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Saint Petersburg, FL, United States

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is a Florida government agency charged with managing the state's fish and wildlife resources, regulating Florida's fisheries and wildlife, and enforcing related laws. Besides managers, research, and support personnel, the FWC operates as a law enforcement agency; FWC officers can perform many police functions in the course of their duties.The Florida Constitution authorizes the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to enact rules and regulations regarding the state's fish and wildlife resources. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people.To do this, the seven Commissioners meet five times each year to hear staff reports, consider rule proposals, and conduct other Commission business. Because stakeholder involvement is a crucial part of the process, we conduct Commission meetings in different locations across the state offering citizens the opportunity to address the Commission about issues under consideration.A similar agency, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection serves as the environmental regulatory agency for the state of Florida, enforcing environmental legislation .The FWC is headquartered in Tallahassee, the state capital. It has over 1,800 full-time employees and maintains a Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, five regional offices, and 73 field offices across the state. Seven commissioners are appointed by the governor. Wikipedia.

Pelagic egg development in red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, is described using tiered staging. Based on mitosis and meiosis, there are five periods: Mitosis of Oogonia, Active Meiosis I, Arrested Meiosis I, Active Meiosis II, and Arrested Meiosis II. The Periods are divided into six stages: Mitotic Division of Oogonia, Chromatin Nucleolus, Primary Growth, Secondary Growth, Oocyte Maturation and Ovulation. The Chromatin Nucleolus Stage is divided into four steps: Leptotene, Zygotene, Pachytene, and Early Diplotene. Oocytes in the last step possess one nucleolus, dispersed chromatin with forming lampbrush chromosomes and lack basophilic ooplasm. The Primary Growth Stage, characterized by basophilic ooplasm and absence of yolk in oocytes, is divided into five steps: One-Nucleolus, Multiple Nucleoli, Perinucleolar, Oil Droplets, and Cortical Alveolar. During primary growth, the Balbiani body develops from nuage, enlarges and disperses throughout the ooplasm as both endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi develop within it. Secondary growth or vitellogenesis has three steps: Early Secondary Growth, Late Secondary Growth and Full-Grown. The Oocyte Maturation Stage, including ooplasmic and germinal vesicle maturation, has four steps: Eccentric Germinal Vesicle, Germinal Vesicle Migration, Germinal Vesicle Breakdown and Resumption of Meiosis when complete yolk hydration occurs. The period is Arrested Meiosis II. When folliculogenesis is completed, the ovarian follicle, an oocyte and encompassing follicle cells, is surrounded by a basement membrane and developing theca, all forming a follicle complex. After ovulation, a newly defined postovulatory follicle complex remains attached to the germinal epithelium. It is composed of a basement membrane that separates the postovulatory follicle from the postovulatory theca. Arrested Meiosis I encompasses primary and secondary growth (vitellogenesis) and includes most of oocyte maturation until the resumption of meiosis (Active Meiosis II). The last stage, Ovulation, is the emergence of the oocyte from the follicle when it becomes an egg or ovum. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Adams D.H.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission
Marine Pollution Bulletin

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri, are predatory oceanic fish that occur and are harvested in all tropical and subtropical oceans. Total mercury concentrations analyzed in dorsal muscle tissue of 208 wahoo from offshore waters of the southeastern United States and the Bahamas ranged from 0.021 to 3.4 mg/kg (wet weight), with a mean of 0.50 mg/kg (± 0.595 SD). Analyses indicated significant positive linear relationships between mercury and length, as well as, age of wahoo. The piscivorous nature, generally high trophic position, fast growth rate, and associated high metabolism of wahoo within tropical offshore pelagic environments may lead to comparatively higher concentrations of mercury over relatively short time periods. Mercury in wahoo, a highly mobile species consisting of one world-wide population, is regionally influenced by large-scale spatial differences in available mercury in selected prey fish species - many of which have been found to contain relatively high concentrations of mercury. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Rogers L.L.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission
Human-Wildlife Interactions

