August 11th, 2020
August Newsletter
Sea Turtle Happy Hour
August 21st @ 6pm on Facebook LIVE

The Friends of the Carr Refuge’s 4th Annual March into Turtle Season kick-off was post-poned in March due to COVID-19. The Sea Turtle Happy Hour event will be our replacement and first ever virtual event, complete with everything you know and love from the original! Save the date for Sea Turtle Happy Hour on August 21st at 6pm EST. This will be a Facebook Live event that you can watch at home! There will be two guest speakers, an online silent auction, and a themed drink for you to make at home! This event will be entertaining and educational, while raising funds to support our ongoing work to support the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Details on this event are below, you will not want to miss this!
Image: Inwater Research Group

Image: Environmental Society of Oman
Ryan Welsh
Biologist with Inwater Research Group

Ryan received his BA in biology from Earlham College where he gained an interest in herpetology and conservation while working with Dr. John Iverson on the Allen Cays Rock Iguana in the Exumas Islands, Bahamas. After graduating in 2003, he began his work with sea turtles in the US Virgin Islands. Since then, Ryan’s work has been focused throughout the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico collaborating with the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, Mote Marine Laboratory and Sea Turtle, Inc. Working with all life stages of sea turtles; Ryan received his Master in Biology from University of Central Florida in 2019, focusing his thesis on population assessments and distribution of foraging green turtles in the Florida Keys.

Suaad Al Harthi
Executive Director of the Environmental Society of Oman

Suaad Al Harthi joined the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) in 2012 and currently holds the position of Executive Director. ESO is the first and only environmental non-government organization in Oman with a vision to conserve Oman’s natural heritage. Suaad’s position involves the development of programs and activities to promote environmental awareness and innovation, to advocate for conservation through community outreach and education, and to facilitate scientific research to inform conservation action. Suaad was a Tedex speaker in 2017 and highlighted the conservation importance of Arabian Sea Humpback Whales in Oman through her talk, and was awarded the Oman Woman of the Year 2019 Award in the category of Environment for her conservation contributions. Suaad holds a Master’s Degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of San Diego.
Silent Auction
We've also moved our annual silent auction to a virtual platform so you don't have to worry about missing out on amazing art, experiences, and other items!

We need your help more than ever to support conservation efforts in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Thanks for supporting our cause. To make a difference, please bid on auction items, give a cash donation, donate an auction item, or simply share this auction on your social media using the hashtag, #FOCRcharityauction.

Biding begins on all items August 14th and ends August 23rd, the Sunday after our event. Take a look at all of our items up for auction, new items added weekly!
Image: Friends of the Carr Refuge's Charity Auction Website for Sea Turtle Happy Hour Silent Auction

Facebook Live Link

The link to this event will be shared prior to the event in an email, but you can follow our Facebook page, Friends of the Carr Refuge, so you can be notified when we go live!

Themed Drink

We will teach you how to make a delicious cocktail you can enjoy while you listen to sea turtle speakers from around the world!
Curious about the ingredients to this delicious themed drink? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and join our emailing list to be notified when we release the top secret recipe!
Nest Count Update - July 30, 2020
Nest counts are provided by UCF Marine Turtle Research Group, Sebastian Inlet State Park and Ecological Research, Inc. for the 20.5 miles of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.

This is the first period when the Green nest counts are exceeding the Loggerhead nests for the period since the last update. The Loggerheads start earlier and end their season earlier, while the Greens will continue nesting later into the year.

Chris Long of UCF stated "Loggerhead nesting has passed 12,000 nests, and 2020 is now our 5th highest year in the past two decades! We're still getting about 75 loggerhead nests per day on the Refuge, but numbers are trending down as the loggerhead nesting season begins to reach its conclusion." Note that this statement applies to the UCF portion of the Refuge, the northern 11 miles.
Event Updates: COVID-19
Normally, Friends of the Carr Refuge is very active during the nesting season with many amazing events. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted most of these events. Below is an update on their status.

March into Turtle Season
now Sea Turtle Happy Hour: Details above
Turtle Walks: Cancelled
Turtle Digs: Cancelled

Any updates on the status of these events will be given as it becomes available through our emailing list, Facebook, and Instagram pages. If you are not already, please join our mailing list and follow us on our social media pages using the links provided below.

Thankfully the stay at home order does not prohibit sea turtles from nesting! Like always, the turtles have been very busy this nesting season!
Species Spotlight: Bobcat Lynx rufus
Hey all you cool cats and kittens, did you know that bobcats are Florida native mammals? They are regularly found roaming the shrub habitat of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge! They are easy to identify being twice the size of domesticated cats. Key features on these big cats include pointy ears, distinctive coat markings, and a short tail. Having a shorter tail, appearing to be "bobbed,"gave them their name.

Despite their abundant population, you are very lucky if you see them in the wild! They are stealthy, secretive animals that flee immediately when spotted! When visiting the Refuge, keep an eye out and may just catch a glimpse of this beautiful creature! Check out the link to a video of a bobcat chasing a squirrel up a tree right here in Melbourne Beach next to the refuge!

Bobcats are predators that usually prey on smaller animals such as rabbits, rodents, and birds. Don't be alarmed though, bobcats are generally not a threat to humans! If you would like to know more information on bobcats, FWC released an awesome informative flyer on living with bobcats.
Florida bobcat looking into an FWC trail camera.
Photo: FWC
Video: Disney Parks
Sea Turtle News:
Tour de Turtles
Start your flippers!! The annual Tour de Turtles has officially begun as of August 1st! Follow 15 sea turtles as they "race" in the name of conservation!

This month's participant spotlight is Kermit and Miss Piggy! Disney has collaborated with the Sea Turtle Conservancy to sponsor two sea turtles, now named Kermit and Miss Piggy, and their satellite tags as they race to see which sea turtle can travel the farthest.

Watch the above video to learn more about Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the other 13 sea turtles to bring awareness to ocean conservation!
Photo: FOCR
Advocacy Corner:
The Great American Outdoors Act
On August 4th, 2020 the President signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law!! This will secure a major funding boost for the National Wildlife Refuge system while fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

"After decades of deterioration of infrastructure, Congress has set aside $1.9 billion each year for the next five years to tackle the maintenance backlog of our nation’s public lands." This law also allows for "$900 million each year in perpetuity for land acquisition on public lands from the Refuge System to the Park Service to county park." - National Wildlife Refuge Association.

These funds will be shared by the National Park System, Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and of course the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.

August 4th is now designated as Great American Outdoors Day in celebration of this BIG win for conservation!!
Curious about joining Friends of the Carr Refuge?

If you are not already a member, we invite you to join us today! Helping the Carr turtles is not the only benefit of membership. Normally, we plan "members only" events throughout the year and offer early registration to members for our Turtle Walks and Digs! Use the button below to learn about our various membership levels or make a one-time donation. Don't forget to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram!