Friday , April 29 2016
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Tag Archives: wildlife

The Icefields Parkway

The Glacier Skywalk juts out over the Sunwapta Canyon.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  The Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada, also known as Highway 93, is 144 miles of natural beauty, wildlife, tourist attractions, and, in high season (July, August), a moving parade of cars, RVs, and tour buses traversing this double lane road. Paralleling the Continental Divide, it runs from Lake Louise north to Japer and passes through both Banff and Jasper National Parks. We traveled its length twice, the first time, enjoying all it had to offer, took more than nine hours. The second, using it merely as a route from one location to another, took considerably ... Read More »

Marco’s Busy Spring

The soft, tilled sand is inviting to this family playing on the beach.

OUR ISLAND ECOLOGY By Chadd Chustz This spring, so much has happened here on Marco Island to remind us that we are stewards of our environment and nature’s inhabitants. Manatee Release  The manatee (identified as RSW1523) was rehabilitated at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa after being rescued on September 28, 2015, for watercraft related injuries in Roberts Bay. It was great to see this “little guy” being released back into the waters of the 10,000 Islands by the FWC at Caxambas Boat Launch Park on Marco Island. Read more about another manatee release in this issue of Coastal Breeze ... Read More »

Shred Party Benefits Eagles

Submitted Show your support for green space and wildlife. Show your support for the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary! IBERIABANK will host a document shredding event on Saturday, April 16th from 9 AM to noon. A $3 per box or bag voluntary donation will be collected for the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation (MESF) for the future development of the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary. Residents and small business owners are invited to dispose of outdated bank statements, checks, contracts, junk mail and other documents in a safe and secure manner. Shredding services will be conducted by Shred-it, ... Read More »

The 2015 Sea Turtle Scoreboard

Submitted Photo

By Kathy Worley, Conservancy of Southwest Florida Director of Environmental Science Great news, like my favorite football team the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50, sea turtles were a winner last year as their nesting numbers are trending upward! I recently attended the sea turtle permit holders meeting in Jacksonville, where basically a lot of people gather to talk turtles and discuss the 2015 highlights and players of the year. The main players that take to our beaches every year are the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), while the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) ... Read More »

Travel to the Canadian Rockies

Along this road was typical (yet, no less beautiful) scenery.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  There are several ways to visit the main attractions of Alberta, Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Many companies offer package tours with various options. Some feature just the area around Banff and the Columbia Icefields, while others cover more of western Canada, including British Columbia. There are Canadian tour companies that provide organized hiking or hiking/camping tours. Road Scholar (formerly Elder Hostel) has active educational tours of the Canadian Rockies. You know how organized tours go; up at 6:30 AM, luggage out and breakfast at 7:00, on the bus by 8:00; herded into any lunch or dinners provided. ... Read More »

A Sad Reminder: Dispose Fishing Line Properly

Monofilament carelessly left in the environment entangled this osprey,
resulting in death. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted A dead osprey was reported to be hanging from a pine tree near the fire station on San Marco Road this week. When city staff arrived, the osprey had already fallen to the ground. Its left talon was hooked by a circular fishing hook, and the body was wrapped by the line several times over with braided and monofilament fishing line. Even more heartbreaking, was the sight of the osprey’s partner perched in the tree over its dead mate. Reportedly, it was crying out for hours as its mate was hanging from the tree by the fishing line. Abandoned fishing ... Read More »

It’s the Law- No Glass on the Beach!

