It’s bat time again: Check your home before maternity season.

February 16, 2020

Bat maternity season is almost here, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding the public to check their homes and other structures for bats and seal potential entry points. Are there cracks in your chimney or holes in your siding? Bats and other small mammals can fit into these small spaces, and now is the best time to inspect your home!

Maternity season is the time during which bats gather to give birth and raise their young. Removal of bat colonies must be completed before the season starts on April 15. Bat exclusions are illegal during the maternity season, which runs through August 15. That protects young bats that are not yet able to fly, and it prevents bigger problems for homeowners.

“Maternity season is a critical time for bats,” said Terry Doonan, an FWC biologist and mammal conservation coordinator. “If they are excluded from a place where they are roosting during this time, their flightless young can become trapped inside and die.”

Florida is home to 13 resident bat species, including threatened species such as the Florida bonneted bat. Some bat species roost in artificial structures, including houses and other buildings. It is illegal to harm or kill bats in Florida, so guidelines have been developed to ensure bats are removed safely and effectively outside of the maternity season.

Exclusion guidelines on how to remove bats from buildings can be found at Materials and methods used to exclude bats can affect the success of that process. For more information on how to conduct a bat exclusion, watch this YouTube video: How to Get Bats Out of a Building. Further details on how to conduct a legal bat exclusion can be found at Bat Conservation International.

Bats are beneficial to people and are an important part of the ecosystem. Florida’s native bats help keep insect populations under control, with the average bat eating hundreds of insects a night. In addition to the benefit of keeping mosquitoes and other insects at bay for residents enjoying the outdoors, the value of insect suppression by bats to U.S. agriculture has been estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

There are several ways that Florida residents and visitors can help bats:

  • Preserve natural roost sites, including trees with cavities and peeling bark. Dead fronds left on palms can also provide roosting spots for bats.
  • Put up a bat house.
  • Report unusual bat behavior, or sick or dead bats to:

Avoid handling or touching bats, or any wild animals, especially if they are not acting normally. Bats, like any other wild animals, may bite to defend themselves if handled, and they can carry rabies. For more information about rabies, visit the Florida Department of Health website at

If you have questions or need assistance, contact your closest FWC Regional Office to speak with a regional wildlife assistance biologist for more information.

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Amelia Island revealed . . .

By Stephan R Leimberg
February 15, 2020

Steve Leimberg captured these two photos of the February 8, “Snow Moon.,”  so named because many areas have snow on the ground at this time of year. The February full moon is also called the “Hunger Moon” named by North American tribes due to scarce food sources and hard hunting conditions during mid-winter.

“Snow Moon” Photos courtesy of Stephan R. Leimberg, Copyright 2020,

Editor’s note: A native of Wildwood, New Jersey (another barrier island), Leimberg makes his home on Amelia Island. While residing in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Steve taught Estate and Business Succession Planning in the Tax Masters Programs at Temple University Law School , Villanova University Law School, and the American College.

On Amelia Island , Leimberg works as a professional portrait and wildlife fine arts photographer. To view more of Leimberg’s work visit We appreciate Leimberg’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.

Photographers can submit their photos to [email protected] Fernandina Observer Incorporated is committed to protecting the copyright and intellectual property of others. Content provided to the Fernandina Observer must be content that does not violate copyright or intellectual property of others.

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Local students seeks $50,000 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

February 15, 2020

Clay Buchanan (L)

Clay Buchanan, a junior at Fernandina Beach High School, is the Campaign Manager for the Students of the Year Campaign to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The team goal is to collect $50,000 to help cure blood cancers and create awareness.

Fellow students with a passion for giving back are joining Buchanan in hopes of meeting the goal.

For more information or to donate to Buchanan’s team fundraising efforts click here.


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Nassau County road and lane closures: week of February 15-22, 2020

Daytime lane closures from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday southbound near the Nassau County line and Georgia State line for Gateway sign and guardrail construction.

I-95 from Florida State Line to Georgia exit 22 (Horsestamp Church Road)
Daytime lane closures for GDOT resurfacing project.

State Road A1A from Kutana Drive to Harry Green Road
Nighttime eastbound lane closure Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for traffic signal work.

State Road A1A at Petree Road
Daytime eastbound lane closures through March 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for utility work.

State Road A1A from Meadowfield Bluffs Road to License Road 
Nighttime eastbound lane closure Thursday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for traffic signal work.

State Road 15 from Ratliff Road to Roy Booth Road 
Daytime lane closures weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for traffic signal work.

State Road 200 at County Road 119
Daytime southbound lane closure Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for road work.

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Gov DeSantis and FDOT recognize Florida Crossing Guards and Crossing Guard Programs of the Year

Press Release
February 15, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Last Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recognized Florida’s crossing guards to thank those individuals who keep Florida’s students safe as they travel to and from school. In addition, Governor DeSantis signed a statewide proclamation to celebrate February 7, 2020, as Crossing Guard Appreciation Day. To view the proclamation, please visit Crossing Guard Appreciation Day.

“Crossing guards help ensure the safety of Florida’s students as they travel to the classroom and leave their campuses each and every day,” said Florida Department of Continue reading

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