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Osprey Ospreys search for fish by flying on steady wingbeats and bowed wings or circling high in the sky over relatively shallow water. They hover briefly before diving, feet first, to grab a fish. After a successful capture, the bird rises from the water and flies away, carrying the fish head-forward with its feet, thus minimizing wind resistance. You can often clearly see an Osprey's catch in its talons as the bird carries it back to a nest or perch. #osprey #bird #birdofprey #raptor #hawk #birdsofinstagram #birding #florida #floridabirds #birdsofflorida #nature #wildlife FWC photo Andy Wraithmell

MyFWC

Thank you! You continue to fund valuable conservation programs! On this day in 1938, the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act went into effect. It, along with other federal legislation, directs a portion of the money from hunting, fishing, boating and shooting sports purchases to state agencies. This means millions of dollars fund science-based research, education, access to public lands and water and conserving a range of fish and wildlife – all thanks to you! #conservation #pittmanrobertsonact #funding #habitatconservation #wildlifeconservation #federalaid #florida #fishandwildlife #fishing #hunting #boating #floridawildlife#floridafishing #floridahunting #floridaboating #wildliferestoration #shootingsports

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500th Python! Our Python Action Team has removed the program’s 500th invasive snake! Team Members Beth Koehler and Peggy van Gorder recently captured the snake at Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area. We’re thankful for Governor @rondesantisfl for his leadership on this important topic and the support of the Legislature as we continue our efforts! #burmesepython #python #invasivespecies #snake #snakesofinsta #snakesofinstagram #nonnative #pythonactionteam #500 #florida #everglades #southflorida #nature #wildlife #EvergladesWMA

MyFWC

Terrapin time! Diamondback terrapins nest in sandy places not far from the estuaries and brackish water habitats where they live. Like sea turtles, the gender of terrapin hatchlings is determined by the temperature of their nest! Hatchlings from cooler nests will be mostly male and warmer nests produce more female turtles. Terrapins are vulnerable to road mortality during the nesting season (April through July) so keep a lookout for these turtles crossing roads when driving through coastal habitats! FWC Photo by Dan O'Malley of a nesting Mangrove terrapin. They are the rarest of the subspecies in Florida! #terrapin #terrapinsofinstagram #diamondbackterrapin #mangroveterrapin #florida #nature #wildlife #floridawildlife #herp #herpsofinstagram #herping #herpetology #turtle #turtlesofinstagram #turtlesofig #turtlesofinsta

MyFWC

Luna Moths This is a great time of year to see one of nature’s most beautiful insects, the luna moth! They're big and flashy and easy to spot, as well as being quite harmless. Males usually emerge from cocoons first, and get a head start on the females. The insect doesn’t have a mouth or a digestive system and they only live about a week as adults and then perish. Although luna moths don't have an appetite, they're a favorite snack for bats. To protect themselves from these predators, the moths spin the tails of their wingtips in circles. This disorients the bats so much that the moths are often able to make a getaway. Have you seen a luna moth this summer? #lunamoth #moth #mothsofinstagram #insect #insectsofinstagram #lepidoptera #beautifulwildlife #nature #wildlife #floridawildlife #florida #wingedwonders FWC photo by Andy Wraithmell

MyFWC

Look out below! • When you’re enjoying our state’s coastal waters this summer, please remember that sea turtles might be hiding just below the surface. Every year, threatened and endangered sea turtles are injured and killed by boat strikes, but you can make a difference! Always keep an eye out for sea turtles while boating and remind your buddies to do the same. • Help support #seaturtle conservation with a specialty license plate: helpingseaturtles.org • Photo by Dr. Witherington • #seaturtle #seaturtlesofinstagram #seaturtles #marineconservation #seaturtleconservation #safeboating #boating #florida #floridawildlife #helpingseaturtles #nature #wildlife

MyFWC

Catch a trophy The largemouth bass is our most sought-after and best-known freshwater sport fish. Interested in fishing for bass? Check out our freshwater angler recognition program at TrophyCatchFlorida.com.This program collects valuable data on trophy bass while rewarding catch-and-release fishing! Follow @fishreelflorida for more Trophy Catch posts TrophyCatch submission photo #trophycatch #bassfishing #largemouthbass #floridabass #floridabassfishing #fishing #freshwaterfishing #floridafishing #fishingcapitaloftheworld #florida #catchandrelease #trophybass

