Scylla Sunday Sturgeon & Welcome Teddy

We wanted to take part in the Blogville Endangered Species Challenge which  is sponsored by the Blogville Department of Arts and Entertainment. The purpose is to draw attention to the plight of endangered species.We choose the Gulf Sturgeon because it lives close to us. 

The Gulf sturgeon is a federally-listed threatened species (Federal Register 1991) and much of the river, bay and nearshore areas throughout its range are considered critical habitat in support of spawning,in-river holding, or feeding activities. (Critical habitat is a term used in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to refer to specific geographic areas that are essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and that may require special management and protection.) Catching, harming, or disturbing Gulf sturgeon is prohibited by federal and Mississippi regulations.

Recently we have become aware of a business that is damaging the habitat the Gulf sturgeon needs to survive. Red Creek Off Road is making Red and Black creeks muddy and silty and filling both creeks in, this threatens Gulf of Mexico Sturgeon since their best-known resting and congregating area in the Pascagoula around mid-summer is the natural "lake" at the mouth of Black Creek.

We learned about the Gulf Sturgeon from the University of South Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. They are very interesting fish. Sturgeons are an ancient group of fish dating back about 200 million years to the age of dinosaurs. Gulf sturgeon are a subspecies of Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus. It is very difficult to visually distinguish between the two. Worldwide there are 27 sturgeon species and two closely related species of paddlefish.
  • Scientific Name: Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi
  • Common name: Gulf Sturgeon, Gulf of Mexico Sturgeon
  • Order: Acipenseriformes
  • Family: Acipenseridae
  • Management Category: Threatened
The Gulf sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi, is a large, primitive fish that has bony plates, or "scutes," rather than scales and a hard, extended snout.  Adult Gulf sturgeon range from 4 feet (1-2.5 m) in length and weight up to 200 pounds. Females attain larger sizes than males. Gulf sturgeon can live for as long as 60 years, but their average lifespan is about 20-25 years.

Gulf sturgeon are anadromous as adults, meaning that they spend time in both saltwater and freshwater, like salmon. Adults migrate upriver from the Gulf of Mexico in the springtime to spawn, returning to their natal streams to spawn, again similar to salmon. That is why the Black Creek habitat is so vital to them (Black Creek feeds into the Pascagoula River). The total number of adult Gulf sturgeon is unknown. However, the population in the seven coastal rivers of the Gulf of Mexico inhabited by Gulf sturgeon is estimated at more than 15,000 adults. Of those rivers, the Suwannee River in Georgia and Florida supports the most viable subpopulation, estimated at more than 9,000 adults in the mid-2000s. The subpopulation estimate for mature Gulf sturgeon in the Choctawhatchee River in Alabama and Florida is about 3,000 fish. However, estimates for other rivers (Pearl, Pascagoula, Escambia, Yellow, and Apalachicola) average around 400.

Current threats include the following.
  • construction of water control structures, such as dams and sills, mostly after 1950, exacerbated habitat loss
  • dredging
  • groundwater extraction
  • irrigation and runoff
  • flow alterations
  • poor water quality
  • contaminants, primarily from industrial sources
Current Research
Since 2007, faculty and staff of GCRL's Fisheries Ecology Lab have worked closely with colleagues at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center (USACE-ERDC) in Vicksburg to study Gulf Sturgeon ecology and movements.  Currently, there are three joint projects: the Pascagoula River, the Gulfport Harbor Expansion Project, and Ship Island Restoration. Dr. Mark Peterson is principal investigator for all three projects. Todd Slack, from the USACE-ERDC, is co-PI on the Gulfport Harbor and Ship Island projects.

Pascagoula River Project
The Pascagoula River is the only large river in the lower 48 States that is not dammed or has sills on the main stream. GCRL's longest running project is conducted on this beautiful and wild river. Their research has provided considerable data on Gulf Sturgeon movements and ecology.  They tag Gulf Sturgeon in the Pascagoula River as well as in the Pearl River system.

What you can do to help the Gulf sturgeon
Help protect their habitat. The Pascagoula River is being threatened with a dam by George County because they want to create two fake lakes for recreation.  You can read more about it at American Rivers, We Shouldn’t Mess with the Pascagoula, as well as finding out how to help prevent it.

We also need to get media attention to the damage Red Creek Off Road is doing to their habitat. If you can do a Facebook Post, Tweet, or Blog about it that would be great. #Mississippi #PascagoulaRiver

Now I was a bit puzzled about how I could take a picture with a sturgeon since they live in water and I don't really care for getting wet but I found a solution.

Socks and I helped capture, tag, and release a Sturgeon on the Pascagoula River, and I snapped a selfie with it.

