Florida Fish and Wildlife

Prescribed burns are a part of precautions taken throughout Florida to prevent massive forest fires by clearing flammable debris from the ground. They are meant to keep people safe, but one such burn was quite the opposite.

In the Panhandle town of Eastpoint, one of these burns grew out of control on June 24 and burnt down 36 homes. 

Wikimedia Commons.

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the future of shore-based shark fishing at a series of public meetings that kick off next week in Bradenton and Fort Myers. 

Florida’s wildlife agency will be holding a lionfish summit in the Fall. The goal is to find more ways to get rid of the spiny invasive species plaguing state waters.

Aaron1a12/Wikimedia Commons

More than 100 people have been waiting for temporary housing for almost two weeks since being displaced by a wildfire that burned through their tiny community in the Florida Panhandle.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Flickr

A firm hired by a state agency to conduct a prescribed burn sparked a weekend wildfire that burned 820 acres and 36 homes in Northwest Florida, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday.

From “smart traps” to underwater drones, Florida’s wildlife agency hopes five organizations will spend thousands of dollars in grant funding to find new ways to further target lionfish. The spiny invasive species eat fish native to Florida, have no natural predators, and can lay thousands of eggs over a short period of time.

Hurricanes and warming ocean waters have led to damage in Florida’s coral reefs. Now experts say the state’s corals are facing a new danger—an especially pervasive bacteria.

A red tide algae bloom is persisting along Sarasota County beaches. Background concentrations of the toxic organism Karenia brevis are typical in Gulf waters, but very low to medium concentrations have been recorded across parts of Florida's west coast. 

St. Johns River Water Management

Environmental officials are investigating a freshwater turtle die-off in Florida.

WQCS

An outbreak of red tide is killing fish along the southwest Florida coast.

Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill aimed at reducing the number of pythons and other invasive species that cause damage in parts of the state, including the Everglades.

The bill (SB 168), which Scott signed Friday after it was unanimously approved this month by the Legislature, sets up a pilot program targeting pythons and species such as tegu lizards and lionfish.

Under the program, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be able to enter contracts with people to capture or destroy the species on public lands and in state waters.

Chris Muenzer/Flickr

Wildlife officials say more manatees have died in a Florida lagoon plagued by algae and pollution.

Florida wildlife authorities want federal involvement in managing the state's growing panther population.

Florida Fish and Wildlife describes the Florida panther as a conservation success story as its population has rebounded to about 180 from fewer than 30 when it first was listed in 1967.