Facts about Wildlife Diseases: Bats and Coronaviruses

Tripart infographic showing a silhouetted pig, three bats, and an unidentified animal but presumably a civet cat in a blue panel on the left. Inside the blue panel are arrows leading from the three bats to the pig above and the civet cat below. Another blue arrow points to a silhouetted human figure centered in the white space between the blue panel on the left and a purple panel on the right containing a single sillouetted man holding a pitchfork and two additional groups of people, some adults in business attire and four children holding hands. Three smaller purple arrows point from the central human figure in the whitespace to the people in the purple panel.
Bats benefit both natural ecosystems and people. Viruses that live in bats can harm people, but transmission of these pathogens from bats to humans can occur only when humans come too close to bats. Recently, misguided attempts to preserve human health have led to persecution of bats. In fact, however, what will keep people healthy is to protect bats and their habitat. This 4-page fact sheet written by Holly K. Ober and Samantha M. Wisely and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation explains how protecting bat roosts can reduce the likelihood of future zoonotic disease pandemics while also increasing the natural pest reduction services bats provide as they consume insects that cause damage to agronomic crops as well as the mosquitoes that transmit diseases like Zika, dengue, malaria, and chikungunya. Finally, protecting bat roosts keeps bats safely distanced from people, whereas destroying their homes risks the health of both people and bats because it forces bats into closer proximity to people.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw473

Wading Birds of Northern Belize

A photo of a great blue heron wading at either sunrise or sunset.

Belize is home to over 605 bird species, many of them wading birds popular with bird watchers who enjoy their bright colors and charismatic behavior. Bird-watching is a major contributor to successful wildlife conservation and is important as native habitat loses ground to development. This 4-page fact sheet written by Venetia S. Briggs-Gonzalez, Jorge E. Ruano, Justin R. Dalaba and Frank J. Mazzotti and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation presents photos and descriptions that will help identify some common and some rare wading birds.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw469

White-tailed Deer of Florida

A fawn at a private deer farm. Photo by Tyler Jones taken on 10-13-15

The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is the most economically important big game mammal in North America and Florida. This 12-page fact sheet written by Raoul K. Boughton, Bethany Wight, Samantha Wisely, Karen Hood, and Martin B. Main and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation provides an overview of the various subspecies of white-tailed deer with populations in Florida and describes their history, biology, and management.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw121

Diarrhea in Farmed White-tailed Deer Fawns

A photo of a group of fawns with yellow and green ear tags

Diarrheal diseases, commonly called scour, are common in newborn ruminant farm animals including deer fawns. The clinical presentation can range from mild diarrhea without systemic disease to profuse, acute diarrhea associated with rapid dehydration and death, sometimes within hours of onset. Determining the particular agents associated with an outbreak of diarrhea is important for both prevention and treatment. This 5-page fact sheet written by Juan M. Campos Krauer and Samantha M. Wisely and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation focuses on disease in fawns caused by pathogenic types of Escherichia coli, describes the pathogens and how they infect fawns, and includes advice about treatment and prevention.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw463

Sea Turtle Conservation: 10 Ways You Can Help

A sea turtle on a beach at sunrise observed by four people standing at a distance.

All of Florida’s five species of sea turtles are in danger of extinction, largely as a result of people’s actions. Fortunately, however, there are simple steps Florida’s residents and visitors can take to help these remarkable animals. This illustrated 4-page fact sheet written by Jessica E. Swindall, Holly K. Ober, Margaret M. Lamont, and Raymond R. Carthy and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation provides 10 easy-to-follow suggestions for ways people can reduce harm to sea turtles.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw466

Sea Turtle Conservation: Priorities for Environmental Education Efforts

A sea turtle on a beach at sunrise observed by four people standing at a distance.

All five species of sea turtle that occur in Florida are in danger of extinction. This 4-page fact sheet written by Jessica E. Swindall, Holly K. Ober, Margaret M. Lamont, and Raymond R. Carthy and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation discusses common human actions that are harmful to sea turtles and provides insight on key environmental education topics.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw465

Mammalian Carnivores of Florida

long-tailed weasel

Florida is home to several species of animals in Order Carnivora, a group of mammals with teeth adapted to allow them to eat meat. Many of them, like panthers, you probably know about, and some, like raccoons, you may see regularly. But did you know Florida hosts two separate species of foxes? Two different skunks? Weasels? This 20-page fact sheet written by Raoul Boughton, Bethany Wight, Elizabeth Pienaar, and Martin B. Main and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation provides an overview of the mammalian carnivores of Florida from panthers to mink.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw464

Using iNaturalist to Contribute Your Nature Observations to Science.

Florida panther and kittens courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

iNaturalist is one of the most popular citizen science data portals in the world. Citizens can submit pictures of biological observations to an online data base to be reviewed by the rich online community and used for important biodiversity research around the world. Users can use the iNaturalist ap to plan community projects and bioblitzes and learn more about species identification and biodiversity. In this 5-page fact sheet, authors Matthew Earl Boone and Mathieu Basille explain how observations are vetted and used and give a step by step guide to get started! Published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw458

Wildlife of Florida Factsheet: Nine-banded Armadillo

Joe Schaefer and an armadillo UF/IFAS photo

Learn more about nine-banded armadillos!

