Category Archives: Ecosystem Restoration

Nurseries Restore Staghorn Coral in the Florida Keys

Wide-eyed, she said, “This is what it should look like? It’s beautiful!” Despite spending a year helping to restore staghorn coral in the Florida Keys, this was the first time my snorkeling partner, Christina, from Coral Restoration Foundation had seen a huge staghorn colony in the wild. We were snorkeling at Pulaski Shoal, one of the…
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Could a super snake emerge from Everglades pythons? New DNA study raises possibility

What started out as a straightforward genetic study of Florida’s invasive python population has turned up a surprising plot twist: a small number of crossbred Burmese and Indian pythons with the potential to become a kind of Everglades super snake. For the study, published Sunday in the journal Ecology and Evolution, U.S. Geological Survey researchers examined the tail…
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What is red tide? Why is it killing fish? And can it make humans sick?

We’re answering some of your biggest questions about red tide and its impact on Manatee County and Anna Maria Island. What is red tide? According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: “A red tide, or harmful algal bloom, is a higher-than-normal concentration of a microscopic algae (plantlike organism). In Florida and the Gulf of…
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How mangroves help keep the planet cool

Coastal scientists have developed a new global framework to more accurately assess how mangroves along different types of coastlines from deltas to lagoons store carbon in their soil. They found that previous studies have underestimated the blue carbon levels in mangroves by up to 50 percent in some regions and overestimated levels by up to…
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Global warming can turn monarch butterflies’ favorite food into poison

LSU researchers have discovered a new relationship between climate change, monarch butterflies and milkweed plants. It turns out that warming temperatures don't just affect the monarch, Danaus plexippus, directly, but also affect this butterfly by potentially turning its favorite plant food into a poison. Bret Elderd, associate professor in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences, and…
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Rare Florida sparrow could vanish this year and more birds could be at risk

The grasshopper sparrow, a tiny Florida prairie bird perched on the verge of extinction for the last decade, may have encountered a final, unconquerable foe: an invasive new disease quickly killing off its young. The disease has spread so rapidly that wildlife managers now fear another endangered sparrow, the Cape Sable seaside sparrow in the…
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