June 17, 2014
A family kayaking Monday on the bayside of St. George Island spotted a fledgling bald eagle struggling to survive and called for help from the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR).
The eagle was floundering in the wrack line of the bay – the area of seaweed left behind on the shore when a high tide drops back to low tide. The family was concerned because the baby eagle could not be reached from the water side or from the land, as the property was a private home that was fenced and gated.
DEP’s Jason Garwood and Lauren Levy responded to the call along with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officer Tom Nelson. They drove to meet with the family who made the discovery and get a better idea of the eagle’s location. They called the property owner who promptly granted access to the property and helped with the rescue of the eagle.
The eagle’s right wing appeared broken, the young bird could not fly but was still very mobile. The Florida Wild Mammal Association in Crawfordville took the injured bird for treatment and recovery.
This was an example of great cooperation between the concerned public, property owner, and staff from FWC and ANERR.
The Apalachicola Research Reserve was established as a partnership between the state of Florida and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The reserve is one of 28 research reserves operating across the nation and one of three in the state. DEP’s Florida Coastal Office (FCO) manages the Apalachicola NERR along with 41 aquatic preserves, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Coral Reef Conservation Program. FCO’s programs and activities are designed to help Floridians better understand and conserve the state’s resources through research, education and preservation. For more information on DEP’s Florida Coastal Office, click HERE.