Water managers get dramatic with gopher tortoises
The South Florida Water Management District has gained some notoriety for its intriguing videos of eccentric python hunters in the Everglades.
A recent Facebook Live of Dusty “Wildman” Crum discussing his fight with a 16-foot-10 inch python was watched by 20,000 viewers.
It’s a change of pace for the normally staid district, which spends a lot of time talking about water conservation areas, Lake Okeechobee levels (16.68 feet as of today) and storm water treatment.
But can the gopher tortoise attract the same audience as the invasive python? Watch – but more importantly, listen – to the video below and decide for yourself.
The district has long produced a Soundscience podcast, but this is the first Soundscience to use Facebook Live to reach a larger audience.
Tune in Wednesday at 1 p.m. to the SFWMD Facebook page to tag along with wildlife biologists Brian Garrett and Holly Andreotta as they check on a gopher tortoise community in St. Lucie County.
The animals are threatened in Florida, and the two biologists are tasked with ensuring they are protected while the district upgrades a nearby structure that provides flood protection for Martin and St. Lucie counties’ human residents.
The public is welcome to submit science questions about gopher tortoises in advance for the biologists to answer live. Email SFWMD Media Relations Representative Gabe Margasak @ firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment under the link to this news release on Facebook.