Marco Island beach signage reminds visitors to leave prohibited items at home. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted In 2014, TripAdvisor named Marco Island the No. 1 Island in the U.S. It referred to our island as “the jewel of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands.” Our beaches were also listed among the top 10 “family friendly” beaches in Florida. We attract thousands of visitors to our island each year and they all come to experience our six miles of spectacular beaches. All this fame and fortune comes at a cost.   Our beaches are under assault from litter and trash. Before you head out to the beach, let’s take a moment to review the city rules necessary to ... Read More »

Tigertail Beach Wildlife Tower Opens

In attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Tigertail’s new observation tower: (Front row, from left) Maura Kraus, Collier County principal environment specialist, Jeanine McPherson, assistant director Collier County Parks & Recreation,
County Commissioner Donna Fiala, Marco Island City Councilman Bob
Brown, Steve Carnell, department head, Collier County Public Services Department; (Back row, from left) Collier County Parks & Recreation Director Barry Williams, and John Fuchs, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff One of Marco Island’s jewels just got shinier. What better than a beachside park that features a great playground for kids, a café with great food, and a rental hut, which not only rents paddle boards, kayaks, and water toys, but can teach you how to use them? Well, Collier County and the Tourist Development Council just made our jewel of Tigertail Beach even better by adding a wildlife observation tower so you can have amazing views of the wildlife habitat, the beach, and even an osprey nesting on a platform nearby. The observation tower officially ... Read More »

Discover Pepper Ranch Preserve

COURTESY OF STEPHEN BRIGHAM 2015

Submitted Conservation Collier is offering free, guided hikes led by master naturalists at selected Pepper Ranch Preserve trails on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, April 23. Pepper Ranch Preserve is a 2,512-acre Conservation Collier preserve property that was acquired with the goals of protecting and restoring the native habitats for the benefit of wildlife, providing aquifer recharge, and to provide current and future residents an opportunity for nature-based recreation and education. Wildlife documented on the preserve includes the endangered Florida panther, gopher tortoises, crested caracaras, Florida sandhill cranes, white-tailed deer, bobcats, wild turkey and more! There are approximately 10 miles ... Read More »

Everglades Ultras Race

Submitted The fifth annual Everglades Ultras off-road running race has been set for Saturday, February 20 in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Registration is now open for the event’s three distinct races of 25 kilometers, 50 kilometers and 50 miles. The 50 mile and 50 kilometer races are the USA Track and Field – Florida Association state championships. This unique run through the Everglades has been cited by Trail Runner magazine as a “must do” race. “This is unique race venue,” says Race Director Bob Becker. “Runners will experience all the varied environments in the Fakahatchee Preserve running on raised ... Read More »

Discover Tigertail

Submitted There is only one place you need to be Saturday morning February 20th- and that place is Tigertail Beach. From 9 AM to noon, the Friends of Tigertail Beach will present their sixth Discover Tigertail event, which is free to all. Whether you go to Tigertail Beach frequently, or have never visited, you will be surprised at the information you will learn while having a fun morning. Specialists from Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Center, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Marco Shell Club, and others will be present. Interactive information stations will be set up at the park and around ... Read More »

Perfect Shots: Officer Frank Steiger

Frank Steiger’s dedication to his art is
evident in this shot of an alligator’s face;
To accomplish, Frank hid in tall grass a
mere 6 feet away from the predator. PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRANK STEIGER

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Many of the beautiful images of nature that grace the cover of Coastal Breeze News were shot by local photographer Frank Steiger. Frank is widely known throughout Southwest Florida, having photographed innumerable Marco Island weddings and events. He is often seen, camera in tow, volunteering his time and talent at the many community events for Christmas Island Style, the Marco Island Police Foundation, and other non-profit groups. But some of our readers who have enjoyed Frank’s photographs for years may not know that Frank is also a Marco Island police officer. Frank first joined the ... Read More »

Our Island Ecology

By Chadd Chutsz It’s Raining, It’s Pouring No man is an island, and Marco, along with the rest of the globe, is feeling the effects of built up pressure in the Western Pacific pushing back towards the east. The result for us is a relatively warm, wet winter caused by reversed trade winds extending a Pacific Jetstream across the southern U.S.A. In December, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported the Oceanic Niño Index, which compares ocean surface temperatures in the east-central Pacific to the long-term average, to be 3.4. This breaks the record of the last strong El ... Read More »

