The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has reported they are getting several pelicans a day who have been paralysed by red tide. They are so crippled they can’t stand, swallow or even blink. Several have died from this of course. Of the pelican’s Conservancy officials treat, about 80-percent survive – but only with weeks of fluids, food, and a lot of care.
Most of the pelicans are coming in from the Naples Pier area.
I’ll have more on this story as soon as the Conservancy gets back to me. If you see a sick pelican, Fitzgerald says the best thing to do is to trap it with a bin or a garbage can and bring it to the Conservancy’s rehab centre.
I heard back from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida already, while they weren’t able to answer my specific questions yet because the people in the know are busy saving some pelicans, there were able to give me some interesting info:
There’s been a 250% Increase in Pelicans Admitted to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Since November (60 vs 17 in 2005).
The red tide appears to be the main culprit. Joanna Fitzgerald Vaught explains, “They’re very weak, they’re disoriented, they’re wobbly – it’s almost like they’re drunk, They’re so paralysed they can’t even blink, so even their eyes are stuck open. On December 17, we had five pelicans come in from the Naples Pier, and all 5 of them died.”
Fishing line and fishing hook injuries caused by careless line casting is also a significant factor
We (The Conservancy of Southwest Florida) had 35 pelicans at WRC right now and released nine today (12/29).
60% of all pelican patients this year have come in since November. Last year only 12% of our pelican patients came in Nov. – December
They’re still receiving 2 per day on the average and are having a 70-80% success rate in releasing them. Joanna Fitzgerald Vaught explains, “Once they’re released back into the wild, there is no guarantee they won’t be poisoned by red tide all over again.”
Significant Changes at the Florida Red Tide Coalition
Ghost crab on Venice BeachLots of exciting news for the Florida Red Tide Coalition!
The smallest but most apparent change will be our name. Since we’ve formally turned ourselves into a Not for Profit Corporation, we felt it was the right time for a new name to go along with our original, more focused, mission statement. The new official name is Florida Red Tide Solutions. Since we’ve already developed a web presence under the name “Florida Red Tide Coalition” and Florida Red Tide is what we’re all about, we may continue to “DBA” the Florida Red Tide Coalition.
Sunset Madeira Beach Florida – zoom we’ve refocused our goals, in doing so, we tried to answer the question; “If we could do anything we wanted, what we do about the red tide in Florida?”
The easy answer that we, and many Floridian, and the countless others that suffer from red tide exposure is a resounding: Cure Red Tide!
But what does everyone mean when they say “Cure Red Tide?”
How does “Reduce the frequency, duration and intensity or red tide blooms in Florida to their historically natural levels.” sound to you? Also, we believe this can and should be accomplished in two years after our start date. Also, we feel that red tide blooms that are in proximity to populated or environmentally sensitive areas.
Is this even possible?
Yes! Other countries have methods of preventing and mitigating red tide blooms they have been using for decades
A few innovative techniques are being developed right now in Florida that maybe even better than what the other countries are doing.
Do you want to volunteer?
All the methods being looked into taking very little time to start. Once they get started the results show very quickly. Almost anything would be better than what the government is doing to control red tide right now.
Currently, our government is starting an influx of new research. We believe a lot of this research will be precious and certainly should be done.
One thing that no one has suggested researching is more ways to mitigate and prevent red tide blooms
We feel these are the first things that should be studied, along with determining the exact cause of red tide blooms, should be the first thing researched, not the last.