Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cold Critters

We've had record-breaking cold for an extended period of time, and our critters are not used to it. Friend Blair Witherington can be seen in a video (see Reference Links below) about cold-stunned sea turtles pulled from Mosquito Lagoon at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR). According to an alert sent out by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society, the Marine Science Center in Volusia County had received some 300 for rehab as of yesterday. In South Brevard, thankfully we have not had those numbers, but 13 were rescued yesterday, and this morning started out with a rescue at Long Point Park. Those of you in Brevard County - if you find a sea turtle that needs help, call the STPS at 321-768-1701.

Meanwhile, the manatees have sought refuge in a drainage ditch close to friend Wayne Matchett's house in Satellite Beach. This many manatees in this accessible a location is big news, and there have been a variety of print and tv stories about it - one issue is that it is illegal to feed them, but that's not stopping people from doing it, trespassing on private property to see them, etc. As is usual, it's not the critters that are the problem! We thank Wayne for sharing his wonderful pix, legally obtained!

All I know is, I've been in Florida since the early 1960s, and this is the first time I remember the water in my bird bath being frozen! Most of our wild birds, however, do not seem too bothered. Wayne sent photos from a drive he and Julie took through MINWR, and at least this roseate spoonbill is not wrapped in its snuggy. (They stopped at Sunrise Bakery on US #1 in Titusville, on that southbound stretch of Hopkins that goes through downtown - he tells me their breads are excellent. They dined at Dixie Crossroads, always a favorite. A field trip that includes beautiful birds, good food, and fresh bread sounds like a winner to me.)
From the Gulf Coast, this news from friend Suzi Fox, sea turtle volunteer extraordinaire. Permit holders from Lee and Collier counties rescued an adult leatherback sea turtle and transported it to Mote Marine Laboratory Rehab Hospital. I'm going to wait and do a separate post on this later this week - the press release had a thorough writeup about leatherbacks, and I want to share the whole thing with you.
As always, a salute to the many volunteers helping our critters through this disruption.
Marine Science Center (press release about cold-stunned sea turtles and birds)
Mote Marine Laboratory (includes information about the rescued leatherback)


Suwannee Refugee said...

Thanks for the photo. Amazing! I used to watch manatees float by on a canal in SB. I wonder if it is the same canal.

Vickie said...

I knew it was unusually cold down your way, but did not realize that some marine wildlife would not be equipped to withstand this kind of cold. I'm thankful for vigilant volunteers.

Unknown said...

I have been seeing so many species washing up dead on the beach since the cold snap. I saw many eel looking things down by Sebastian inlet along with a few stingrays and puffer fish. Up further by Hightower in Satellite Beach there were a lot of grabs and other types of fish. I think this cold will have long term effects that we can't imagine yet. I also notice that the Sea Grapes are losing their leaves.