This is the time of year where every creature, little or small, is moving. So it is important to watch where you are going especially in areas where you can drive through. Caught this one crossing the limestone road.
This turtle doesn’t grow very big.. maybe 3-5 inches and can easily be mistaken for a pinecone. So again, it’s important to look ahead when you are driving in places like Chassahowitzka WMA.
From the above photo, you can see the three stripes along the back of its shell. This one looks like it has been here for a while. Let’s hope this turtle can live for many more years.
Walking along the path I heard a croaking sound, a frog… I looked for at least 5 minutes going up and down the path trying to find where this frog was.
Looking more and more, focusing on the croaking sound, I noticed glistening within the grasses.
It was a call of survival. The frog had both front arms out for leverage to make it more difficult for the snake from swallowing it, the frog was fighting for its life. The snake was in much need of food to survive through the Florida winter season. It was difficult to watch, but this is nature, this is the survival of the wild, naturally. The fate of the Southern Leopard Frog is unknown.
About the Peninsula Ribbon Snake, a threatened state species
-Habitat: Generally near water, including mangroves and spartina (is a perennial deciduous grass which is found in intertidal wetlands, especially estuarine salt marshes )marsh as well as freshwater depressions and ditches.
-Florida Distribution: The state-protected Lower Keys population is known from No Name, Big Pine, Middle Torch, Cudjoe, and Upper Sugarloaf keys.
-Range-wide Distribution: T. sauritus, the eastern ribbon snake, inhabits non-mountainous areas throughout the eastern U.S. The peninsula ribbon snake, T. s. sackenii, ranges from southeastern South Carolina through Georgia and the Florida peninsula to the Keys.
-Conservation Status: Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge protects some habitat, but much habitat is threatened by development and drainage.
-Protection and Management: Protect all Lower Keys wetland habitats, from drainage, pollution, and disturbance by surrounding them with broad, terrestrial buffers. Protect underground freshwater lens from overconsumption, which would lead to saltwater intrusion.