), hasta 3.5 ISA

July 12

mural 1As part of a summer project, high school students from Marco Island Academy are painting a mural at Rookery Bay Research Reserve to help other local students better understand the coastal estuary environment in their own backyard. The 30-foot long painting accurately (as well as artistically) portrays the plant, wildlife and research science occurring at Rookery Bay and will be used as a visual teaching tool for Collier County Public Schools’ environmental education programs.



July 15, 2019

arizona850As an intern in the Communications department at Rookery Bay, my eyes have been opened to a different world. If you're like me and enjoy fishing, you're surrounded by a lot of animals and nature all the time. I have always appreciated my surroundings while out on the boat enjoying the salty air, vast waters and my favorite type of plant life - the mangroves.

Since I was a kid, mangroves always fascinated me. The way they are so strong, but yet so complex. Being on the water so often I never got to look at what's underneath the surface of the mangroves. I only zoomed in on the thought of where the redfish was and how I was going to catch my prize fish.

Walking into the Environmental Learning Center the “attention getter” is the large, 14-foot sculpted mangrove that is partially submerged in a 2,300-gallon aquarium. On the side of the aquarium, you'll find a climb-in "bubble" that puts you up close with the fish, and you can really observe how complex and crucial the mangroves are for providing the fish with a habitat.

The Mangrove Aquarium will always be my favorite exhibit because it offers visitors an experience that can only be found at Rookery Bay. It is unique, beautiful and incredibly detailed. Rookery Bay Environmental Center may be indoors, but this exhibit gives you a true feel of the environment surrounding it.

Arizona Birzgalis-Quintana, Communications Intern

July 22, 2019

abc7ABC7's Kristen Clarke stopped by on July 22 to talk about our Breakfast with the Birds series and nesting shorebirds with Audubon Florida's Adam DiNuovo and Rookery Bay's Sarah Falkowski for the ABC-7 Morning Show.

Click Here to see a clip.

Make sure to join us August 20 for the final lecture in the Breakfast with the Birds series - Water Quality and Seabirds - The Lost Summer of 2018

Register Now

July 1, 2019
turtle blog2 turtle team dock 2502019 Sea turtle season at Rookery Bay is currently in full swing with a grand total of 68 nests and 43 false crawls for the Cape Romano Complex. Kice Island is taking the lead with the most nests of the six islands – a whopping 30 nests! Each day, we are finding anywhere between one to four new nests off the beaches of the Cape Romano complex. In addition to the everyday adventures of field work, we have also had some exciting highlights.

June 17, 2019

Keewaydin Island coexisting nesting birds and caged sea turtle nest Peak nesting season for seabirds, shorebirds and sea turtles is in full swing at Rookery Bay Research Reserve. As different wildlife species settle in to nest on area beaches, they often end up practically side by side!

A visit within the reserve to Keewaydin Island offers a prime example of this type of coexisting beach nesting behavior with caged sea turtle nests and roped off areas for nesting Wilson’s Plovers and Least Terns only a few short feet from one another. Currently, five pairs of plovers are nesting on Keewaydin and 233 sea turtle nests have been discovered.

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