MyFWC

Copperhead • Florida is home to six species of venomous snake including the copperhead. This colorful snake can be found in the Florida Panhandle specifically the counties bordering the Apalachicola River. Copperheads, like all of Florida’s native snake species, occupy a valuable place in Florida’s ecosystem. For example, snakes help reduce rodent populations which destroy crops and sometimes carry diseases which can infect people. Venomous snakes are not particularly dangerous unless stepped on or otherwise provoked. When encountering a snake, just stand back and observe it and eventually the snake will move on. For more information about Florida’s snakes visit MyFWC.com and search Living with Snakes. • #snake #snakesofinstagram #snakesofinsta #snakesofig #snakesofflorida #herp #herping #herpsofinstagram #herpetology #venomoussnake #venomous #reptile #reptilesofinstagram #florida #copperhead #nature #wildlife #floridawildlife #livingwithsnakes FWC Photo by Andy Wraithmell

MyFWC

You never know what amazing things you might see in your backyard. One of our officers and his dog recently had an unexpected visit from this bobcat. Have you spotted something wild out your backdoor? Share it with us in the comments! Do you have questions or concerns about wildlife in your neighborhood? We can help! Visit our Living with Wildlife page at MyFWC.com to learn more. Your yard can be a refuge for wildlife. Learn how with Backyards and Beyond at MyFWC.com #bobcat #catsofinstagram #animal #mammal #predator #florida #wildlife #nature #bobcatsofinstagram #backyardwildlife #livingwithwildlife #dogmeetscat #floridawildlife

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Multiple partners collaborate to bring apex predator back to The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. Fifteen eastern indigo snakes, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, have just been released in northern Florida as part of a continuing collaborative plan to return the important, native, non-venomous apex predator to the region. This effort marks the third year in a row that snakes raised specifically for recovery of the species have been released at The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve in Bristol. The eastern indigo species recovery effort in north Florida is the long-term joint commitment of multiple nonprofit, agency and academic partners: @nature_org, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens’ @oriannesociety Center for Indigo Conservation, @auburnu, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), @usfws, Welaka National Fish Hatchery, Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, @gulfpower, Southern Company through the @nationalwildlife, and @fishandwildlifefoundationoffl. The partners have worked together for decades to restore and manage the habitat required by the snake, and many other species, to make the release possible. For more information visit myfwc.com and search for Eastern indigo snake #easternindigosnake #indigosnake #snake #snakesofinstagram #herping #herpetology #herpsofinstagram #reptile #endangeredspecies #endangered #conservation #nature #wildlife #florida #snakesofflorida #floridawildlife FWC photos by Tim Donovan

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It’s almost scallop season! Ready to spend some time on the water diving for these tasty treats? The recreational bay scallop season opens as early as this weekend in some areas and stays open until Sept. 24 in others! Remember to use your dive flag in the water, wear a life jacket when on the boat and stow your trash! Confirm season dates, locations and bag limits before you go. Check out more by clicking on the link in our bio. #scallop #fishing #saltwater #boating #fun #weekend #Florida #FWC #MyFWC #Pictureoftheday #Photooftheday

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True colors Little blue herons are born with white plumage (first picture), and don’t get their blue feathers (adult in second picture) for up to three years. Juveniles are often mistaken for snowy egrets or other solid white species, but keen-eyed birders can correctly identify these young birds by their pale blue beaks. #littleblueheron #heron #wadingbird #birdsofinstagram #birding #florida #nature #wildlife #littleblueheronjuvenile #waterbird #birdinginflorida #floridabirds #birdsofflorida

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Have you seen a tagged horseshoe crab? @gracielcharles spotted one on Coregon Reef near Cedar Key this week! Way to go Gracie! Gracie’s crab was tagged on Cedar Key in September 2018. If you spot a tagged Florida horseshoe crab please share your sighting so @usfws and @myfwc biologists can track these amazing creatures! If you’re interested in learning to tag crabs yourself or if you just want more information in general, search Florida Horseshoe Crab Watch or horseshoe crab on myfwc.com. Tip: You will have the best luck spotting horseshoe crabs around high tide, within a few days of a new or full moon. The next full moon is on June 17. picture by Gracie Charles #horseshoecrab #crab #cedarkey #florida #citizenscience #nature #wildlife #saltlife #marinewildlife #coastalwildlife #science #floridawildlife

