Tag Archives: conservation

Cast of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Makes a Video for Bat Conservation

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Cast of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Makes a Video for Bat Conservation

It’s a little known fact that Florida actually has a cave system, complete with stalactites and stalagmites – and even resident bats. For a state known for its shallow underground water system that prevents most people from even having basements, air-filled caves are an anomaly. You can find Florida’s caves at Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, Florida, which is in the northwestern part of the state (between Tallahassee and Panama City).

Cave-ImageBats are often associated with caves (and also with Halloween), and the flying mammals were in the spotlight this week during National Bat Week.

Bats deserve their own week and all the attention they can get. For one thing, bats are frequently misunderstood and feared; there’s the whole vampire mythos, not to mention their prominence in Halloween décor.

Kid-friendly books like Stellaluna have helped us understand that not all bats ‘vant to suck your blood’! Stellaluna is a fruit bat and therefore a pollinator. Just like bees, bats like Stellaluna help to disperse seeds and pollinate hundreds of types of fruit trees, like mangos and bananas. Then there are the swarms of bats that frequently appear in my backyard at dusk to dive-bomb the mosquitos gathering there. Bats in the U.S. eat tons of insects, which helps decrease the use of pesticides and control some insect-borne diseases.

Bat White-Nose Syndrome Cleaning StationRecently I had the good fortune to visit Linville Caverns in North Carolina. Although this cave system differs from our rare Florida ones, one thing they have in common is a concern for the creatures that shelter there. At caverns around the country, you’ll hear about the fungal disease that is threatening bat populations across the U.S. White-nose Syndrome has reportedly killed as many as 6 million bats in North America, and is putting many species at risk for extinction. If you do visit a cave system, you’ll likely be asked to wipe your feet with a bleach/water solution upon exiting the cave, like we did at Linville Caverns. This is a precaution to help stop the spread of White-nose Syndrome.

Even celebrities are coming to the aid of bats. Check out this video hosted by Zack Snyder, the director for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and two of the film’s actors: Ben Affleck and Amy Adams.

 

Find out more about bats:

National Geographic’s 6 Bat Myths Busted
USDA’s The Real Story Behind Bats

Images: Christine Janesko

‘Hands Across the Lagoon’ All Point to Pollution

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‘Hands Across the Lagoon’ All Point to Pollution

On Saturday, Sept. 28, thousands of people joined hands along seven of Florida’s East Coast causeways for National Estuaries Day. They were participating in Hands Across the Lagoon, an event meant to create awareness about the declining health of the Indian River Lagoon and its effect on marine life.

Participants stood along bridges in New Smyrna Beach, Titusville, Melbourne, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and Stuart. Kayakers in Merritt Island also joined in with their own Kayaks Across the Lagoon event.

Hands Across the Lagoon began in 1989. However, scientists say bringing attention to the nitrogen and phosphorous pollution in the Indian River Lagoon is of pressing importance this year in light of the recent deaths of 110 manatees, 69 dolphins, and as many as 300 brown pelicans, according to an article from Florida Today.

Read more here: http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013130928005

Photo credit: Indian River Lagoon News and Events Facebook Page

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Police Officer Saves Sea Turtles

Police Officer Saves Sea Turtles

A police officer’s job is to protect and serve, and that typically applies to humans. However a police officer in Sarasota, Florida happily extrapolated that to sea turtles, according to this Yahoo article, “Cop Saves Sea Turtle Hatchlings at Florida Resort.” Apparently, Officer Derek Conley was on duty when he noticed dozens of baby sea turtles walking around the parking lot and front walkway of the Lido Beach Resort. The newly hatched turtles are attracted to light, and instead of heading to the ocean, they were likely drawn toward the lights of the hotel. According to the report, the officer and hotel guests acted quickly, gathering the 90 to 100 baby turtles in a box and releasing them into the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo credit: Mark Sullivan, NOAA affiliate