Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Critter of the week Sept. 27: Green Treefrog

 The green treefrog (Hyla cinerea)  is basically a constant companion of mine in the field. I end up seeing them in the wetlands, and I often have them hitchhike on my person or vehicles.  They live in almost any habitat that is wet such as swamps, sloughs, They are easily confused with another native species, the Squirrel treefrog (Hyla squirella). Gree treefrogs have a light  lateral stripe with distinct borders. If this line is lacking (which does occur) then look for small yellow spots on their back to distinguish them from their cousins. Treefrogs have toes that end with adhesive discs. Additionally their long limbs and fingers aid in their ability to cling to surfaces like twigs and leaves. Its range extends throughout the southeastern United States.  For more information click here!

To see a male green treefrog calling, click here!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Plant of the week Sept. 20: Pine lily

The pine lily aka Catesby's lily (Lilium catesbaei) is a beautiful flower that brings a pop of color to Panther Island's mesic and hydric pine flatwoods as well as wet prairies and savannas. This perennial monocot is found in the southeastern United States where it blooms in fall and early winter. In Florida, it is listed as threatened. To date, I have seen at least 15 in bloom in different areas of Panther Island.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Plant of the week Sept 13: American White Waterlily

The American white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) is native to Florida and can be found throughout the United States and into Canada. This dicot is a perennial, and I love seeing it blooming in areas where invasive grasses such as torpedo grass ( Panicum repens) have been successfully eradicated. I often see small frogs and insects in the flowers petals or sometimes on the pads themselves.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Critter of the week Sept. 6: Florida Black Bear

This week's critter is the threatened Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus), a subspecies of the more common black bear (Ursus americanus). Black bears belong to the family Ursidae which consists of nine species, three of which can be found in the United States (polar bear and grizzly bear are the other two but we don't get them here!).

Our black bear typically weighs from 250-450 pounds for males and 150-250 for females. these critters get that big as omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter; the majority of their diet is vegetation though such as acorns, nuts, berries, other vegetation such as alligator flag and even insects. The meat they eat is most often scavenged.

Florida black bears are faced with the serious problem of habitat fragmentation. They are forced to travel farther to find new food, denning sites, and mates. As a result of human encroachment in the form of roads, approximately 85% of bear deaths each year are attributed to road kills.Many of these deaths could be avoided by slowing down! Thanks to Linda Berthelsen for the photo above!

Click for more information

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Critter delayed!

So I managed to break my wrist, making typing a tad hard this week. Will get back on schedule next week!