myfwc

To learn more about the recreational red snapper season check out our latest insta story 😁 The recreational red snapper season will start June 11 in Gulf state and federal waters and remain open through July 12, closing July 13. Anglers fishing from private recreational boats will need to sign up as Gulf Reef Fish Angler to target red snapper and several other reef fish in Gulf state and federal waters (excluding Monroe County), even if they are exempt from fishing license requirements. Sign up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler at no cost at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or by visiting any location you can purchase a license. For anglers who want to share catch information with FWC electronically, the Angler Action Foundation has developed a smartphone app for logging red snapper fishing trips. This app is available on your phone’s app store by searching for iAngler Gulf Red Snapper. #redsnapper #reeffishing #saltwaterfishing #saltlife #gulfofmexico #florida #fishing #tightlines #fishingcapitaloftheworld #snapper #redsnapperseason2019 #safeboating

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Get Your Fish On! That’s the motto for National Fishing and Boating Week! Don’t forget to check our website for boating safety information and fishing regs and info, then get out on the water this week! Go to our story for links #fishing #freshwaterfishing #largemouthbass #anglers #florida #boating #safeboating #nationalfishingandboatingweek #fishon #letsgofishing #fishingflorida #fishingcapitaloftheworld #bassfishing

myfwc

Boating this Memorial Day weekend? Have fun and be safe too! Wear a PFD or life jacket, watch out for dive flags, 360 degree awareness, boat sober! Check out the link in our bio for more info. #PFD #Boating #Fishing #Florida #SCUBA #Snorkeling #dive #saltwater #freshwater #picoftheday #photooftheday

MyFWC

Caution! Jumping sturgeon! These large, prehistoric-looking Gulf sturgeon are important to our ecosystem! (up to 6 feet!) They can leap can injure boaters. Stay safe in Florida’s northern rivers: go slow, wear your life jacket and keep people off the bow of the boat. Report sturgeon collisions, call 888-404-3922. Gulf sturgeon are federally and state protected, and it is illegal to harass or harm them. Swipe up on our story for all the info! #sturgeon #florida #fish #endangered #wildlife #photooftheday #picoftheday #river #boating #boat #boatingsafety #wearit

MyFWC

It’s Bear Awareness Week! Celebrate by helping reduce conflicts with these large omnivores. Secure any attractants – such as birdfeeders, pet food or garbage – that may entice bears to linger in your yard or neighborhood. For everyone’s safety, walk dogs on non-retractable leashes as bears and canines generally don’t mix. If you see a bear: 1. Never approach it. Keep a safe distance between you and the bear. 2. From a safe location, ‘Scare that Bear’ by yelling, clapping, or making other loud noises. Access the video in our bio link. 3. If you encounter a bear at close range, remain standing upright with arms raised, back up slowly and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice. For more bear tips, go to MyFWC.com/bear. #bear #wildlife #bearawarenessweek #photooftheday #picoftheday #Florida #FWC #FloridaFishandWildlife #Tips #scarethatbear

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Elusive lizard captured! This large invasive Asian water monitor, measuring 5 feet 2 inches long and weighing 20 pounds, was captured and removed from the wild thanks to some incredible teamwork! Check out our story for more info. If you see nonnative wildlife, snap a photo and report it using the free IveGot1 app or IveGot1.org or by calling our Exotic Species Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (483-4681). #lizard #nonnative #Florida #Photooftheday #picoftheday #exotic #wildlife #conservation #animal

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Ready to Be the Predator? 🤩 Over half a million lionfish have been removed from our waters in the last few years, and we’ve only just begun! Nonnative, invasive lionfish can negatively impact our native species. To help, join in the Lionfish Challenge and win harvesting gear or cash prizes for harvesting these voracious invaders! The statewide Challenge begins this Saturday and goes through Sep. 2. Photo: Jason Blitzer with 25 lionfish. #FWClionfish #Lionfish #Fish #Florida #Waters #Nonnative #Invasive #Florida #Wildlife #MyFWC #FWC

