Date: 9/19/17 8:52 am
From: Tom Schultz <trschultz...>
Subject: [wisb] Re: impact of Hurricane Irma on birds
I don't think this has been shared here before, but here's a blog article
from the ABA about Hurricane Irma's effects:

http://blog.aba.org/2017/09/abarare-hurricane-irma-bird-round-up.html

Tom Schultz
Green Lake Co.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kris Perlberg
Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:35 AM
To: <arlenekoziol...>
Cc: wisb
Subject: [wisb] Re: impact of Hurricane Irma on birds

Thank you for sharing this information. I visited Everglades NP this past
January and thoroughly enjoyed exploring and birding the varied habitats. It
saddens me to think of the destruction and the impact on birds, wildlife,
and especially the ancient cypress trees. Nature is resilient and it is
encouraging to hear reports of birds that have survived this massive storm.


On Sep 19, 2017, at 7:44 AM, ARLENE KOZIOL <arlenekoziol...> wrote:

I know that many in the bird community in Wisconsin are interested on the
impact of Hurricane Irma on the birds and their habitat in Florida. I am a
member of Florida Audubon and I thought I would share part of the email that
all Florida Audubon members received from Eric Draper, the executive
director.
Arlene Koziol
Madison




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Trees severed the boardwalks at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and
narrowly missed the Blair Audubon Center
Help Audubon Recover
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An early report suggests that Burrowing Owls on Marco Island, a stronghold
for the Threatened species, survived the storm.
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Photo by Jean Hall




We don’t have a full picture of Hurricane Irma’s environmental damage to
our state yet. But we know birds and other wildlife and their native
habitats are resilient in the face of natural disasters. Human activity
clearly compounds the negative impacts. We have assigned our science and
research staff to report on the 140 sites that Audubon Florida manages, and
we are collecting information from others. Here is part of what we know:
Many birds were displaced by the storm - birds from the Atlantic and the
Caribbean were carried to our shores by Hurricane Irma and are being spotted
around the state;
The upland habitats of Southeast Florida and the Keys were stripped bare of
foliage in some places and toppled in others. These areas are usually a
crucial food source for the Atlantic Flyway’s fall bird migrants, who rest
and feed here en route to the Caribbean and Latin America;
Water levels in America’s Everglades are dangerously high and a massive
seagrass die-off has been spotted in Florida Bay;
Some coastal islands and beaches are impacted by erosion;
Erosion and windfalls also damaged tree islands and mature hammocks in some
places;
Wastewater systems overwhelmed by the storm resulted in sewage spills in
some communities, and some waterways and beaches are closed;
Polluted water entering Lake Okeechobee from the north and the south is
quickly raising lake levels dangerously high. In an attempt to reduce lake
levels, some of this polluted water is being discharged to coastal estuaries
to the east coast of the state; and
Most coastal nesting birds had already fledged their chicks, but it's likely
some flightless baby birds drowned with the extreme storm surge.
Many people have also asked about Audubon’s staff, centers, and
sanctuaries:
Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary remains closed and without power and
water. We lost many ancient cypress trees, some of which fell and crushed
sections of the boardwalk.
The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland is without power but open
to the public (accepting cash/check only). The resident raptors and patients
made it safely through the storm.
The Everglades Science Center at Tavernier in the Florida Keys lost some
trees and equipment, but the building still stands.
Our Miami headquarters, Tallahassee policy office, and Coastal Islands
Sanctuaries office are open.
Our coastal staff, distributed throughout the state are on the job, despite
power outages and debris.
All staff, interns, and most volunteers have been accounted for, including
those who evacuated out of the state.
We are so proud of those staff and volunteers who showed up as soon as the
storm passed to begin clearing away debris and restoring operations. And
we're grateful for the others, who went out to check on the birds they care
about, with early reports of Burrowing Owls on Marco Island surviving the
storm, American Oystercatchers migrating through Northeast Florida, and
flightless Brown Pelicans alive in their nests on rookery islands in Tampa
Bay.




Eric Draper

Executive Director, Audubon Florida

P.S. Hurricanes last for hours, but the work of protecting Florida’s water
and wildlife is a task that never ends. Thank you for being a friend,
member, and supporter. Please stick with us.
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