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Creature Feature: Purple bankclimber

Creature Feature: Purple bankclimber

Not all of our Florida natives are photogenic. The purple bankclimber, a rare freshwater mussel, is an unglamorous inhabitant of only two river systems in Florida: the Apalachicola and the Ochlockonee, both in the Panhandle. It is a “bivalve” meaning it has two hard shell coverings with a soft interior and a hinge to open and close the shells.
Nature at Home: Longleaf pine

Nature at Home: Longleaf pine

Longleaf pine was once the dominate tree in the Southeast. It is estimated that it occupied 90 million acres. Now due to harvesting, conversion of much of this land to other uses, and the restriction of wildfires, it only occupies 3 percent of its original range.
Chronology of longleaf pine restoration on a North Florida site

Chronology of longleaf pine restoration on a North Florida site

Land owned by St. Joe Paper Company (St. Joe Company, until 1966) was planted in slash pine.
Creature Feature: Gulf Sturgeon

Creature Feature: Gulf Sturgeon

A threatened species, the Gulf sturgeon is an ancient fish that grows up to eight feet long and weighs up to 300 pounds!
Nature at Home: Backyard Birdbaths

Nature at Home: Backyard Birdbaths

Water is an essential part of healthy wildlife habitats, including our gardens, yards and neighborhoods. When creating a backyard habitat it’s important to provide water along with food and cover. Many of us, while at home, have spent more time watching birds, planting native plants for food, maybe putting up bird feeders to provide an extra snack. Providing a birdbath brings even more birdwatching opportunities.
Creature Feature: River otters

Creature Feature: River otters

River otters seem to embody playfulness as they roll and chase and even wrestle each other in their aquatic habitats. Weighing between 11 and 30 pounds, otters have been in North America for almost two million years per fossil records.
Nature at Home: Thank a Native Bee

Nature at Home: Thank a Native Bee

We can thank pollinators for much of the food we eat. In fact, about 80% of our plants and crops are pollinated by insects. We know and love our butterflies and moths as pollinators and often help them by creating welcoming habitats in garden spaces large and small. Did you know that bees and wasps are much more efficient pollinators? They do much of the heavy lifting of pollinating plants, especially food crops.
Creature Feature: Marbled salamander

Creature Feature: Marbled salamander

One of our most beautiful amphibians, marbled salamanders live in North Florida and only grow to about four inches as adults. Their preferred habitats include damp woods and areas with soft, wet soil.
Nature at Home: Virtual Panther Scavenger Hunt

Nature at Home: Virtual Panther Scavenger Hunt

Florida Gulf Coast University's (FGCU) Wings of Hope Panther Posse program invites you and your whole family to participate in an online scavenger hunt!
Creature Feature: A Rare Bee

Creature Feature: A Rare Bee

Thought by many to be extinct, the Blue Calamintha bee, last sighted in 2016 at Archbold Biological Station near Lake Placid, Florida, has been rediscovered! Believed to be among the most geographically restricted bees in eastern North America, this species was only known to occur in four sites within a 16 square mile area of pine scrub habitat at Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge