In order to continue to turn on the light at the historic Cedar Keys light station on Seahorse Key, Federal law requires that the Fish and Wildlife Service determine if that would be appropriate and if it would be compatible with the mission of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge.
Below are a Press Release from the Refuge and draft "Compatible Use Determination." Refuge Manager Andrew Gude would welcome all comments from the public about the Determination. Please send comments by December 16, 2019.
Using drones to gather high-resolution LiDAR data, research identified evidence of a rare pre-Columbian bead-making settlement the Lower Suwannee Refuge's Raleigh Island, off the shore near Shell Mound. Friends member and University of Florida professor Dr. Ken Sassaman, his doctoral student Terry Barbour, additional graduate students, and FWS archaeologist Rick Kanaski published their study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences It is receiving widespread media attention.
The US Fish and Wildlife website highlighted the story with the headline -- "A Refuge Gives Up Its Secret".
Tampa Bay Times headlined, "Archaeologists with drone find bead-making settlements"
The Guardian says "Drone-mounted lasers reveal ancient settlement off Florida coast"
Smithsonian says "Using Drone-Mounted Lasers, Scientists Find Ancient Bead-Making, Island-Dwelling Community in Florida"
popular Archaeology says "Bead-making complex off the Florida coast"
Ancient Origins says "Unprecedented Find of Shell-Enclosed Settlement in Florida"
Our own Larry Woodward wrote this feature photo essay, Why I Took These Shots
His article is published on the newly revised FWS website. The FWS launched a new communication strategy to improve the public's user experience with the National Wildlife Refuge System and wildlife conservation. Larry's essay and outstanding photos are a perfect fit for the new campaign.
Jim Wortham is one of these biologist/pilots. He is part of the US Fish and WIldlife Migratory Bird Program and his office is at the headquarters of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges. He will give a presentation on October 28, at the Cedar Keys Audubon Chapter Meet and Greet at the Cedar Key Public Library a 5pm. His talk will describe how he and his crew use airplanes, helicopters, and ground crews to estimate the size of waterfowl populations and evaluate habitat conditions over 2 million square miles encompassing the breeding areas of multiple species in North America.
When he finally comes back in contact with cell service, all the stored locations from his time "off line" will upload and we'll get to see where and what he's been doing. It's a nail biting time, but we have high hopes he's just fine and we'll just have to be patient.
Dr. Kent is checking daily, so as soon as data comes through she will let us know how he is doing.
Until then, we'll be thinking of our famous traveling kite and watching his progress on the interactive map in this Audubon article. Scroll down to the map. It is updated when Suwannee sends data.
As mentioned in the post below, Friends of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys NWRs provided support to tag Suwannee, a Swallow-tailed Kite that is now migrating from the Refuge to his wintering area in Brazil. Stories about the research and tracking of the migrating birds have recently been published by Audubon and bioGraphic. Each site has an interactive map that allows you to follow Suwannee's migration. The map will be updated weekly. Enjoy!
Debbie Jordan, here. I am a member of the Friends Board of Directors. I am shepherding Friends' Swallow-tailed Kite Project. In the spring of this year, Friends provided funding to tag one Swallow-tailed Kite that was summering on the Refuge so it could be tracked during its migration to Brazil and back. Here is the background. Now, I have an update.
Stay tuned to the website for updates on his progress, as he makes his way to South America! We wish Suwannee and the other 15 birds of the Class of 2019 a safe migration with plenty to eat. Habitat loss along the flyways is a huge threat for migrating birds.
Articles about kite research are anticipated this fall in the Audubon magazine and other publications. We will keep you posted as more info becomes available.
Note from the webmaster: The comment below makes us want to clarify the post.
The video is a time-lapse. It is 33 seconds long and was taken as the Deputy Refuge Manager drove a little over a mile of the road at about 3 miles per hour to assess the flooding. The video looks like the driver is zooming, which as the comments says, would severely damage the road surface.
The flowing water, all by itself, caused erosion and damage to the road, which will be repaired when the flooding abates.
Refuge Manager,Andrew Gude, provides his cell phone number at the upper right on our home page. You can call him for an update on the roads if you are thinking of heading to the Refuge. As of Monday August 26, none of the Refuge roads are open.
Here is the original post:
Don't try this at home. Driving on flooded roads, especially the limerock Refuge roads, is never wise. Even if you don't get stuck, ruts you cause in the soft roadbed have to be repaired.
Refuge Asst. Manager Larry Woodward took this video when he assessed the extent of the flooded Nature Drive, giving us a rare look as if we were driving with him through the flooded Refuge.
The Refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk.
The Refuge Manager Andrew Gude can be reached by text or phone at 703.622.3896.
Hunting Information from the Refuge Manager
The print version of the 2019-2020 Hunt Regulations Brochure is now available at Refuge headquarters. For an digital version,
Click on the Photo Below
For Information about getting a Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge Hunt Permit and a Deer Bag Report, Click Here
To Apply for a Permit to Hunt on the Lower Suwannee Refuge,
For a copy of the Deer Harvest Log, Click Here
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