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Publication Spotlight

Smalltooth Sawfish

Sawfishes are among the most threatened fishes worldwide – Dr. Gregg Poulakis’s recent publication explains research on discovering what sawfish eat using gene sequencing techniques to identify prey taxa in opportunistically collected fecal samples. These results will aid management decisions and improve long-term recovery planning for the smalltooth sawfish.

Hancock TL, Poulakis GR, Scharer RM, Tolley SG, Urakawa H. 2019. High-resolution molecular identification of smalltooth sawfish prey. Sci Rep. 9(1):18307.

Man in water holding sawfish

Worthington's marsh wren

The Worthington’s marsh wren is a charismatic little bird found only in saltmarshes along the Atlantic Coast of the southeastern U.S. The species is listed as Threatened in Florida because its range has recently contracted by ~80% in the state. FWC research scientists Amy Schwarzer and Andrew Cox recently completed a study that showed the survival of marsh wren eggs, nestlings, and newly fledged birds is greater in areas with tall, dense grasses. FWC relies on peer-reviewed science for its management; Schwarzer and Cox’s peer-reviewed papers can be found below. 

Cox WA, Schwarzer AC, Tornwall B. 2019. Postfledging survival of the Worthington’s Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris griseus). Avian Conserv Ecol. 14(2):19.

Cox WA, Schwarzer AC, Tornwall B, Chicalo R. 2020. Tide and habitat features affect salt marsh songbird nest survival in northeast Florida, USA. Endang Species Res. 41:119-129.


Hand holding a small bird

Red drum and the role of birthplace

Does the site of where redfish are born affect when and where they spawn as adults? Do individual redfish return to spawn in the coastal waters they were born - resulting in their offspring using the same estuary they used when young? To begin answering these questions, FWRI research biologists with the Movement Ecology and Reproductive Resilience laboratory, implanted acoustic transmitting tags into subadult (teenage) redfish in the neighboring estuaries of Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor, then monitored their movements with acoustic receivers for three years. Learn the answer to these questions in the article Red drum and the role of birthplace on maturity movements and spawning location.

Aerial view of large group of fish