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Conservation Updates

Eagle Audubon Society Conservation News

December 30, 2020

Below are two items of conservation interest. We hope to have more information in the near future to keep you informed, and who might be people to contact with your opinions.

EPA hands over wetlands permitting to Florida

Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida, December 17, 2020

Note: Eagle Audubon posted information on this previously when a decision was expected but not yet reached.

TALLAHASSEE — The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday approved a plan to hand over federal permitting authority to Florida for projects that affect wetlands, a move immediately decried by environmentalists.

Supporters praised the action as helping reduce duplicative state and federal permitting and giving Florida more control over such decisions. Florida is only the third state, joining Michigan and New Jersey, that have received the authority, according to the EPA.

“Our waters and wetlands are critical to our economy and way of life in Florida. As such, it is important for the state to be in charge and take the lead in their protection,” state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein said in a statement released by the EPA. “We are pleased that with the assumption, Florida scientists and permitters will now be accountable for state and federal wetlands permits.”

But Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only statewide elected Democrat, and some environmental groups criticized the decision, saying it will reduce protections for wetlands. 

Federal officials say Monarch Butterflies qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act but they won’t get it this year.

By Morgan Greene, Chicago Tribune, December 16, 2020

Monarch butterflies are still many flights away from federal protection. The popular black and orange butterflies were determined to be warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act, but they’ll have to wait behind others with higher priority, according to a Tuesday decision from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Illinois’ state insect could be listed in the future. The wildlife service intends to propose listing the monarch as an endangered or threatened species in 2024, if the insect is still found to need protection. In the meantime, the monarch’s status will be reviewed each year and an emergency listing is also possible.

“It is never good news when we find that listing an animal or a plant is warranted,” said Charlie Wooley, the service’s regional director for the Great Lakes in a Tuesday news conference. “It means there are tough challenges ahead. But a little bit of a silver lining with monarchs is that all of the efforts to conserve the species across North America have made and continue to make a big difference. ”

Monarchs’ populations dropped by hundreds of millions in the last 25 years, according to the wildlife service’s species status assessment report. The eastern population in North America, which supports about 90% of the population globally, is measured by the area the migratory monarchs occupy across winter clusters. Populations dipped from about 384 million in 1996 to 60 million last year. In 2013, they hit a low of 14 million.

To survive, the paper-thin insects must withstand drought, severe storms and rising temperatures, all exacerbated by human-fueled climate change. Insecticides are also a threat, as well as loss of milkweed and habitat — from herbicides, the conversion of grasslands to agriculture use, development and logging.

In the coming years, monarchs are expected to be more vulnerable to “catastrophic events” like severe storms and exposure to higher temperatures.

A national, coordinated effort is what’s ultimately needed to protect monarchs, said Tara Cornelisse, a senior scientist with The Center for Biological Diversity, which petitioned to have the monarch listed in 2014. Instead, the monarch is stuck in limbo.

“What we can do now is, unfortunately, we kind of just watch what happens,” Cornelisse said.

Significant recovery of the species isn’t expected, Cornelisse said, so there’s hope monarchs may still be listed — ideally before 2024. Forty-seven species have gone extinct while waiting for protection under the act, she said.

Join Eagle Audubon

Eagle Audubon Society Membership Form

Yearly Membership $15.00 per person – October 1 – September 30

Please complete the following Information 2020-2021

Name(s)_________________________________________________

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(Local Address)

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Telephone____________________Kings Point: Yes______ No________

Email address_____________________________________________

Off Season Address (if any)

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LIABILITY AND PHOTO RELEASE*

*In the event that we are able to hold in-person field trips during the 2020-2021 season

By this agreement, I the undersigned, have voluntarily applied to participate on field trips sponsored by the Eagle Audubon Society.  I expressly assume the risk of any harm that might occur directly or indirectly from travel to and from the field trip site and from any harm that might occur directly or indirectly from any forces of nature or wildlife that I may be exposed to that causes me injury.

