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FWC Volunteer News Winter 2010-2011_Web Version

FWC Volunteer News Winter 2010-2011_Web Version

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Check out the Winter 2010-2011 issue of FWC Volunteer News the official electronic newsletter of the FWC Volunteer Program. In this issue, read about the Breeding Bird Survey, the FWC/Jacksonville Zoo Marine Mammal Rescue Team, the new NE Region Volunteer Program, and more!
Check out the Winter 2010-2011 issue of FWC Volunteer News the official electronic newsletter of the FWC Volunteer Program. In this issue, read about the Breeding Bird Survey, the FWC/Jacksonville Zoo Marine Mammal Rescue Team, the new NE Region Volunteer Program, and more!

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03/03/2011

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team as a whole, but because theindividual team members have somuch to oer.In 2008, the expandingrelationship between the FWCand the zoo organizations led tothe co-location o FWC biologistson Jacksonville Zoo and Gardensgrounds, including marinemammal, reshwater fsh, and seaturtle sta.  Being on zoo grounds– in what is now known as theJacksonville Zoo Field Lab – isideal or quick volunteer response.FWC biologists are looking tocontinue the strong relationshipwith the zoo through jointactivities, such as the JacksonvilleRight Whale Festival and otherprojects.Today, the Marine MammalRescue Team is running so strongthat participation is currentlycapped at 40 team members.“It’s a great way or the zoo sta to be directly involved in localconservation,” comments the zooteam coordinator Craig Miller.FWC marine mammal biologistscertainly appreciate all o theassistance rom the zoo rescueteam, and with the ever-growingrelationship, it’s exciting to think o what may develop next!
By Nadia Gordon
he Florida Fish and WildlieConservation Commission(FWC) is dedicated to managingfsh and wildlie resources ortheir long-term well-being andthe beneft o people. The FWC’sFish and Wildlie ResearchInstitute Marine Mammal Section,headquartered in Jacksonville,specializes in marine mammalrescue and recovery.The duties associated withmammal rescue and recovery aretime intensive, and, as a result,require the assistance o a broadand enthusiastic volunteer base.FWC employees in Jacksonvillecultivated a corps o volunteers whoassist with everything rom dataentry to marine mammal rescues.A truly unique relationship isthe one with Jacksonville Zoo andGardens. In the summer o 2006,FWC marine mammal biologistAndy Garrett visited JacksonvilleZoo and Gardens to providetraining in marine mammalassessment, rescue and recoveryand to explain the responsibilitieso volunteering with FWC.  Interestwas high and 30 volunteers wererecruited – many with previousanimal experience and allaccustomed to hard work.  This wasthe inception o the zoo’s MarineMammal Rescue Team.FWC marine mammal biologistsprovide regular training or thezoo’s rescue team, includinginstruction on how to saely operateequipment, and set up mock rescueevents, where team members arerequired to haul in a 50-gallonbarrel painted to look like amanatee.Having so many skilledvolunteers centrally locatedallows the FWC to make a singlephone call to the zoo and receiveample volunteers or rescues,transports and carcass recoveries.The dedicated veterinarian sta members at the zoo also play anintegral role in assisting, especiallywith marine mammal stranding.The zoo team is authorized to veriyand transport manatees, and is amember o the National Oceanicand Atmospheric AdministrationSoutheast Marine MammalStranding Network (primarilyresponsible or dolphins andwhales). Rachel Cimino, FWCmarine mammal biologist, notes,“A relationship like this is rare andvery special, not just because o the
FWC and Jacksonville Zoo set up jointmarine rescue team
–Photo courtesy of FWC
Marine mammal rescue team volunteers pull a manateeaboard the FWC manatee capture boat.
Winter 2010-2011Vol. 1 Issue 3
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
 
