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November-December 2014 Newsletter

Dr. Dean Grubs

Dr. Dean Grubbs

November Program:

Thursday, November 20th
7:00 p.m. social, 7:30 p.m. program

Ecology of Smalltooth Sawfish in Florida and the Bahamas:  Research to Support Recovery of a Critically Endangered Species


Dr. Dean Grubbs, Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, Panacea, Fl

The smalltooth sawfish is a formidable predator that grows to more than 16 feet in length and is among the largest coastal marine fishes in the world. The smalltooth sawfish is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Redlist of Threatened species and is the only native marine fish listed as Endangered under the United States’ Endangered Species Act.

Sawfish declined due to overfishing, and fishery by catch remains the largest source of direct mortality, though habitat loss from urban development, agriculture, and freshwater diversion hinders recovery. In the Northwest Atlantic the remaining sawfish population is concentrated in southwest Florida and portions of the Bahamas.

Dr. Grubbs uses archival satellite tracking on adult smalltooth sawfish to 1) examine regional fidelity, migration and exchange between population segments, 2) determine if aggregation sites related to feeding, mating or pupping exist and 3) assess mortality risk due to interaction with commercial and recreational fisheries. Their research has recently been featured in documentaries such as Public Television’s (WPBT) Changing Seas: Saving Sawfish. Following a screening of this short film, Dr. Grubbs will discuss his research findings to date.

Dr. Dean Grubbs is a fish ecologist with interests in the biology of recreationally and commercially important, as well as poorly studied, taxa of estuarine and marine fishes. Much of his research addresses specific biological gaps necessary for management and conservation of fisheries resources, especially coastal and deepwater sharks and rays as well as large pelagic species. Dean is Associate Research Faculty and the Associate Director of Research at Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Laboratory where he mentors graduate and undergraduate students, engages in community outreach, and maintains an active research program on the ecology of deep water and coastal fishes.

Note: Program meetings are now being held at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 2810 North Meridian Road. See the Programs page for a map of the new location.

AAS President Adrienne Ruhl holding a Mississippi Kite.On August 16, 2014, three juvenile Mississippi Kites were released at the Apalachee Regional Park near Tallahassee, Florida after being rehabilitated at Audubon’s Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida. They were brought to Tallahassee because many Mississippi Kites are staging in the area for their fall migration.

The releasers were Adrienne Ruhl, President of the Apalachee Audubon Society, George Wilson, Audubon Florida board member, and Karen Berkley, an Audubon volunteer. Dianna Flynt, from the Bird of Prey Center, transported the birds from Maitland and coordinated the release.

Watch video of the release

On Sale Now!

Great Birding Spots in Tallahassee Florida and Surrounding Areas

Great Birding Spots

in Tallahassee, Florida

and Surrounding Areas

Available now! The 2nd edition of Great Birding Spots in Tallahassee and Surrounding Areas, authored by AAS member Bob Henderson.

This new 140-plus page edition has info on 66 birding hot spots in and around Tallahassee, nearly twice as many as the first edition, and features an introduction by Mark Hohmeister who is Associate Editor at the Tallahassee Democrat when he’s not birding. And this edition includes marvelous bird photos taken by AAS board member Nick Baldwin. We left captions off the photos so you can test your bird ID skills, but the IDs are listed at the back of the book if you’re stumped.

You can buy the books directly from the chapter by contacting Harvey Goldman. Email Harvey at goldman@hep.fsu.edu or call (850) 385-5222. Each book costs $21.50, including tax.

You can also purchase copies at: