Roseate Spoonbill populations in Florida are declining in the estuary sandwiched between the Everglades, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Keys. Poor water management in the Everglades has dramatically altered water depths and salinity levels in Florida Bay. For a wading bird on a special diet, this is life threatening. “I think the public says, ‘The Everglades are a national park, everything’s okay,’ ” says wildlife conservation biologist, Mac Stone. “But if you don’t protect the water—the life source—coming to it, you’ve got nothing. You can put up as many fences, signs, whatever. None of it matters if you don’t have the water.”
In addition to the precarious existence of these beautiful birds, there’s more at stake. The Florida Bay and the greater Everglades provides millions of dollars to the state’s economy through recreation, tourism, and commercial fishing; this has activated teams of scientists. The survival of the spoonbills will only come with the survival of the everglades. “Spoonbills have become the indicator for the overall health of the Everglades,” explains Stone. “They’re representative of the whole ecosystem. They require the fish, and the fish require the submerged aquatic vegetation, and the submerged aquatic vegetation requires the input of freshwater.” The warning is quite clear. 'Roseate Spoonbills of Florida Bay' is a digital composite and painting.
August 3rd, 2018
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