Come Experience the Everglades

Submitted Join us for a ride in the Everglades! This year the 9th Annual Everglades Bike Ride will be held earlier, on March 13, to accommodate our winter residents. Cyclists will have an opportunity to experience the ride of their choice, at their own pace. In addition to the bicycle ride, all participants will be provided a continental breakfast beginning at 7:30 AM, free bike repairs compliments of Bikes for Tykes of Naples, SAG support for the ride, tour of the historic Smallwood Store Museum in Chokoloskee, and a seafood lunch with a special treat of homemade desserts including calamondin ... Read More »

2016 Python Challenge™ Invasive Species Festival

python-pic

The 2016 Python Challenge™ is a conservation effort that includes public outreach on invasive species and a month-long competition to remove Burmese pythons from public lands in Florida. Visit PythonChallenge.org for more information about the 2016 Python Challenge™, including information on the unique Everglades ecosystem, and details about the 2016 Python Challenge™ Python Removal Competition, including competition and area rules, how to register, and training opportunities. Free in-person, hands-on trainings will be offered through Feb. 6. To report nonnative fish and wildlife, call the FWC’s Invasive Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1(888-483-4681), report your sighting online at IveGot1.org or download the IveGot1 smartphone app. For more information ... Read More »

Winter in the Big Cypress Swamp

Green heron hides among the mangroves waiting for its next meal.

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist Ah, the harsh winter climate of South Florida! So blustery, so cold that I had to wear long pants twice last January! I don’t know how people can stand it! Actually our climate provides a safe haven for many of our northern visitors to escape the cold and snow. These humans will take advantage of the excellent beach conditions, boating opportunities and great eco-attractions to keep themselves entertained over the next four months. Some will also take the short trip, less than thirty minutes, and learn about the fascinating areas just west of the Everglades. ... Read More »

Master Naturalist and Alligator Visit Rose Auditorium

Master Naturalist  Bob McConville and friend. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted You see them sunning themselves along the highway or hear about them visiting a neighbor’s pool. But what do you really know about our Everglades neighbor—the Florida alligator? Master naturalist Bob McConville continues his series of wildlife lectures on January 13th in Rose History Auditorium, this time focusing on the habits and habitat of this formidable reptile. The lecture, which is sponsored by the Marco Island Historical Society, begins at 7:00 PM and is open to the public. Joining McConville will be an expert in alligator behavior, ready to explain how these reptiles function in the wild. Also making ... Read More »

Our Island Ecology

A1-CBN-1-8-16-4

By Chadd Chutsz New Year 2016 brings a new column to Coastal Breeze News- Our Island Ecology! Enjoy regular updates and insights on Marco Island nature and wildlife, straight from the desk of the City of Marco Island Environmental Specialist, Chadd Chutsz. Burrowing Owl Chicks Arrived! The first chicks of the season have been spotted by Owl Prowl volunteers! Three fluffy chicks along with mom and dad have made themselves at home on a sandy lot just a short fly from the beach. Writer Rosanne Pawelec is kindly donating a portion of sales proceeds from the book “Ollie Finds A ... Read More »

No Fireworks During December Holidays

fireworks

In Florida, the only legal fireworks for use by consumers, who don’t possess a special permit, are the firework types that are known as “sparklers”. “Sparklers” include Sparklers, Fountains, Snakes and Glow Worms. Illegal fireworks include Roman Candles, Bottle Rockets and any other fireworks that act as projectiles. If it explodes or is fired in the air it is illegal. Why such stringent rules? Statistics show that the illegal use of fireworks commonly causes bodily injuries and fires to structures. Environmentally, they cause brush fires and disruptions to wildlife, such as nesting birds. A local example of cause and effect ... Read More »

Learn how to catch a python with free hands-on training in Fort Myers, Naples

People who live in southwest Florida can learn to identify and safely capture Burmese pythons at upcoming 2016 Python Challenge™ in-person training sessions in Lee and Collier counties. Training for Lee County is on Dec. 20 at the Olga Community Center in Fort Myers, with both morning and afternoon sessions. Can’t make it to the December training? You can still sign up for training in Collier County on Jan. 19 at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples. For those who can’t make the west coast trainings, more sessions are offered in different locations throughout south Florida in December, January and February. Training ... Read More »