The Wildlife of Florida Factsheet series was created to provide the public with a quick, accurate introduction to Florida’s wildlife, including both native and invasive species. Authors Simon Fitzwilliam and Raoul Boughton hope this 2-page quick guide and others in the series published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation will inspire readers to investigate wildlife in their own backyards and communities and understand the amazing biodiversity of wildlife in the state of Florida.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw456

Bats of Florida Poster

Evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis) from Texas. Portraits, Vespertilionidae, E North America to N Mexico

This poster, created by Meghan E. Lauer and Holly K. Ober and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation shows photographs of the 13 species of bats that are resident to Florida. Text associated with each photo tells the common and scientific name of each species, as well as information on the types of structures in which each commonly roosts.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw457

Wildlife of Florida Factsheet: Northern Bobwhite Quail

quail Steve Maslowski, USFWS

The Wildlife of Florida Factsheet series was created to provide the public with a quick and accurate introduction to Florida’s wildlife, including both native and invasive species. Authors Tyler Buckley and Raoul Boughton hope this 2-page fact sheet published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation will inspire people to learn more about the northern bobwhite quail and understand the amazing biodiversity of wildlife in general in the state of Florida and in their own backyards and communities.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw455

Wildlife of Florida Factsheet: Northern Crested Caracara

The distinct yellow-orange face and black crest of the northern crested caracara. Isabel Gottlieb

The Wildlife of Florida Factsheet series was created to provide the public with a quick and accurate introduction to Florida’s wildlife, including both native and invasive species. Authors Elizabeth Rose and Raoul Boughton hope this 2-page fact sheet published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation will inspire people to learn more about the northern crested caracara and understand the amazing biodiversity of wildlife in general in the state of Florida and in their own backyards and communities.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw452

How to Promote Purple Martins in North Florida

Purple martin housing should be located in open, grassy areas with no tall trees and should be mounted with a system that enables housing to be lowered for nest checks and maintenance. Photo by Pam Winegar.

Purple Martins are highly social, cavity-nesting birds. In the Eastern United States, a shortage of natural housing options has left these fascinating and attractive birds completely dependent on man-made housing. Author Holly K. Ober tested seven commercially available martin houses to determine what is best for martins in north Florida and provides recommendations in this 4-page fact sheet published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw450

Facts About Wildlife Diseases: Eastern Equine Encephalitis

mosquito
The Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) causes Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) disease in birds, humans, horses, and other animals in the eastern United States, including Florida, which is especially receptive to the virus because of its freshwater hardwood swamps and wetlands, which provide good niches for the mosquito vectors of the disease. This 5-page fact sheet written by Samantha Wisely and Karen Hood and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation describes the disease and includes strategies for limiting its spread.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw453

Florida’s Geologic History

fossils

Hundreds of millions of years of geologic processes lead to the formation of Florida. This 7-page fact sheet written by Kyle W. Bostick, Shelly A. Johnson, and Martin B. Main and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation describes the 3 primary processes that created Florida as we know it today: plate tectonics, carbonate production, and siliciclastic invasion, as well as major processes like sea-level change that continue to reform the morphology of the Florida Platform today.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw208

Did I See a Panther?

Florida panther and kittens courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Florida panthers can sometimes be confused with bobcats, dogs, and coyotes. This 4-page fact sheet written by Diane J. Episcopio, Elizabeth F. Pienaar, and Martin B. Main and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation describes how to identify panthers by their physical characteristics and their tracks and explains what to do if you have seen a panther.
edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw144

Securing Pet Food from Florida Black Bears and Coyotes

Elina Garrison grad assistant holds an armful of bearcubs.

The Florida black bear and the coyote are both prevalent throughout the state of Florida. The number one cause of human-wildlife conflict for these two species are food attractants, including pet food. This 2-page fact sheet written by Kelley C. Anderson and Elizabeth F. Pienaar and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation explains how to secure pets and pet food against both the Florida black bear and the coyote and keep people, pets, and wildlife safe.
edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw437

Status of Capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris Rodentia: Hydrochaeridae) and Potential for Establishment in Florida

capybara out for a stroll

Would you know what to do if you saw a two-foot-tall, 100-pound exotic rodent strolling through your neighborhood? It’s highly unlikely, but, depending on your location, not absolutely impossible. Capybaras, the world’s largest rodents, are native to South America but have been spotted in the state of Florida and may have potential to establish populations here. This 5-page fact sheet written by Brandon Parker, C. Jane Anderson, Christina Romagosa, Samantha Wisely, Daniel Pearson, John Seyjagat, and Katherine Ashley Sayler and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation describes capybaras, explains how they got to Florida, and shows where the semiaquatic, herbivorous rodents have been sighted so far.
edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw438

Building for Birds Evaluation Tool: Built Areas as Habitat for Forest Birds

A male Cardinal at a birdbath, sprinkler, and birdfeeder. Extension calendar 2007.  UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright

A variety of forest birds will use trees and shrubs in built areas as breeding, wintering, and stopover habitat. Scientists have created an online tool to help these birds and the people who appreciate them. This 20-page fact sheet written by Mark Hostetler and Jan-Michael Archer and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation describes the online tool and shows how it can help forest birds.
edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw418