Saturday, October 4, 2014

Georgia and Florida give love to the reptiles

I'm still in something of an "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood, so here is some good news about reptile biodiversity from the University of Georgia and the University of Florida that I first published on Daily Kos.

First, the stories I included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Solar storm and aurora), beginning with University of Georgia: University of Georgia, Orianne Society form partnership for research, conservation.
Athens, Ga. - An international nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of imperiled reptiles and amphibians has partnered with the University of Georgia to collaborate on conservation efforts for these species and their habitats.

The Orianne Society, a worldwide conservation organization, is now working with researchers from UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources on several projects that focus on the conservation of reptiles and amphibians and their habitats. Mike Clutter, dean of the Warnell School, said that by combining resources, UGA and the Orianne Society are able to collaborate more effectively on a global conservation initiative.

"We both have a serious and sincere interest in the conservation of these species," he said.
Follow over the jump for examples of the Bulldogs' efforts to save endangered species of turtles along with the University of Florida working with crocodilians.

University of Georgia: UGA Marine Extension releases loggerhead sea turtle
September 10, 2014
Savannah, Ga. - Ossabaw was a little unsure of the sandy beach and the clicking cameras Sept. 8, but the loggerhead turtle that has lived at the University of Georgia Aquarium since 2011 finally made it home to the ocean.

"It went pretty smoothly," said Devin Dumont, the curator at the aquarium, operated by the UGA Marine Extension Service, a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. "It was a little distracted by the media trying to capture the moment, but once Ossabaw saw the ocean, its instincts kicked in. It kept going, and once it made it to the breakers it went on its way."
"Ossabaw was a champ," said Lisa Olenderski, assistant curator at UGA Aquarium. "We watched it swim away for a little while and I waited to see its head pop up for air a few times. It was a nice moment."
University of Georgia: UGA’s SREL scientists give desert tortoises in California a head start
September 9, 2014
Aiken, S.C. - Research scientists from the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory participated in the recent dedication ceremony of the Ivanpah Desert Tortoise Research Facility in Mountain Pass, California.

The 67,300-square-foot facility allows SREL scientists Tracey Tuberville and Kurt Buhlmann to collaborate with Brian Todd, an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis and SREL alumnus, in conducting groundbreaking research to give the local desert tortoise population a head start.

The team began recovery efforts in 2011 after being awarded the Chevron-funded project. Constructed by Chevron on land previously owned by Molycorp Inc., it is the first desert tortoise research facility located outside of a military installation.
Not to be outdone by its SEC rival in reptile conservation, The University of Florida, whose mascot is the alligator, posted this two weeks later on September 23 2014: UF/IFAS scientists count record number of threatened crocodile hatchlings in Everglades.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- A record number of American crocodile hatchlings have been counted in the Everglades National Park this summer -- a positive development for the threatened species, University of Florida scientists say.

The American crocodile was listed as a federally endangered species in 1975, and while reclassified as threatened in 2007, the species still faces problems from habitat loss and environmental changes.

Frank Mazzotti, a UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor, has monitored the South Florida crocodile population since 1978.
I originally included this story in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (MAVEN at Mars).

With this good biodiversity news out of the way, stay tuned for my Sunday entertainment entries.  There will be DOOM in them, I promise!

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