Saw Palmetto Berries… illegal harvesting

It’s that time of year again… illegal harvesting of saw palmetto berries….

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Saw Palmetto Berries

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service, the widespread of illegally harvesting of these berries is depleting a wildlife food source and threatening the stability of some ecosystems.

In July of 2017, FDACS now requires any private landowners to retain a Native Plant Harvesting Permit, possible reason being is that the saw palmetto has been added to the state’s list of commercially exploited plants.

A landowner harvesting saw palmetto berries for sale or a contracted harvester working on either public or private land must obtain a Native Plant Harvesting Permit from the Division of Plant Industry.

http://www.floridafarmbureau.org/new-saw-palmetto-berry-harvesting-rule/

FWC Law Enforcement Weekly Report for September 7, 2018, through September 20, 2018, recent cases for illegal harvested saw palmetto berries:

  • Bay County
    • 200 pounds harvested
    • private property
  • Walton County
    • no pounds we recorded
    • State Park
  • Santa Rosa County
    • 600 pounds
    • Wildlife Management Area
  • Duval County
    • no pounds recorded
    • State Park
  • Hillsborough County
    • no pounds recorded
    • private property
  • Marion County
    • no pounds recorded
    • State Park
  • Marion County
    • no pounds recorded
    • Wildlife Management Area
  • Palm Beach County
    • no pounds recorded
    • Wildlife Management Area

If you see people harvesting these berries..

CALL the FWC hotline, many species of wildlife depend on these berries.

888-404-FWCC (3922)


https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2123cf3

 

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Baby Gators… Survival vs Nature

Breeding season ended in May/June, nesting was in July/August and with the incubation period that lasted up to 68 days, hatchlings are breaking out of their shells to make their way into the world while being supervised and guarded by their mother who is close by.

The mother can produce an average of 30-40 eggs… however a good percentage of them may be crushed by their mother or taken by raccoons.

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American Alligator Hatchling | September 4 2018 | Canon 7D Mark II | Canon 400mm | Canon 2x extender

Mother gators are very protective of their young, so keep your distance around any water areas like ponds and lakes and having a good telephoto lens is a good idea.

Raccoons, otters and even birds are main predators for these little ones.  It is sad to think that these little hatchlings, as cute as they are, most will not survive to reach a year old.

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Possible Gator Nest | September 2018

The nests looks like a mound of grass and other vegetation and usually close to water. The mother gator will continue to use the nest to protect her young from the cold winter months as well as from predators.


Links:

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/alligator/facts/
https://www.clearlanding.com/alligator-reproduction-and-nesting-facts/