Panhandle Outdoors

In Search of Horseshoe Crabs

Back in the spring, I wrote an article about the natural history of this ancient animal. However, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is interested in the status of horseshoe crabs and they need to know locations where they are breeding – and Florida Sea Grant is trying to help. Horseshoe crabs breeding on …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/06/in-search-of-horseshoe-crabs/

The Benefits of a Living Shoreline

Imagine this… You are a sailor on a 16th century Spanish galleon anchored in a Florida Bay south of Tampa. You, along with others, are ordered to go ashore for a scouting trip to set up a base camp.  You transfer over to a small skiff and row ashore to find a forest of root …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/06/the-benefits-of-a-living-shoreline/

Microplastics Awareness Month

For almost 40 years, the Ocean Conservancy has held the International Coastal Cleanup in September. Across the planet hundreds of thousands of volunteers clean marine debris from their shorelines.  The data collected is used by local agencies to manage this problem; such as discontinuing the use of pull tops from aluminum cans.  In the last …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/22/microplastics-awareness-month/

Wildlife Food Plots for North Florida

Big Buck on the Move – Photo Credit Shep Eubanks, UF/IFAS About this time each year the minds of sportsman and wildlife aficionados turn towards the planting of wildlife food plots for use by wildlife  in fall, winter , and early spring.  There are many factors to consider when planting a fall food plot if …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/22/wildlife-food-plots-for-north-florida/

The Bumble Bee – One of Florida’s Vital Pollinators

Cotton is largely self-pollinating but attractive to bees. Pollination by bees can increase seed set per boll. Photo by Judy Biss “The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.” Jacques Yves Cousteau Bumble bees are among the most recognizable types …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/22/the-bumble-bee-one-of-floridas-vital-pollinators/

DNA Barcoding Our Way into Understanding the Lionfish Problem

In the late 1980’s a few exotic lionfish were found off the coast of Dania Florida. I do not think anyone foresaw the impact this was going to have.  Producing tens of thousands of drifting eggs per female each week, they began to disperse following the Gulf Stream.  First in northeast Florida, then the Carolina’s, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/15/dna-barcoding-our-way-into-understanding-the-lionfish-problem/

The American Alligator: a new nuisance for the panhandle?

I recently saw a photograph of an American Alligator (Alligator mississppiensis) crossing Perdido Key Drive on a heavy rain day.  This encounter would surprise some, and unnerve many.  The majority of the nuisance wildlife calls I receive are for snakes.  I have never received a call for an alligator but no doubt, my colleagues in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/15/the-american-alligator-a-new-nuisance-for-the-panhandle/

Coastal Erosion–a problem with new solutions

Life on the Gulf Coast can be beautiful, but has its share of complications. Photo credit: Carrie Stevenson, UF IFAS Extension Life on the coast has tremendous benefits; steady sea breezes, gorgeous beaches, plentiful fishing and paddling opportunities. Nevertheless, there are definite downsides to living along it, too. Besides storms like Hurricane Harvey making semi-regular …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/25/coastal-erosion-a-problem-with-new-solutions/

Bay scallops: a boom and bust lifestyle

Many species of animals go through dramatic swings in population numbers over time. For some, these fluctuations are related to the dynamics of a natural symbiotic connection such as a predator-prey relationship.  A classic example of this is the famous snowshoe hare/lynx model taught to all wildlife ecology students. The lynx numbers follow the hare numbers with …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/25/bay-scallops-a-boom-and-bust-lifestyle/

So What’s Good with Local Seafood?

Shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico.Photo: NOAA Actually, if you like seafood – it’s all good! However, not everyone does and sometimes when this question is asked they are interested in not how it taste but where the seafood came from.   In recent years, there has been a move across the country to learn …

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Permanent link to this article: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/so-whats-good-with-local-seafood/

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