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leatherback sea turtleMay 9, 2013

Reserve staff assisted Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in the rescue of a leatherback sea turtle, a rare species to find on this coast of Florida today. A boater approximately three miles west of Caxambas Pass on Marco Island called the FWC to report a turtle entangled in a crab trap line and they contacted reserve staff member Greg Curry. After the trap line was cut in several places the turtle (a sub-adult) was able to swim free. This endangered sea turtle species nests on the East Coast of Florida and is known to dive deeper and travel farther than most other species of sea turtle.

Leatherback turtle

Read more about the Reserve's involvement in the Marine Mammal (and sea turtle) Stranding Network

bumblebee-bestNatural insecticides derived from plants can effectively help you protect your garden. Quassia, derived from the bark of the Picrasma quassidoes tree, is effective against sawfly, leaf miners, and soft-bodied aphids and caterpillars and does not harm bees, ladybugs, and other "good" insects. Pyrethrum, derived from chrysanthemum, should only be sprayed directly on the pest as it is non-discriminatory and will kill beneficial insects. Other low-toxicity pesticides include mild soap solutions such as Ivory liquid. Soaps can be effective against aphids, mealy bugs, scale, white flies, and red spider mites. Homemade plant sprays such as table salt spray, tomato leaf spray and  other recipes using a variety of ingredients (onion, garlic, hot peppers, pungent herbs) can also be tried. Consult an organic gardening reference for more information. Learn more about how Project Greenscape promotes sustainable landscaping practices through implementing strategic, science-based education and how you can enroll in one of their workshops!


-All-new footage and music will delight visitors to the Environmental Learning Center -

NAPLES– Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is pleased to announce the release of its new feature film, "Rookery Bay– A Special Place," in the auditorium of the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center on Friday, May 10.

The new 10-minute film, shot and directed by Elam Stoltzfus with Live Oak Production Group in Blountstown, Florida, will replace the previous version, also by Stoltzfus, that has been shown in the center since opening in 2004.  Music and score were composed by J. Robert Houghtaling of Marco Island, and narration is by Peter Thomas, who recorded the voiceover for the original film.


-Tour of the Reserve provided insights to benefits of Everglades Restoration-

Boat tourNAPLES -- Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve hosted the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board and the Big Cypress Basin Board, who met today in Collier County for the first time. The board members were convened to discuss funding for the operation and management of the Picayune Strand State Forest restoration project, the first of several Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Projects to get underway in south Florida.

TracLoaderRookery Bay Reserve Facilities and Resource Management staff recently went through training to learn the safest way to operate the new Trac-Loader. We are proud to see our team working together to make safety a priority!

yellow-jacket-hive-webMay 1, 2013

While staff and volunteers were working on the Cannon Island trail recently they came upon a very unique yellow jacket hive. No one had ever seen a hive this large or so unusually shaped: it completely encircles the trunk of the cabbage palm. While humans try to avoid yellow jackets because of their sting, this insect is actually an important food source for Florida black bears. According to FWC, about 15% of the Florida black bears' diet consists of insects, such as the yellow jacket.

Loon-field-note1-webApril 26, 2013

Staff and visitors out in the Reserve occasionally encounter wildlife in need of a hand. This loon, spotted on the Life's a Beach boat tour last week, seemed like a sick bird; however, it was probably just resting. After walking down the beach, the group returned to find it swimming off the beach. Upon discovering potentially ill or injured wildlife, a good rule of thumb is to give it some space and observe the animal to ensure it is impaired. If it is unable to walk, swim or fly successfully, it may need medical attention. Contact the Conservancy's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at 239-262-CARE for guidance on how to assist injured or ill wildlife.

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