Diversionary feeding of black bears (Ursus americanus) around campgrounds and residential areas has received little study because of concerns that it might create nuisance bears and jeopardize public safety. To evaluate those concerns and assess its effectiveness in mitigating human-bear conflict, we studied diversionary feeding, habituation, and foodconditioning at a U.S. Forest Service campground and residential complex near Ely, Minnesota. During 1981 to 1983, 6 bears (2/year) had been removed from this area as nuisances; but during 8 years of diversionary feeding (1984 to 1991), the only removals were 2 bears that had newly immigrated to the periphery of the study area and had not yet found the diversionary feeding site. The reduction in nuisance activity was significant, despite continued availability of garbage and the fact that the study bears were habituated and food-conditioned. No bear that visited the diversionary-feeding site became a nuisance or jeopardized public safety, even in 1985, the year with the lowest bear food index and the highest number of nuisance complaints ever recorded throughout Minnesota. Diversionary feeding led to greater tolerance of bears by residents. My data indicate that hunger, not habituation and food-conditioning, creates bear-human conflicts. Source

Edwards H.H.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission
Climatic Change

Most discussions of impacts of Climate Change have focused on species from temperate or polar regions. Impacts to species inhabiting warm climates are often believed to be small relative to those of species living in cooler climates. However, it is evident that some tropical/sub-tropical species, including some marine megafauna may face potentially serious consequences from a changing climate. For example, larger, warmer oceans may appear to benefit marine wildlife species like cold-sensitive Florida manatees; however, findings regarding the impact of global climate change (GCC) on estuaries and nearshore areas of Florida indicate that predicted impacts of climate change may be detrimental to endangered manatees. An examination of how projected impacts of climate change will affect threats to manatees and their habitat indicates that threats may be exacerbated. The most significant threats to the Florida manatee population, such as cold-stress, watercraft collisions, and harmful algal blooms likely will increase. Habitat is likely to be degraded under future climate scenarios. Alterations to Florida's marine environment are ongoing, yet current manatee management plans do not consider the impacts of climate change. The ability of manatees to adapt to change will be influenced by the speed of change and the degree to which human activity impedes or alters it. To minimize impacts to species we must recognize the influence GCC may have on populations, and begin to identify and implement ways to slow or reverse negative impacts arising from it. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Poulakis G.R.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission
Marine and Coastal Fisheries

The Cownose Ray Rhinoptera bonasus is an abundant species in the western Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico, but its reproductive biology is not completely known because of the difficulty of obtaining year-round samples in large portions of its range where the species is migratory. To address this knowledge gap, Cownose Rays were studied in a subtropical estuarine system where rays are available year-round. Size at maturity and reproductive cyclicity were assessed using 140 females and 151 males. For females, the size at 50% maturity was 701 mm disk width (DW) based on ovary length and weight, maximum follicle diameter, and mating wounds and scars; the size at 100% maturity was 712 mm DW. For males, the size at 50% maturity was 681 mm DW based on clasper morphology, testis length and weight, and epididymis width; the size at 100% maturity was 712 mm DW. Overall testis size (length and weight) and mean testis lobe diameter peaked up to 2 months prior to ovary size and maximum follicle diameter, indicating that males were preparing to inseminate females during the entire parturition and mating period. Mating behaviors and fresh mating wounds were observed mostly between April and June. Ovulation peaked in May, and parturition occurred primarily in March and April after an 11-12 month, single-embryo gestation period, suggesting that females are synchronous in Charlotte Harbor. Size at birth was 202-383 mm DW. Concurrent vitellogenesis and gestation indicated a clearly defined annual reproductive cycle that may be completed within the estuary. Understanding reproductive life history in wide-ranging species such as the Cownose Ray is useful in the short term for making sound management decisions and for future comparison as the effects of global climate change are realized. Received September 30, 2012; accepted March 21, 2013. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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