Wildlife Club, (coastalwildlifeclub.org) is an
excellent source of information.
The loggerhead is classified as a
threatened species and the green turtle,
which also nests on our beaches but is
much rarer, is endangered. Just 1 in 1,000
loggerheads survive to maturity.
The U.S. Endangered Species the Florida Marine Turtle Protection
Act protect Regulations limit
the amount light homes and
businesses can utilize on the beach, and
prohibit leaving large items like furniture
overnight in nesting areas. Sea Turtle
Ordinances in Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota
counties are available from the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Commission at www.myfwc.
This gentle giant, sometimes called a
sea cow, is Florida’s state marine mammal.
These wrinkly gray and brown herbivores
can grow to 10 - 12 feet long, weigh about
1,000 pounds and can live up to 60 years
in the wild. They like warm, shallow waters
and communicate with squeaks, squeals,
chirps and clicks. Manatees are slow
swimmers and are threatened by increases or
decreases in water temperatures, destruction
of their habitat, and inattentive boaters.
The manatee ee is on the endangered e
list, and their heir populations are constantly
monitored. Learn more at at www.myfwc.com.
Florida has over 250 different species
of freshwater fish. Most of the species are
non-native, meaning there are very few
truly native Florida fish. Families include
black bass, catfish, gar, American eel and
tilapia. Some species are threatened and
are constantly monitored by government
organizations, while others are either
restricted or prohibited from fishing.
There are over 1,000 species of saltwater
fish in Florida’s waters, and most are edible.
More than 40 of those species have their
harvest regulated, and some species have
ies Act and
otect sea turtles. Regul
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A manatee snacking on mangroves in Lemon Bay. Photo by Kim Stanberry