2015 Presentation Schedule

11: 30 am “Hidden Secrets of Florida Springs/Equinox – Documentary
Bill Belleville and Bob Giguere, of Equinox Documentaries will share their latest project

In their forthcoming film, Hidden Secrets of Florida Springs, Equinox Documentaries will explore the mysteries of these springs with rare footage — revealing labyrinthic limestone chambers, rare and endemic animals, and prehistoric fossils of mastodons and other Ice Age animals. But it will also bring to light more treacherous "secrets" that show how the flow of major springs has been steadily declining over the last 50 years, and why the once pure waters are often clogged with nitrates. The most closely held secret is that humans may have done more damage to our magical springs in the last half century than others have done in the last ten thousand years.

12:00 – 2:00 pm – Central Florida Zoo – Native species presentation
12:30 pm David Tetzlaff, Zoo Director and Chief Operating Office will present information on the new Black Bear habitat project being constructed at the Central Florida Zoo. The porridge is not too hot, and the chair is not too big, but unlike Goldilocks and her bears, the bed will soon be a new habitat at the Central Florida Zoo for three confiscated bears. There has never been a more urgent time than now to educate the community of Central Florida about living with the Florida black bear.  Our community has grown exponentially and we have encroached on a valuable and necessary part of our Florida ecosystem – the Florida black bear.

1:00 pm Mike Orlando, FWC Wildlife Biologist “Living safely in Bear Country”
Florida black bear biology and behavior, and the science and techniques used to discover the secrets of a bear’s life.  These discoveries help people understand and appreciate Florida’s largest land mammal. Learn about interactions and contact between bears and people in Florida – where, how and why they occur and how to ensure these interactions will be positive and safe experiences. For more information on the biology of the Florida Black Bear visit the FWC black bear management page.              

2:00 pm "Florida Panthers in 2015 and Beyond” – The status of the population of Florida's iconic state animal.  Lisa Östberg, Florida Coexistence Coordinator, Defenders of Wildlife

With only an estimated 100 -180 remaining in the wild, Florida panthers are one of the most endangered mammals in the world. Over the last 30 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has worked closely with FWC, as well as other Federal agencies and private partners to make significant progress toward Florida panther recovery. However, the growth of the panther population in recent years has come with challenges: due to the resulting geographic expansion of the population, the number of panther deaths on roadways has increased significantly and we've seen as a rise in loss of hobby livestock and pets as well, as panthers adapt their feeding habits to living on suburban fringes.

Lisa Östberg of Defenders of Wildlife will share information about the current state of the panther population and Defenders' efforts to foster the peaceful coexistence of panthers, livestock, pets and people in the ever-changing landscape of Florida.


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FWC Facts:
Snakes are predators, feeding on a variety of smaller animals such as rodents, frogs, insects, birds and other reptiles.

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