Florida is home to 145 Endangered or Threatened Animal Species. We’re taking a closer look at each of them, two or three at a time. Today we’ll look at a sea turtle, a shorebird, and a marine mammal.
Green Sea Turtle; Reptile; Chelonia mydas: Listed as a Federally Endangered species, these sea turtles are making an incredible comeback. Once nearly eaten to extinction, federal and state protections, along with redesigned commercial fishing nets, have helped this species make great strides. In fact, they may be moved from Endangered to Threatened, though retaining all their protections. Learn much more with the links below:
Green Turtle Nesting in Florida: MAP
Nesting Counts; 1989-2015
US Fish & Wildlife Service Green Sea Turtle Factsheet
American Oystercatcher; Bird; Haematopus palliatus: This shorebird is listed as a Species of Special Concern in Florida due to declining numbers. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) counted 1250 birds nesting in 1999, but only 1000 more recently — a 20% decline. Bottom line: Loss of habitat is the culprit. Learn much more from the links below.
All About Birds: American Oystercatcher
Audubon: American Oystercatcher
Photo: “Monachus schauinslandi” by N3kt0n – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/
Caribbean Monk Seal; Mammal; Neomonachus tropicalis (formerly Monachus tropicalis): EXTINCT. That’s right, nobody has seen a Caribbean Monk Seal in well over 50 years. NOAA officially declared them extinct on June 6, 2008, after a five-year study — here’s the News Release. Bottom line: They were hunted to extinction. In fact, they are the only seal species to become extinct due to mankind. I don’t know why they remain on the list, because no amount of conservation efforts can bring them back. Learn more from Wikipedia HERE.
So far we’ve looked at 5 of the 145 species on the Florida Endangered and Threatened Species List…only 140 to go. Please check back as we bring their plight to light.