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Florida Wildlife officers save hundreds trapped by Harvey floods, rescue continues

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Florida volunteers have reached out to Texas in its time of need. The state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, including hundreds of volunteers from the Sunshine State, are continuing disaster response efforts in Texas, rescuing hundreds of people trapped by floodwater in the Houston area.

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Shark video could spur legislative action

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As state investigators seek more evidence from the public about a growing number of videos that showcase abuse of sharks, legislation may be filed that seeks to better define state wildlife laws.

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How to be July 4 ‘beach hero,’ give space to nesting shorebirds, sea turtles

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As people make plans to go to the beach for the Independence Day holiday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding the public to help protect beach-nesting shorebirds and sea turtles by giving them space and keeping personal fireworks off the beach. Please respect shorebird and sea turtle areas that are posted to protect these vulnerable species, but remember not all nests are posted. Shorebirds on Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts are nesting now, with many of…

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Newspaper ad calls on Governor to appoint non-hunter to state wildlife agency

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Florida animal welfare activists are calling Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a non-hunter to a vacancy on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). On Wednesday, the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) ran an advertisement in the Tallahassee Democrat urging Scott to appoint either a nature photographer, a bird-watcher, or an individual with a background in wildlife conservation to the FWC. A similar ad ran in Sunday and Monday’s papers, and also run Thursday as well, the final…

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Aerial survey shows increasing manatee count

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Florida manatees are thriving during this warm, sunny winter. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) count found the highest number of sea cows since 1991 and the third straight year of a minimum count greater than 6,000 during its annual flyover of popular manatee spots. A team of 15 observers from 10 organizations counted 3,488 manatees on Florida’s east coast and 3,132 on the west coast of the state during the aerial survey. That top’s last year’s county…

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Florida: Record number of manatees killed in 2016 by boats

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A record number of manatees were killed in 2016 by boat strikes, according to state wildlife data, but overall the number of the beloved sea cows increased in Florida this year. Data posted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission data show that 98 endangered manatees died by watercraft strikes between Jan. 1 and Dec. 2. The previous record was 97 in 2009, according to state records. A count earlier this year found about 6,300 manatees in Florida, which…

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Florida wildlife officials vote against 2016 bear hunt

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Florida wildlife officials have voted against holding a black bear hunt this year at their quarterly meeting. After nearly seven hours of comments Wednesday from staff and the public, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted 4-3 against a 2016 hunt. They also voted to have staff gather more information so that they could vote again next year on whether to hold a 2017 hunt. Commission staff had recommended a more limited black bear hunt this year in order…

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