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On Lake Okeechobee, Irma Wipes Out All Everglade Snail Kite Nests

Photo courtesy Audubon of Florida

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Scientists say Irma destroyed all nests of the endangered Everglade (sic) Snail Kite on Lake Okeechobee.

Some 44 Everglade Snail Kite nests were ruined on Lake Okeechobee as Irma raked the state.

Paul Gray of Audubon of Florida says it’s an important loss during an already weak breeding season. The number of nests statewide had been 130, down from more than 800 a year ago.

“It’s tragic that the kite nests got blown over, and we lost that nesting effort. But that’s kind of a short-term thing.”

He worries more problems are in store for Lake Okeechobee and the Everglade Snail Kite as the state’s largest lake is expected to reach near historic heights after Irma.

The Everglade Snail Kite is found only in Florida. It is an indicator species of the river of grass.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades, under contract with Johns Hopkins ... Read Full Bio »