Miami Dade's Sea Turtle permit holder Bill Ahern is assisted by park staff in loading this big girl into the Turtle Truck

Miami Dade’s Sea Turtle Permit holder Bill Ahern is assisted by marina staff in loading this big girl into the Turtle Truck

This enormous female will head to the National Marine Fisheries Service where a necropsy will be performed to determine cause of death.

This enormous female will head to the National Marine Fisheries Service where a necropsy will be preformed to determine the cause of death.

Miami Dade’s Sea Turtle Rangers are not only responsible for surveying beaches for nests during the nesting season, but also the rescue of any injured turtles, as well as salvage of any dead turtles. Data from all the activities of the Sea Turtle Program is sent to state organizations to help manage and protect the turtles. It is very rare for the staff to encounter a green turtle of such a massive size, and equally odd for there to be no apparent cause of death.  It’ll be up to the National Marine Fisheries Service to perform a necropsy (an autopsy performed on an animal) on this poor girl and figure out what exactly what ended the life of this beautiful animal. Our thanks goes out to the Dock master of Miami Beach’s 5th Street Marina for assisting the Sea Turtle staff with this hefty mission. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Violet Blanket Octopuses wash up on Crandon Park beaches

The Violet Blanket Octopus (Tremoctopus violaceus) is a rare pelagic denizen of subtropical and tropical surface waters worldwide. Their pelagic nature makes encounters with this species occur infrequently. This week two females washed up on Crandon Park beaches, both were found holding underdeveloped egg masses. Usually females will guard the eggs in their dens until babies emerge. Afterwards, the females typically die as reproduction is the end of a female octopuses life cycle.  The eggs were not close to hatching, making finding these moms dying prematurely even stranger.

Violet Blanket Octopus with eggs

Violet Blanket Octopus with eggs

Sea Turtle Nesting Season is in full swing.

This Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nest is our eleventh nest for this year on Key Biscayne. Miami-Dade County conducts nesting surveys on Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, Golden Beach, Haulover Beach, and Fisher Island. These stakes and signage protect the nests from being run over by vehicles as well as being trampled on by humans. If you would like to see these babies after they hatch check out miamiecoadventures.com to make reservations for our hatchling release programs. Registration begins July 1st.

2014-05-14 08.14.10

Sandhill Crane chick approx. a month after hatching. Come on over and check the little guy out @ Crandon Gardens.

Sandhill Crane chick approx. a month after hatching. Come on over and check the little guy out @ Crandon Gardens.

Sandhill Cranes mate for life, choosing their partners based on dancing displays. Displaying birds stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air. Although each female usually lays two eggs, only one nestling typically survives to fledge. Mated pairs and their juvenile offspring stay together all through the winter, until the 9- to 10-month-old juveniles finally separate from their parents the following spring. During migration and winter the family units group together with other families and nonbreeders, forming loose roosting and feeding flocks—in some places numbering in the tens of thousands. Eggs, nestlings, and injured or sick adults may be hunted by foxes, raccoons, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, crows, ravens, eagles, and owls. Cranes attack aerial predators by leaping into the air and kicking their feet forward. They threaten terrestrial predators by spreading their wings and hissing, eventually resorting to kicking.

 

Learn the importance of keeping beaches natural.
Thanks to Audubon Society for providing the valuable resource.

Linda Lentin K-8 Center

Linda Lentin K-8 Center

In honor of the rapidly approaching onset of the sea turtle nesting season, one of our senior naturalist and Sea Turtle Ranger, Argelio Chaviano, teaches the kids at Linda Lentin K-8 Center about these fascinating creatures.  These outreach programs are being conducted at various title 1 schools, contact us to book your own outreach programs.

Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis)

Sandhill Cranes
(Grus canadensis)

Looks like our resident Sandhill Cranes have made themselves a fine nest on a small island inside of Crandon Gardens.  Typically gestation time for this species is about 29-32 days. We might get a chance to see some babies! Wish them luck!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.