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dolphin 250Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), in partnership with the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR), conducted their second of three field seasons in October 2018 near Naples and Marco Island, to estimate the population size of bottlenose dolphins in the region and to build a photographic-identification catalog of identifiable individuals.

sarah jill excavating 850

NAPLES, Fla. – Florida Department of Environmental Protection staff, interns and volunteers at Rookery Bay Research Reserve recently completed their assessment of nesting efforts for the 2018 sea turtle nesting season and reported more than 10,000 loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings made their way out of their nests at the Cape Romano Complex, south of Marco Island. That is nearly twice the number of hatchlings as any prior year since monitoring and nest caging began at the complex in 2006.

NAPLES (Nov. 16) – Friends of Rookery Bay will present a Holiday Shopping Spectacular from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24 at its nature store within the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road, Naples. The event kicks off a season of shopping for people who love environmentally-themed gifts. Proceeds help the non-profit organization support the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which encompasses 40 percent of Collier County’s coastline from downtown Naples to the Western Everglades.

symposium group 250Rookery Bay Research Reserve's first-ever Mangrove Symposium brought together 75 of the brightest minds in mangrove ecology to learn about and discuss topics including ecosystem services, trends and tipping points, adaptive management and restoration ecology, with a tribute to the late Roy "Robin" Lewis, III. The event included plenary and keynote presentations by Drs. Ariel Lugo and Robert Twilley, two "founding fathers" of Rookery Bay mangrove research. There were also a poster session, a robust discussion about a future publication, and field trips to see a restoration site and other mangrove features around Rookery Bay, which is considered the cradle of mangrove research by many.

science saturday 250WHAT: Science Saturdays and Eco-Holiday Crafts
WHEN: Every Saturday from October through April, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

Reserve staff are incorporating UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) in their research and stewardship efforts. This video was shot by our new equipment during testing on Sand Hill, which is one of the highest points in Collier County at about 22 feet above sea level! It is an ancient sand dune relic from the Pleistocene Era. This site was chosen to test the drone's effectiveness and manueverability in high winds. This equipment will improve our ability to safely and accurately map habitats, and also digitize the effects of prescribed burns, as opposed to taking photos from an airplane which is far more costly and logistically challenging. The two big white buildings you can see in the distance are the Collier County Government Center, and you can also see the Naples skyline toward the end. Enjoy the view!

spoonbill 250WHAT: Birding Basics & Birds of the Beach Workshops

WHEN: Birding Basics: Nov. 9, Dec. 21, Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 8 and April 12 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Birds of the Beach: Nov. 10, Dec. 15, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 9, and April 6 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

HOW: Preregistration is required, cost is $40 (Friends of Rookery Bay members enjoy 10 percent discount)

Ever wonder about the birds around you? Would you like to be able to identify them easier and better understand their behavior? November – April, Rookery Bay will host two workshops each month for birders – Birding Basics and Birds of the Beach.

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