The Audubon online magazine has an excellent summary of the story of the Seahorse Key rookery abandonment. It provides the up-to-date information on possible and likely causes.
The Natural Resources Defense Council posted a CSI story about the Seahorse Key rookery abandonment in its magazine onEarth. Thanks NRDC and all the other organizations, agencies, and media from the members of the Friends of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys NWRs. We greatly appreciate your attention to the importance and value of protecting the refuge that protects the birds and their habitat.
Meanwhile, those of us who live here in the backyard of the refuges even in the summertime are enjoying their beauty as much as the media are enjoying their mystery.
Since April, our Refuge Update page has been reporting on the disappearance of the birds from Seahorse Key. In June, the Friends News Brief mentioned it and several readers sent theories and tips about the possible cause. The Refuge staff appreciates those and is following up on them.
The Gainesville Sun recently carried a story about mystery. An Associated Press reporter came and interviewed Refuge staff about it and the story was placed on AP wire on July 7. The same day, the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC had a 4-minute segment about the story.
Here are links to several stories about the abandonment. Many are based on the Associated Press report:
Below is a link to a story that ran in 2010 and provides background about the rookery and its inhabitants.
We will keep you posted as new clues arise and data are gathered.
A piliated woodpecker digs for carpenter bee larvae in the bench outside the refuge office.
Then a mouse checks the piliated's work after dark.
We have a new page called Refuge Notes, on the tab Refuge Notes & Visiting. The photo in this first Note will dazzle you.
Though many of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys NWR volunteers were not able to attend, about 8 volunteers enjoyed a boat ride out to Seahorse Key and a picnic lunch. What a perfect day for the outing, with a cooling breeze, blue skies and low humidity. It was great! We volunteers want to thank the Refuge staff for the treat and for taking time out of their schedules to honor us with this special day!
Highlight of the day was seeing Roger McDaniels receive a well deserved “Volunteer of the Year” plaque for all his efforts at organizing the Brazilian Pepper busting team and all his outstanding work attempting to eradicate this tree from the islands and refuge lands. Good job, Roger! While there, Roger was able to find 4 more small Brazilian Peppers and pulled them up...
A special highlight of the day was getting to see a sleeping cottonmouth snake! Maria Sgambati told us where we might see one and she was right! Thanks, Maria! Thank goodness for my zoom lens!
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The official government websites of the Refuges are linked below.
The Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge
The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge