Urban Wildlife

Atlantic Vermilion Snapper and Southern Fla. Spotted Seatrout Seasons Close Nov. 1

The recreational harvest seasons for vermilion snapper in Atlantic coastal waters off Florida and spotted seatrout in southern Florida waters will close on Nov. 1.  These closures are intended to reduce overfishing and increase the population of vermilion snapper in the Atlantic and help maintain the abundance of spotted seatrout in Florida waters.

Red Snapper Population Set for Rebound

Holly Binns, manager of the Pew Environment Group's Campaign to End Overfishing in the Southeast, issued the following statement today in response to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke’s final approval of the South Atlantic red snapper recovery plan, Amendment 17A.

“This plan puts South Atlantic red snapper on the right track for recovery, and it is long overdue. This iconic species has been fished at unsustainable rates for decades, and this decisive action is required now to save it.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Continues, Season Will Extend Beyond October 31st

Although October 31st marks the traditional end of sea turtle nesting season, St. Johns County has four turtle nests on the beaches that have not yet hatched.

Therefore, in compliance with the County’s Habitat Conservation Plan, beach officials will continue to enforce rules associated with sea turtle nesting season, including keeping all vehicles off the beach between 7:30 pm and 8:00 am. Rut removal activities will also continue.

"What's Growing in St. Augustine" Project Pairs Children and Seniors

Through a partnership of the St. Johns County Health and Human Services Department and THE PLAYERS Championship Boys & Girls Club in St. Augustine, ten children got a hands-on lesson in both horticulture and community service. The students spent three weeks putting together windowsill gardens, and last week each student hand-delivered his or her garden to a resident at Emeritus of St. Augustine Assisted Living Facility.

Alligator Farm to Recycle Cell Phones at Holloween

As part of its popular annual Creatures of the Night Halloween festivities, The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park will host a cell phone recycling program designed to help the planet and raise funds for education. The Alligator Farm will partner with Eco-Cell, a recycling company that focuses on raising funds to save gorilla habitats and to help other ecological non-profits. During the Alligator Farm’s Creatures of the Night events on October 29, 30 and 31, Eco-Cell will collect used cell phones and will donate 10% of the value of each phone collected back to The Alligator Farm for conservation and education programs. Eco-Cell will also distribute free press-on tattoos to all children who bring in phones.

Visitors are invited to celebrate the season with family fun throughout Florida

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida State Parks is hosting a variety of fall festivals full of family fun this month. From Halloween alternatives to seasonal celebrations, Florida’s award-winning state parks are hosting events for all interests.

Keeping Critters out of Your Home

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- They can cause the kind of damage that can lead to costly home repairs. They are the four-legged critters looking for a place to stay warm.

"There are rodents, squirrels and raccoons always around this time of year looking for nesting sites," said Jeff Saylor.

Saylor, with Arrow Exterminators, said those nesting sites are in First Coast homes.

Saylor the entry points are easy to find; just look near the air conditioning systems.

"Service lines are easy access points for rodents to get into your home," said Saylor.

He said another weak spot is the soffit, the area under the eaves of the roof. 

"Rats can get through an area the size of a quarter, mice can get through about the size of a dime," he said.

Even a tree near your home can become an access point.

Saylor's advice is pay attention to the surroundings.