In addition, on behalf of myself and my assignees, heirs, personal representative and legal representative, in consideration of the opportunity to participate and attend the field trips organized by the Eagle Audubon Society and being eighteen (18) years of age or older, I hereby agree to release and hold harmless the Eagle Audubon Society, and the National Audubon Society.

I grant the Eagle Audubon Society, its representatives and members the right to take photographs of me and my property in connection with field trips or other activities of the Eagle Audubon Society.  I authorize the use of same in print and/or electronically.

Member Signature________________________________Date______

Member Signature________________________________Date______

Please mail completed membership form and check for $15.00 per person payable to Eagle Audubon Society to: Julie Stocksdale 256 Silver Falls Drive Apollo Beach, Fl 33572

Programs

Eagle Audubon Monthly Programs

We welcome you to our monthly programs which will be held on ZOOM until further notice.  The meeting will begin at 1:30 PM for socialization and the program at 2:00 PM.

JOINING A ZOOM MEETING

For those of you new to Zoom there are excellent tutorials available and even ways to practice joining Zoom.  Click on this link:  https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-meeting

Here you can either read the directions or listen to a short video or both.  If you scroll down a little way there is a link to practice joining a meeting – click on this link: https://zoom.us/test

“See” you on October 15th at Eagle Audubon’s first meeting of the 2020-2021 season.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

“Social Hour and Introduction to Zoom”

Thursday, November 19, 2020

“Migratory Birds”

Rocky Milburn

Tampa Bay Sierra Club

Thursday, December 10 , 2020

“Plants for Birds”

Jacqui Sulek

Chapters Conservation Manager, Florida Audubon

Thursday, January 21, 2021

“Meet Mosaic: Insight into a Community Partner”

Nichelle Foster

Public Affairs Manager, Mosaic

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Liz Schold

Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail

Thursday, March 18, 2021

“Coastal Sanctuaries Restoration”

Marc Rachal

Audubon Island Coastal Sanctuaries

Thursday, April 15, 2021

“Spring Migration”

Kathy and Bob Andrini

 

 

 

Field Trips

EAGLE AUDUBON SOCIETY

Bird Watching Future Trips  2020-2021

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SPECIAL NOTICE 

There will be a birding trip to Fort De Soto for MEMBERS only on April 16 at 9AM. We will meet at the big flag as you enter the park..

Bring a mask. We will not be going to lunch together afterwards as a group.

Directions: Take 75 S to 275. Cross the Sunshine Skyway toll bridge. Stay in the left lane and turn onto Pinellas Parkway. Follow the signs to Fort De Soto Use your Sunpass if you have one.

There are tolls.

We have a Facebook Page and a Webpage. Both are good sources of info.

Financial update: For 30+ years our club has had as a project The Window In The Woods.. The building is in need of repair. Freedom Plaza owns it and has agreed to pay 75% of the estimate.

Our share is around $2000. This was not budgeted for.  The club will pay it but it occured to the Board that others may want to help out. If you think you would like to, you can email us at this email address. You can elect to be anonymous or let us share your name with our members.

The final news is that we expect to be resuming our meetings in person next fall. Watch for our brochure in September!

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Reservations: When in-person group field trips resume, reservations may be made at our monthly in-person meetings (when they resume).

General recommendations for bird watching: walking shoes, cameras, binoculars, water, sun screen.  Eagle Audubon will not be responsible for personal injuries or losses incurred by anyone while taking part in its suggested activities.

Eagle Audubon Bird Watching  

This year due to Covid-19 bird trips will be different. They will be “do-it-yourself”. Take your binoculars and drive to the birding site and enjoy. If you wear a mask, please cut the straps off, then dispose properly. Birds are getting snared in them.   Here is a list of 14 birding sites near and far.

NEAR

Window in the Woods—It is a house on a nature trail with bird feeders, so you are guaranteed to see some birds all the time.