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Are you up for the challenge? 🤔 Our officers are responsible for conserving natural resources including fish and wildlife, while providing a safe atmosphere for residents and visitors to enjoy. Swipe up on our Instagram Story to watch our recruitment video! #JoinFWC #FWCOfficers #LawEnforcement #Fish #Wildlife #Florida #Resource #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Bobcats are common throughout Florida, but these felines are rarely seen. 😸 So, drivers on I-75 were quite startled to see one atop a utility pole. Our officers and biologists arrived on the scene and a gentleman in a bucket truck was able to persuade the feline to climb down. The cat shimmied down the pole and as soon as he touched ground...he was gone! Swipe to watch the video! #Bobcats #Cat #Feline #I75 #News #Wildlife #Conservation #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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A new purpose for El Dorado 🤗 As the cleanup of derelict vessels from Hurricane Michael comes to an end, one of the vessels will serve a new purpose! After the storm we worked with partners to carefully salvage, inspect and clean this 145-foot vessel named “El Dorado” in order to turn it into an artificial reef. Benefits of this artificial reef include new fishing and diving opportunities and increased reef fish habitat! Location: Latitude 29° 58.572’ N, Longitude 85° 50.472’ W FWC photos by Bekah Nelson and Keith Mille #PanamaCity #BayCounty #ElDorado #ArtificialReef #Reef #Fish #Dive #Ocean #Fishing #MyFWC #FWC #Florida

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Why do frogs look so happy? Because they eat whatever bugs them! 🤪🐸 Fun fact: Green treefrogs, like many of Florida’s amphibian species, eat a variety of insects including flies, grasshoppers, moths, and mosquitos. They help keep nature’s balance between predator and prey by feasting on insects that many people would consider pests. FWC photo of a green treefrog by Andy Wraithmell #Frog #Bug #Joke #GreenTreefrog #Amphibian #Wildlife #Conservation #Florida #Fact #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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One of a kind reef 😍 Florida’s Reef Tract is one of the largest reef systems in the world with 45 coral species! Our corals are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth and provide habitats for fish and invertebrates. Swipe up on our story to learn about our coral efforts and recent panel discussion! #Reef #CoralReef #FloridaReefTract #Fish #Invertebrates #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Do you know your 💩🤔? Whether it’s hiking in the woods or just walking through your backyard, it’s cool to know what other critters are sharing your space. Sharpen your scat smarts and prove your poo prowess by naming each #2 in the comments. Check out our MyFWC Facebook page (link in bio) for the answers! Many thanks to the park rangers at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park for the tour prior to cleanup! FWC photos by Karen Parker #Poo #Poop #Scat #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #HomosassaSprings #FLStatePark #Florida

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Mis-snake-n Identity 🐍🤪 Did you know that we have eight species of native water snakes, like this banded water snake? Unless you are a frog or a shrew, these slender reptiles pose no threat, but they’re sometimes confused for venomous cottonmouths. Check out our MyFWC Facebook page for more info! Photo by FWC Commissioner Sonya Rood #Snake #ID #SnakesofInstagram #BandedWaterSnake #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Help save sea turtles ☀️🐢🌊Playing in the sand is a fun part of any trip to the beach, but sometimes sandcastle construction can have unintended consequences. When holes are left in the sand, sea turtles and other animals can fall in. Even small holes can become deadly traps. You can help save sea turtles by clearing the way at the end of the day and filling any holes in the sand before you leave the beach. It’s sea turtle nesting season. Photo by Dr. Witherington #SeaTurtle #Turtle #Nesting #Beach #Sand #Ocean #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Don’t boop this snoot! 🙅🏻‍♂️ We know it’s tempting, but please don’t touch manatees. Getting too close can alter their behavior, making them lose their natural fear of humans and boats, putting them at risk. Help us protect our wildlife by keeping them wild. FWC photo by Andy Wraithmell #Manatee #Wildlife #Viewing #Guidelines #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday #DontBooptheSnoot

MyFWC

How to herd a cat 😸👏🏼 When highway workers reported an endangered Florida panther trapped on the wrong side of a highway fence, a team effort resulted in a panther win… and our officer’s body cam recorded everything! Watch as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, FWC Officer Rubenstein and a helpful motorist work to slowly encourage the wild cat to safety. Please report sightings of injured or dead panthers by calling our Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone. Text or email Tip@MyFWC.com. Celebrate #EarthDay every day, and learn ways you can help panthers and safely coexist with them by checking out our MyFWC Facebook page. FWC video and USFWS Southeast Region video #Panther #Cat #FloridaPanther #FWCOfficer #EarthDay #PictureEarth #MyFWC #FWC #Video #Florida #Wildlife #Conservation #FloridaPantherNationalWildlifeRefuge

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Get crabby! 🦀 There are plenty of crabs to see throughout our state, and they are a vital part of our coastal food chain! Check out our Instagram Story to learn more about some of the crabs you might find 🤗

