Northwest Florida Environmental Conservancy, Part 2
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Beneficial Critters & Species!

"Dragonfly Symmetry"


(Above) Eastern pondhawks (Erythemis simplicicollis) - females.  Dragonflies are also an extremely beneficial insect.  Dragonflies consume hundreds of insect pests, such as mosquitoes and flies, in their lifetime.

"The Balance of Nature":  Everything in nature has a place, occupies a niche, and plays a role, no matter how great or small!   
  Humankind has greatly altered or destroyed the balance of nature in many places on the earth.  Many of the most feared and misunderstood species (i.e., snakes, bats & sharks) have been heavily impacted by human activity and are declining worldwide. 
  However, these species are vitally important to the health of many ecosystems and benefit humans in a great variety of ways.  Sharks act as the "garbage men" of the seas by removing sick and injured animals.  A single snake can eat up to 3,000 rodents in its lifetime, and a single bat can consume up to 3,000 insects in one night!  The benefits such species provide to humans far outweigh the very small percentage of danger!
   A common rat snake or kingsnake can eat hundreds to thousands of harmful rodents in its lifetime.  Rodents can be very dangerous to humans in numerous ways -  rodents eat 1/3 of the world’s stored grain annually, spread infectious human diseases, and chew on electrical wiring which can lead to fire and human death. 
   A single bat can consume 3,000 or more insects in one night, and one colony of roosting bats can consume millions of insects annually!  Bats are one of the greatest predators of harmful insects such as mosquitoes and agricultural crop pests, like cucumber beetles and cotton bollworm moths.  Bats play a vital role in the control of mosquitoes, which can carry and transmit dangerous diseases such as West Nile and several other deadly viruses. 
   Often times, the most persecuted species in nature aid humans in numerous and uncountable ways.  A better understanding of such species will benefit people and preserve such critical species in nature.


(Above) Preying Mantis - Jackson County, FL.  Mantids may have a scary appearance, but they are extremely beneficial insects!  Mantids consume hundreds of other insects in their lifetime.
(Below) Damselfy. 
Jackson Co., FL
Damselflies are related cousins of Dragonflies,
and are also very beneficial insects because
they eat hundreds of other harmful and annoying
insect pests.


Pg. 10 Elusive & Rare Florida Panhandle Amphibians & Reptiles