Whales do it. Birds do it. Even sea turtles do it. In fact, every year some of the Earth’s most incredible creatures take to the road, often traveling thousands of miles, to find resources that are not available within a single area on a year-round basis. On Tuesday, June 7 from 7-9 PM, Master Naturalist Robert McConville will describe some of the world’s greatest animal migrations.
Take, for example, the adult sea turtles. In the spring and summer, these turtles migrate hundreds, even thousands of miles to Florida to mate and nest. The female of the species comes ashore at night to lay her eggs, on the very same beach where she herself was first hatched.
Manatee migration, on the other hand, is regulated by the animal’s core body temperature. A drop in water temperature below 68 degrees for any length of time and the manatee risks death. Movement to any one of Florida’s many freshwater springs, with a constant temperature of around 72 degrees year round, offers the manatees a safe haven.
How do you explain this awe-inspiring migratory behavior? Is it inherited instinct? What other forces of nature are at work here? McConville will be ready with a Power Point presentation and the answers to all of your questions.
McConville is a master naturalist certified through the University of Florida and is a member of the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism. He is the owner of Stepping Stone Ecotours, a group of environmental scientists who conduct tours at Big Cypress National Preserve, and also works as a naturalist aboard the Dolphin Explorer on Marco Island. He is also the author of the popular column “Stepping Stones” for Coastal Breeze News.
The McConville lecture is sponsored by the Marco Island Historical Society. It is free to members of the Society and $5 for nonmembers; all are invited to attend. Rose History Auditorium is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive. Make sure to get there early, as McConville’s past lectures have attracted large crowds. For more information, call 239-389-6447 or visit www.theMIHS.org.