Manatee County Audubon Society is thrilled to announce the hiring of 3 new interns for the fall 2021 semester! These interns will be committing 30 hours a month from September to December to help with a variety of on going or upcoming projects. Half of their time will be solely directed towards implementing the habitat management plan on Felts Preserve. If you see them out and about, be sure to say hi and ask them lots of questions!

Alex Reed

"My name is Alex Reed, and I am a senior environmental science and anthropology student at the University of South Florida. I love hiking and conducting nature photography, and it always allows me to discover new things! While I really enjoy learning about biodiversity as a whole, I hope to obtain a career in ornithology fieldwork."

Alex will be assisting with ongoing land management tasks at Felts Preserve, avian surveys, and other projects around the county. If you have any questions you can reach him at .

Angela Chambers

"Hi, my name is Angela Chambers and I am 20 years old. I am currently a USF senior, graduating in December with my Bachelors in Environmental Biology. I have always had a passion for the environment and have used my time at USF to focus my passion for Florida's ecosystem, including marine, freshwater, and wetland habitats. I am excited for this opportunity to gain fieldwork experience and give back to my community. "

Angela will be assisting with ongoing land management tasks at Felts Preserve and helping with the floral survey on Felts. If you have any questions you can reach her at .

Elijah Blue

Hi, I’m Elijah! I’m a double major in biology and environmental studies at Eckerd College. I am originally from Richmond, Virginia where I love to hike and rock climb! I have a deep passion for everything to do with all kinds of life and I am very motivated to help in any way I can to further conservation and preserve nature for generations to come!"

Elijah will be assisting with ongoing land management tasks at Felts and help with our ongoing conservation projects throughout the county. If you have any questions you can reach him at .

On May 6, 2020 after months of negotiations to insure that the interests of our members are best served, previous MCAS president Ray Jusseaume signed the contract assigning a Conservation Easement to the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

Under the terms of the contract, Felts Preserve must remain a preserve forever. There has been a tremendous surge of property being sold for both residential and commercial uses all around us. Felts may serve as a last refuge for the local and migratory wildlife that call our preserve and surrounding area home.

Karen and Jim Watch as Ray Signs Felts Preserve into the future.

Monthly Conservation Roundup

County Level: Manatee County Conservation Land Acquisition Tax Passes!

Thank you Manatee County Audubon Society members and the general public who supported the new Manatee County Bond Referendum to help protect land and water resources from over development. Your voice was heard and the county will begin protecting land of conservation concern as early as 2021!

State Level: New Species of Whale Discovered

A tiny population of baleen whales (~100 total individuals) that was previously presumed to be a subspecies of Byrd's Whale has been confirmed as a new species. This small population is already listed as endangered and will need continued conservation action to protect for the future. Read more at:

State Level: 27,000 acres donated to the University of Florida in Osceola County

The De Luca Family has donated 27,000 acres to the University of Florida in conjunction with Wild Ducks Unlimited. The university has said that it will use the land for land and natural resources management. Top research questions include how wildlife respond on grazing pressure, water storage and conservation, and land and forest management. Home to many threatened species including Florida grasshopper sparrows, red-cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises and can serve as a corridor for Florida panthers and many other wildlife species. A huge conservation success story right next to the critical Kissimmee State Park.