Florida Coastal fish species

By Tobey Curtis

Do you take your young kids to a daycare or nursery? These are places where we expect our children to be, at minimum, safe and nurtured. Nurseries help ensure survival and growth to a well-adjusted adulthood. It turns out that many ocean-going fish use the same strategy for their young.

It has long been recognized that numerous offshore fish, including important recreational and commercial species like bluefish, flounders, snappers, and sharks, are dependent on shallow coastal bays, lagoons, and estuaries as juveniles. These shallow, protected waters offer habitats like seagrass beds, mangroves, or marshes that can shield young fish from predators and provide abundant food. Then, as fish eventually outgrow their shallow nursery habitats, they transition to offshore areas where they mix with the adult population.

Shallow fish nursery areas, like this mangrove habitat, provide food and protection for young fish. Photo: Brian Skerry.

This is why it is so troubling to hear about ongoing habitat destruction and degradation in coastal zones. Any habitat alterations that reduce the abundance of prey or take away shelter from potential predators can reduce the “nursery effect, ” and may eventually reduce adult fish populations (i.e., through loss of recruits). Nearshore habitat degradation, therefore, can directly affect the offshore environment.

A recent example of the consequences of pollution and habitat degradation in a nursery area is the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) along Florida’s Atlantic coast. The IRL is considered the most biologically diverse estuary in North America, and is home to over 400 species of fish, many of which use the lagoon as a juvenile nursery. The lagoon is world famous for its sport fisheries for snook, red drum, spotted sea trout, and tarpon, and is a well-studied nursery area for bull sharks.

Now they released red wolves out

2013-02-02 05:15:14 by Batture

Red Wolf Recovery program
The red wolf (Canis rufus) is one of the world's most endangered canids. Once common throughout the eastern and southcentral United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the early part of the 20th Century as a result of intensive predator control programs and the degradation and alteration of the species' habitat. The red wolf was designated an endangered species in 1967, and shortly thereafter the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated efforts to conserve the species. Today, more than 100 red wolves roam their native habitats in eastern North Carolina, and nearly 200 red wolves are maintained in captive breeding facilities throughout the United States.

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