Kings Point Closed Golf Courses and around the North Clubhouse and 2020 Building – All year around water birds such as egrets, cormorants, anhingas, herons, gulls and roseate spoonbills can be seen plus blue birds, cardinals, peregrine falcons, red shoulder hawks and an occasional red tail hawk. Get in your golf cart and go birding!

Sun City Nature Trail which is north of Window in the Woods where you can see a wide range of birds (woodpeckers, blue birds, cardinals and many warblers when they pass through.)

Camp Bayou in Ruskin—You are welcomed as you turn in to Camp Bayou by our butterfly garden. Stop and look at the butterflies and plants. You can see water birds since it is on the Little Manatee River. The camp is open Thursday through Saturday 9-2, and the Paleo Fossil Museum is open Saturday 9-12 where you can see fossils, mastodons, saber cats, and much more from the area.

Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve in Ruskin—You will see a wide variety of birds since the preserve has fresh and saltwater lakes. It is considered on e-bird as the best place to bird in Hillsborough County.

Bahia Beach Nature Preserve in Apollo Beach–It is a great place to see ducks and other water birds. Also, you can see hogs on the other side of the lake.

Calvary church (not on a Sunday) 1250 E College Ave. Ruskin

Swan Lake, Sun City Center

FAR

Lettuce Lake in Temple Terrace –A great birding place with the Tampa Audubon building near the boardwalk along the Hillsborough River. You are guaranteed to see some great birds, especially herons and limpkins.

Celery Fields in Sarasota—It is a gem for water birds with some special birds like soras, purple gallinules, Virginia rails and bitterns. If you want help, arrive at the boardwalks before 10:30 am and members of the Sarasota Audubon have scopes out and will point out the different birds. Near the Sarasota Audubon Building is a gazebo with gardens where you can observe indigo and painted buntings and, occasionally, a yellow headed black bird.

Felts Preserve in Palmetto—It is a preserve owned by Manatee Audubon. They have a bird blind with feeders where you can see indigo and painted buntings. Hint: Sit quietly for 15 to 20 minutes before the painted buntings come out. Also, along the little river, I saw a river otter playing.

Circle B Bar Preserve in Lakeland—It is a gem! First timers always say, “I never saw so many birds.” Lots of water birds.

Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg—It is the best place for water birds (can see a reddish egret dance). During migration, all the birds returning from Mexico stop here for food so if you want to see warblers, this is your spot.

Bennett Park, Bradenton- South on I-75 to Route 64 West. 1.2 mile nature trail.

 

HAPPY BIRDING! 

Committees

Committees

Birds of Prey Stamp Program…………………………………….. Sally Sutton

Butterfly Habitat: Various volunteers……… Coordinator Donna Carty

Conservation………………………………………………………… John Warbach 

Field Trips: Various volunteers………………… Coordinator Don Grozis

General Information……………………………………………………Don Grozis

General Meeting Chair…………….…………………………… John Warbach

General Meeting Setup………………………Nina Malinak, Joyce Andrews

Historian………………………………………………………………………..……TBA

Hospitality:

     Greeters: Various volunteers………….. Coordinator Joanne Finney

     Refreshments: Various volunteers……………………… Coordinators  ………………………………………………………………….Nancy Danvers  …………………………………………………………………..Linda Couture

Membership: ……………………………………Nina Malinak, Joyce Andrews

       Local …………………………………………………………………Nina Malinak

       National………………………………………………………………Donna Carty

Publications: Brochures and Newsletter………………………Donna Blaha

Publicity: ……………………………………………………………Dana Ellerbrock

Reports: National and State…………………………………..Anne Whitehall

Speakers: Various volunteers……………… Coordinator John Warbach

Website:…………………………………………Nina Malinak, Anne Whitehall

Window-In-The-Woods: ………………………………Vicki & Bud Bergeman