Dedicated volunteers collect valuabledata for Breeding Bird Survey
2
heNorthAmericanBreedingBirdSurvey(BBS)wasiniti-atedin1966tomonitortrendsinaviandistributionandabundancethroughoutthecontinent.Sur-veysbeganinresponsetopossibledeclinesinsomeavianpopulationsassociatedwiththeapplicationoDDTandotherpesticides.TheBBShassincebecomeoneothelargestandlongestrunningvol-unteersurveysoNorthAmericanbirdspecies,withmorethan4,000activesurveyroutesestablishedintheU.S.andCanada.TheU.S.GeologicalSurveyandtheCana-dianWildlieServicemanagetheprogram.
Withsomanysurveyroutes,theprogramreliesonstatecoordi-natorstocontinuallyrecruitvol-unteersandensurethatroutesarecoveredeachyear.Consistentroutecoverageiscrucialtothesuccessothissurveysinceitisusedtodetectchangesinbirdabundanceanddistributionovertime.ThehelpoexperiencedbirderswhocanidentiyresidentbirdspeciesontheirroutesbybothsightandsoundisessentialtotheBBS.Each24.5mileBBSrouteislocatedonasecondaryroadandconsistso50three-minutecounts,eachone-halmileapart.Observersareprovidedaroutemap,GPScoordinates,andawrit-tendescriptionoeachothe50stops.Surveysbeginone-halhourbeoresunriseandtakeaboutfvehourstocomplete.InFlorida,surveysareconductedromMay1throughJune15.Allbirdsseenorheardateachcountlocationaretotaledonadatasheet.Volunteersreceiveonlinetrainingonsurveyprotocolandsubmitdataonlineattheprogram’swebsite,http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/.Forty-nineparticipantswererecruitedandas-signedtoconduct90o92routesinFloridaduring2010,and83routeswerecompleted.Floridaisconsistentlyoneo18statestocompletemorethan76%oavailableBBSroutes.Consistenthelpisimportantinobtainingreliabletrendinormation.SomevolunteershaveparticipatedintheFloridaprogramorover20years,andaewindividualshaveconductedannualsurveysormorethan30years.Volunteersseemtoenjoytheearlymorningencounterswithbirdsandotherwildlie.TheBBSisavaluableandsometimestheonlymonitoringtoolordetectingtrendsobreedingbirdsregionallyandinFlorida.Resultsareotenusedtoassessconservationprioritiesanddeter-mineresearchandmanagementactions.Forex-ample,theUniversityoFloridaInstituteoFoodandAgriculturalSciencesiscollaboratingwiththeFWCtointegrateBBSdataintoanaviandiseasestudy.DedicatedvolunteerbirdersinFloridamakethestate’sparticipationintheBBSprogrampossible.Experiencedbirderswhowouldliketopartici-pateintheBBScangototheU.S.GeologicalSur-veywebsite(http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/)tofndvacantroutesinFloridaandthencontactFWCassociateresearchscientist/FloridaBBScoordina-torMichaelDelanyat352-955-2081ext.114orMike.Delany@MyFWC.com.
By Michael Delany
–Photo by Mark Barrett, FWC
FWC Volunteer Grace Kiltie and FWC biologist Richard Kiltie conduct surveys on two BBS routes in Florida.
 
heFloridaFishandWildlieConservationCommission(FWC)hasestablishedanewvolunteerprograminNortheastFlorida.Therearemanydierentvolunteerprojectsbeingdevel-opedandimplementedwiththegoalopreservingnativespeciesandhabitatsinMarion,Lake,Or-ange,Osceola,Seminole,Brevard,Volusia,Flagler,PutnamandSt.Johnscounties.Volunteerswhoarepassionateaboutconserva-tioncanplayanactiveroleinfshandwildlieconservationbygettinginvolvedinoneomanyup-and-comingvolunteerprojectsinthenortheastregion:Theblackbearneighbor-hoodcanvassingprojectinvolvesvolunteersineducatingcitizensaboutlivinginbearcountry.VolunteerscanalsohelptheendangeredEvergladeSnailKiteonLakeTohopekaligabypromot-ingsaeboatingpracticesaroundnestingbirdsandassistingwiththeconstructionoeedingplat-orms.Freshwaterfsheriesvolun-teerscanhelpmonitorfshpopu-lationsandassistwithfshingderbyevents.VolunteersinterestedinFlori-daScrub-JaymonitoringcanhelpwithagroundbreakingsurveyintheOcalaNationalForestscrubhabitatorgetinvolvedwiththeJayWatchprogramwithsummersurveysallaroundthestate.Additionalprojectsaresoontocome.IyouareinterestedingettinginvolvedwithanyothesenewprojectsorwanttofndoutmoreaboutvolunteeringorFWCinNortheastFlorida,contactClaireSunquist,FWC’sNortheastRe-gionvolunteercoordinator,at352-732-1225orClaire.Sunquist@MyFWC.com.
–By Claire Sunquist
New volunteer program in NE Florida
3
–Photo by Craig Faulhaber, FWC
Volunteers can assist with Florida Scrub-Jaymonitoring in the Ocala National Forest and otherareas in Northeast Florida
iscalyear2009-2010(July1,2009-June30,2010)wasanextremelyproductiveandsuccessulyearortheFloridaFishandWildlieConservationCommission(FWC)volunteerprogram.Thevolunteerpro-gramcontinuestogrowintermsothenumberovolun-teersandvolunteerhoursaswellasthetypeandscopeoprojectsandtasksorwhichvolunteerscontributetheirtimeandeorts.TheFWCbeneftsromtheskills,experiencesanddedicationoitsvolunteers.Inturn,itstrivestooervolunteersaulflling,meaningulandsatisyingvolunteerexperi-ence.In2009-2010,FWC
 
volunteersmadeapositiveimpactbyassistingwithactivitiessuchasacili-ties/groundsmaintenance,wildlieresearch,biologicalsamplingandmonitoring,habitatrestoration,labora-toryworkandeducationandoutreach.Volunteersdonated108,154.25hourstoFWCatavalueo$2,255,016.Todown-loadthe2009-2010annualreportandfndoutmoreaboutvolunteerprogramhighlights,gotohttp://www.mywc.com/ GETINVOLVED/GetInvolved_Volunteer.htm.
–By Jessica Ireland
Volunteers increasingly respond tothe call of wildlife conservation

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