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Going green

  1. Annual count of birds and bird species in Brooksville area is mostly a success

    Wildlife

    BROOKSVILLE — Sometimes the reasons for a shortage of a particular species of bird on a particular day are obscure and might include shifts in weather patterns or changing agricultural practices in distant countries.

    Birders, from left, Vince Morris, Caitlin Gille, Mike Liberton and Becky LaRoche discuss birding strategy at the shore of Bystre Lake, east of Brooksville, on Saturday for the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count.
  2. The forest as carbon offset

    Environment

    KLAMATH, Calif. — This winter, Yurok tribe forestry crews will be four-wheeling down muddy fire roads, hiking through steep, slippery brush and trekking across more than 20,000 acres of forest to count and measure trees.

    Mist rises after recent rainfall along the Klamath River near the Yurok tribe’s carbon offset project in northern California. 
  3. Dunedin's Honeymoon Island undergoing beach renourishment

    Environment

    DUNEDIN — Come spring, even more Honeymoon Island visitors than before will be able to watch shore birds frolic among beach plants and sea turtles nest along a sandier coast, officials say.

    Beach renourishment is ongoing at Honeymoon Island State Park. Crews place tons of boulders that will hold sand in place just offshore from the north beach parking area on Dec. 16. The park attracts more than 1 million visitors yearly.
  4. Feds release new winter regulations to protect manatees in Three Sisters Springs

    Wildlife

    On these winter days when Kings Bay turns chilly, hundreds of manatees crowd into Three Sisters Springs in Citrus County, huddling together in the warmth flowing from the underground spring vents.

    The number of snorkelers and boaters visiting the Three Sisters Springs to see the manatees has nearly doubled from 67,000 permitted visitors in 2010 to more than 125,000 in 2013.
  5. Treasure Island sand loss normal, experts say

    Environment

    TREASURE ISLAND — Visitors to Sunset Beach may be startled to find a large, exposed concrete and rock groin despite a $16 million beach renourishment project completed over the summer.

    Visitors walk along Sunset Beach in Treasure Island just north of the Mansions by the Sea condominium complex on Nov. 10. Recent beach erosion has removed some of the sand pumped onto the beach by Weeks Marine Co. of Covington, La., in a $10.8 million beach renourishment project completed over the summer.
  6. Bowen: 'Gotcha law' fuels cleanup resentment

    Environment

    Greener pastures shouldn't be accompanied by brown fields.

  7. Discovery TV show star and partner sent to prison for smuggling snakes

    Wildlife

    On his reality television show, Swamp Brothers, Robbie Keszey wrestled with scores of alligators, crocodiles and venomous reptiles swarming across his Bushnell snake farm.

    Robbie Keszey and Robroy MacInnes transported eastern indigo snakes, pictured, from Florida to Pennsylvania. And they shipped eastern timber rattlesnakes to Florida. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times]
  8. Rescuers searching for injured bald eagle in Clearwater

    Wildlife

    CLEARWATER — An injured bald eagle was spotted near U.S. 19 Monday morning.

  9. DEP upsets state park fans by proposing marina, cabins and other alterations

    Environment

    Three years ago, early in Gov. Rick Scott's administration, his Department of Environmental Protection proposed major changes in the state park system — mostly to add more campgrounds and other facilities, including a place for recreational vehicles to park overnight at Honeymoon Island State Park.

    Cockroach Bay Preserve State Park, home to mangroves and sea grass beds, is in southern Hillsborough County. But the Department of Environmental Protection’s public hearing on proposed changes to the preserve was held in Manatee County.
  10. Record-breaking 20th panther killed by vehicle in Collier County

    Wildlife

    Two weeks ago, when the year's 19th Florida panther was killed by a vehicle, experts warned that the all-time record would fall by New Year's Day.

    The remains of a male Florida panther, about 6 months old, that had been hit by a vehicle were collected on Friday in Collier County. It was the 20th Florida panther killed in a crash this year.