NBC News — Florida’s manatees are dying at unusually high rates this year, and experts said the sustained loss of a key food source is to blame.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s most recent report, which spans Jan. 1 to May 28, recorded 761 manatee deaths in 2021. Researchers are concerned that the current death rate could surpass the record 804 manatee deaths recorded in 2018.
“If this continues through the rest of the year, this is going to be one of the highest mortality years ever,” said Jon Moore, a marine biologist and oceanographer...
FORT MYERS, Fla. — One of the longest recreational red snapper seasons to date will begin on June 4 in Gulf state and federal waters off the Florida coast.
The upcoming season will run for 55 days starting June 4 and closing on July 29, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“We are excited about Gov. DeSantis’ recent announcement of this year’s 55-day Gulf red snapper summer season, it is one of the longest we’ve had since the FWC began managing the season in state and federal waters,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.
If you want to fish for red snapper...
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will update their regulations on snook, redfish, and spotted seatrout on June 1.
The three fish species were temporarily made to be catch-and-release only after their populations were severely impacted by the 2017-2019 red tide blooms.
On June 1, the following updates will go into effect:
Pasco County and Tampa Bay
Normal regulations will resume for snook, redfish and spotted seatrout in all state waters in Pasco County, Pinellas County and Tampa Bay.
These regulations are for all state waters north...
RAMROD KEY, Fla. — A coral species that once thrived, but died as a result of coral bleaching is being reintroduced to Florida’s Coral Reef.
If you’ve ever snorkeled or dived in the Florida Keys in the 1970s or 80s then you might remember seeing swaths of impressive elkhorn corals.
Healthy elkhorn coral.
Elkhorn coral thickets were historically abundant until recent years, when they died off due to disease and bleaching events, according to researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Coral Research Program.
The species of coral was nearly wiped out of population and Florida...
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Two weeks after getting hit by a car, a Florida panther is healthy enough to be taken back to the wild, officials said.
Researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Research Institute said that the panther that was hit in Central Collier County completed its rehab at the Naples Zoo.
The panther, named FP260, was fitted with a GPS collar and released back inside the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
Since his release, the panther has pinged about 2,108 different locations and demonstrated how helpful highway underpasses are to wildlife....