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Share my wildlife with me

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

What quote am I vibing? “If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.” Steve Irwin

Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild This Weekend / All Time: 1/17

Meet my friend, the Scrub Lizard! We have them in spades here in Stuart, but they have completely disappeared from Palm Beach County.

My first volunteer opportunity with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was a unique one, indeed! Permissions were granted for a certain amount of scrub lizards to be collected and relocated to a similiar habitat where they have thrived in the past to the south. I spent the day with career wildlife experts and conservationists finding and catching these sweet little creatures. Kevin Enge, a renowned herpetologist, led our group in the project - his work in this endeavor was being followed today by a video crew from Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Having never touched a lizard in my life, I had a slow start. I was good at identifying, and good using my lizard lasso, but the final grab was always tough for me - I was hesitant about crushing them. My teammate Ricardo was an excellent coach and lizard grabber to make up for my deficits - patient and knowledgeable, I was grateful for his expertise.

Another teammate Jennifer took the time to answer some questions I had about her background and career - she made me realize how IMPORTANT it is for people like her, who have made conservation and wildlife study their life's work, and people like me, who are time-off and weekend warriors for conservation to work together. If some people do a lot, and we all do just a little - we can make a huge change for the trajectory of humanity and Earth.

I am so proud to have been a part of this project and learn more about these lizards whose numbers are on the decline. I love them. I want to save them. They have beautiful blue coloring on their underbellies - the boys especially.

My weekend itself produced little in the way of trash pickup - I spent two days at Stuart Beach, but mostly just did clean up around where my family and I were sitting. I didn't feel so guilty relaxing on the weekend knowing I would be doing a lot in the name of nature on Monday.

Seabranch Preserve where we did the lizard survey is packed full of glass litter. I will make it a priority to get there with some boxes soon to clean up the broken pieces and get them out of our park.

I am so looking forward to my next opportunity with FWC!

Me and my pal, the scrub lizard. See the beautiful blue?

Who says picking up trash can't be sexy? 😜

Me and my sister-in-law, Yuliia! We are relaxing, but we have our eye on the litterers.


Me and my favorite lasso stick - Kevin let me keep it. Because he could see that I was not going to let it go.

I earned my stripes today, and this shirt!! It's official. I'm a volunteer!

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