Before we go we want to welcome Teddy from Two Spoiled Cats to blogville. Socks and I advise Teddy to enjoy being a kitten and not to be in a hurry to grow up. Fenris and Tuiren want him to know not to be afraid of dogs and Yin, Yang and Chimera just want to know if he will come over and PLAY.  ~Scylla, reporting for ATCAD

Caturday Art

Chimera is the subject of this weeks art. We didn't really do anything to this picture. Mommy just took it when she was on the porch and Chimera was in the bedroom. We thought it was interesting how the reflection of outside imposed itself on Chimera, and the window screen adds an interesting grid pattern.

We used paint brush here, we like the feathering.

And here is a pencil sketch of the kittens.

This is a pencil sketch of our beauty.

Chimera is pretty in purple.

Infared of the creek at Grandma & Grandpa's house.

Not sure what we did here.

Another pencil sketch.

And a coloring page. We color the free ones and we are not sure why Recolor decided to give us this to color in February. But it did and we did and we thought it turned out kinda nice, so we are going to go ahead and share it with you although it will be a long time until the next Christmas. Recolor is a free app in the Google Play Store. There are free things you can do and some advance stuff you can pay for. We just do the free stuff as this is just something we do for fun on Mommy's phablet.  ~ATAD

Fenris Friday

I love this bed that Daddy brought home. It is the only one I have ever slept on. But everyone takes it away from me.

Even Chimera.

It's MY BED. It's blue to match my eyes and it is Fenris size. ~Fenris, reporting for ATCAD

Throwback Thursday

 Daddy put the tree up and made sure the lights worked.

 I carefully supervised. Mommy was pleasantly surprised about how good we all were with the tree. I sat next to it on the couch and watched the lights for hours, but none of us ever bothered it. Charybdis always enjoyed sitting here looking at the tree. It made Mommy's eyes a little damp to see another calico girl sitting in the same spot she did.

 Socks enjoyed sitting under the tree. Yang sat under there with him once or twice but mostly it was just Socks under the tree.

 We like Snowy a lot, she looks almost like a REAL tree from outside.

 I was very disappointed when the peeps took her down.

 I think she should stay up all year.

I hope she doesn't get to lonely stuffed in the box in the attic all by herself.

I wanted to participate in Brian's Thankful Thursday, I am thankful to have a home inside where it is nice and warm. And I am thankful for my family who love me.

 ~Chimera, reporting for ATCAD

Winsome Wednesday with Yin

I just wanted to sit in Mommy's lap, but apparently Mommy thought we should take pictures.

Here I am sitting in her lap.

Not looking at the camera Mom, Chi Chi is already annoyed I stole her modeling gig.

No, I don't really care that she is annoyed but...

Sometimes it is polite to pretend to care.

Yes, these pictures do show off the brown in my furs.

That is what happens when I am laying in a sun puddle. You get good pictures of me.

Really don't know why you keep moving.

I think you should be in the picture too.

OK, one more quick picture and I think we nailed this one, and then we should go sit in the swing for awhile.

Yin, reporting for ATCAD

Love is in the Air

Be sure to check out Murphy & Stanley's V-Day K-oss Party Part 1 and ... Part 2. We played games to break the ice.

You can't imagine all the fun we had, you had best go check it out for yourselves.

 Big thanks to Kits, Kritters & K-9s for taking our pictures, so we could remember this pawesome event.

We are having so much FUN!!!!!! ~Yin, Yang & Chimera

Arty and Mabel hosted a Kids Room for the youngsters in blogville over at Dory's Backyard and we are having so much FUN. Thank you so much for hosting us, you are the best babysitters ever.

Madi taught us to do the Time Warp and we played spin the bone and we made some pawesome cards for our parents. 

If you haven't all ready you should go check out the trouble fun we are getting into in the Kid's Room. ~Yin, Yang and Chimera

Happy Valentines

We will be attending the V-Day Koss at Murphy & Stanley's blog. Yin, Yang and Chimera at one are too young for serious relationships but they are all ready to have fun with their friends in the Youth Room.

Scylla on the other hand has a steady beau, she made this card for him.  Brian blogs at Brian's Home.

The lovely Samantha from Life from a Cat's Perspective is Socks' fiancee, he made this sweet card for her.

Tuiren is in puppy love with Walter from Bird Brains & Dog Tales.  She has her paws crossed he likes the card she crafted for him.

And Fenris will be escorting Walter's lovely sister Millie to the V-Day Koss.

Scylla was tickled pink when Brian sent her this card. She is more than happy to be Brian's' Valentine.