MyFWC

Sea Turtle Release 🤗🐢 Two of our officers were privileged to participate in the release of a rehabilitated green sea turtle! After spending a few weeks recovering at Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital, medical staff cleared the turtle to return back to the wild, and it was released by officers Alex Piekenbrock and Kyle Chesney. #SeaTurtle #Release #GreenSeaTurtle #FLKeys #Marathon #Florida #Ocean #MyFWC #FWC #Wildlife #Conservation

MyFWC

Protect our dunes! 🐭🐦💕 Did you know that walking on sand dunes can be harmful to plants and animals? That’s because stepping on dunes can damage, or even kill the plants that grow there. When dune plants die, wildlife lose food and shelter, and that area will be more vulnerable to erosion. Check out our MyFWC Facebook page (link in bio) to learn more about why these plants are vital to our beaches! #Dune #Plants #Animals #Wildlife #Conservation #Beach #Florida #MyFWC #FWC #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Feeling cute. Might spray you later…IDK. 🤪 #FeelingCute #FeelingCuteChallenge #Cute #Skunk #EasternSpottedSkunk #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

MyFWC

Fishing in the Gulf 🎣👏🏼 Red snapper are early-maturing reef fish that can live to be 57! Do you fish for red snapper? Sign up for the simple, free Gulf Reef Fish Survey today to help us understand how many people are targeting Gulf reef fish like red snapper and gag. Check out our MyFWC Facebook page (link in bio) for more details. #Fishing #Fish #RedSnapper #GulfRedSnapper #GulfReefFishSurvey #Gag #MyFWC #FWC #Wildlife #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

MyFWC

Venomous snakes 🐍 There are only six native venomous snakes in Florida. This is a good time of year to brush up on your venomous snake knowledge as many species are leaving their hiding places and are more visible on the landscape. Can you ID all 6 species? Check out our Instagram Story to make your guess. Remember, snakes are important to our ecosystem! Be sure to stay safe and admire them from a respectable distance. #Snake #Venomous #VenomousSnake #SnakesofInstagram #Wildlife #Conservation #Florida #MyFWC #FWC #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Jumping for joy because we have our winner 😻 Check out our Instagram Story to learn more about the winner of our March Madness tournament! #Panther #Cat #MarchMadness #Tournament #Winner #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

MyFWC

Tomorrow is Gopher Tortoise Day! 🐢🥰❤️ On April 10, we honor our official state tortoise. How are you celebrating? Tell us in the comments! #GopherTortoiseDay #GopherTortoise #Tortoise #Celebrate #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

MyFWC

Racing around Florida 🚤👏🏼Our officers inspected boats before the start of the Skiff Challenge! Boat manufacturers are racing their 18-foot skiffs around the state from Pensacola to Jacksonville right now…that’s 1,300 miles! In this annual test of endurance, teams circumnavigate the state to highlight the need to protect our water quality, Everglades and environment. Follow @Floridaskiffchallenge for more updates. #FloridaSkiffChallenge #CaptainsforCleanWater #Officer #Boat #Boating #MyFWC #FWC #Conservation #WaterQuality #FWCOfficer #Florida FWC photo by Bekah Nelson @captainsforcleanwater

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Fish license-free! 🎣👏🏼 You don’t need a fishing license to fish for freshwater species this weekend! New to fishing? Maybe you’re experienced but you want to take a friend who’s never been. Now’s your chance! Swipe up on our Instagram Story to learn more 😊 #Fishing #Fish #LicenseFree #Free #Freshwater #Friend #Family #Florida #MyFWC #FWC

MyFWC

Something fishy in the cooler 🤔🐟 One of our officers saw two men fishing from the shoreline. During a resource check, they showed her two bluefish and said that was it, but there was more inside their cooler – a lot more. 32 undersized mangrove snapper, two undersized spotted seatrout, two undersized bluefish, and one undersized sheepshead were located within. The appropriate citations were issued for numerous conservation violations. If you suspect a fishing, hunting or other wildlife violation, report it to us via our Wildlife Alert Hotline by calling 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWCor #FWC on a cellphone, or texting/emailing Tip@MyFWC.com. #LawEnforcement #Case #Officers #Fish #Fishing #Violation #FWCOfficer #MangroveSnapper #MyFWC #FWC #Florida

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Staycation: St. Andrew’s State Park ☀️🌊 Craving swimming, snorkeling and surfing in the Sunshine State this spring break? St. Andrew’s State Park has all that and more. In addition to one and a half miles of sandy beaches, there are pine flatwoods, marshes and a freshwater lake. Check out our Facebook at MyFWC for more info! Photos courtesy of @fl.stateparks & Katie Purcell #PanamaCityBeach #BayCounty #Beautiful #Staycation #LoveFL #Florida #MyFWC #FWC #Picoftheday #Photooftheday #Deer

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Tell us about tuna! 😃🐟 Share input on the future management of blackfin tuna at our upcoming public workshops. This species does not currently have specific regulations in state or federal waters off Florida and we’ve heard requests from anglers that would like to see some put in place. Check out dates and locations on our MyFWC Facebook page! #BlackfinTuna #Tuna #Anglers #Fish #Fishing #Florida #MyFWC #FWC #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Seal rescue! 🥰 Our marine mammal biologists responded to a report of a stranded gray seal in Marineland, Florida. Turns out the seal was recently released from rehab in Virginia. Check out our @FWCResearch page for more info! Remember to call our Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 to report injured or distressed wildlife. #Seal #Rescue #Marine #Mammal #Wildlife #Conservation #Marineland #Florida #Virginia #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #FWCResearch

MyFWC

Be alligator aware this spring! 🐊☀️ Warmer spring weather means alligators are more active and visible. The rise in temperature jump starts their metabolism and they start seeking prey such as fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds. Although alligator bite incidents resulting in serious injury are rare, it’s important to take precautions. If you’re concerned or experiencing conflicts with alligators, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR. That’s 866-392-4286. #Alligator #Spring #Weather #Aware #Active #Wildlife #Conservation #Safety #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Please…don’t puncture their pouches! It is common to see birds at fish-cleaning stations, watching for an easy meal. But we have a request…please don’t feed the birds! Feeding wildlife is never a good idea, but pelicans are particularly sensitive to feeding. Fish carcasses can get lodged in their pouches and sharp bones can even puncture them, preventing the pelican from being able to eat. Feeding can also change their natural behavior, making them dependent on people for food. Intentionally feeding pelicans is illegal, and you could be subject to arrest. Anglers can remain committed conservationists by discarding fish carcasses and scraps in a lidded trash can or at home instead of in the water. The juvenile brown pelican pictured here was rescued and taken to Key West Wildlife Center. Unfortunately, the pelican was unable to survive its injuries. #Birds #Pelican #BrownPelican #Fish #Fishing #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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Raccoon rescue! 🥰🦝👏🏼 One of our officers worked alongside @SarasotaPoliceDept, @MoteMarineLab, and Longboat Police Department to rescue a stranded raccoon. Once the raccoon was caught, it was safely released back on dry land! Photos provided by Sarasota Police Department Raccoon #Rescue #Sarasota #Florida #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #FWCOfficer #Picoftheday #Photooftheday

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The face you make when you’ve already lost your perfect bracket 😳😅🤣 Happy March Madness! Head over to our Instagram Story to participate in our very own March Madness tournament! Swipe to see some of the contestants. #MarchMadness #March #Madness #LetsDance #Tournament #Basketball #Florida #Wildlife #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC

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Wildlife is out and about in spring! ☺️🌸🌿Enjoy being outdoors and encountering wildlife in spring, when animals are more active, including nesting sea turtles, migrating manatees and gopher tortoises on the move! It’s a critical time for wildlife to mate and forage for food, and you can help by not disturbing them. Give them some peace and quiet, so they can successfully raise their young! #Spring #Wildlife #Outdoors #Bear #SeaTurtle #Manatees #GopherTortoise #Conservation #MyFWC #FWC #Florida

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Can snakes swim? The answer is… yes! 🐍 Most are capable of swimming short distances, like crossing a river. Nonvenomous banded water snakes (first pic) typically swim just under the water surface, while cottonmouths (second pic) inflate their lungs with air and swim on the surface of water. Our native snakes can be found in freshwater, brackish water and salt water. If you encounter a snake, it’s best to give it space and appreciate the animal from a distance. Check out our Instagram Story for more info! Have you ever seen a swimming snake? #Snake #Swim #River #Water #BandedWaterSnake #Cottonmouth #Wildlife #MyFWC #FWC #Florida #Picoftheday #Photooftheday