Tag Archives: Ft. Lauderdale

Croaking Cuban frogs Create Competition in South Florida

3 Jun
Cuban Tree Frog. Photo courtesy of www.floridagardener.com

Cuban Tree Frog. Photo courtesy of http://www.floridagardener.com

Southern Florida, particularly the more metropolitan areas such as Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are definitely not known for being quiet areas. The constant honking of horns, people yelling in multiple languages and bold headlines of bizarre news events make South Florida a melting pot of noise.

While I lived there, I would often here screaming arguments ending in “go back where you came from” when cultures clashed. Scientists have found that humans may not be the only ones participating in the battle of “who gets the last word.”

Native tree frogs may be amping up their mating calls to be able to be heard over the invasive Cuban tree frogs that arrived to the state in the 1930s. The Cuban tree frogs likely ended up in Florida as stowaways in shipping crates.

Ecologist Jennifer Tennessen, a graduate student at The Pennsylvania State University, and her colleagues recorded the calls of the Cuban tree frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) to see how they affected two native species of tree frogs: green tree frogs and pine woods tree frogs.

“We predicted that Cuban tree frog chorusing would interfere most with native tree frogs whose acoustic behaviors were similar,” Tennessen said, “and that these would be the most likely candidates to modify their acoustic behavior to avoid interference.”

Her prediction was right. After playing recordings of the Cuban tree frogs, green tree frogs (who have a call similar to Cuban tree frogs) in Everglades National Park doubled their number of calls per minute. This change did not occur in pine woods tree frogs and researchers predict this is because their call is more easily distinguishable from the others.

“By increasing their call rate, green tree frogs may be able to increase the likelihood that potential mates can detect them amidst the noise,” Tennessen said. “This response, however, likely comes at the cost of requiring additional energy, which could be detrimental as it may divert energy away from other important functions like digestion and immune function.”

She also explained that because the green tree frogs are doubling their call rate, predators may find them more easily. The competing call of the Cuban tree frog could also disrupt the soundscape of other organisms who rely on sound for survival.



Hialeah teen named 2012 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Southern Florida Chapter’s Boy of the Year

30 Jul

Four years after being diagnosed with lymphoma, a Hialeah teen is honored for his work to help raise awareness and fund research to find cures for blood cancers.

By Rebecca Burton/ rburton@miamiherald.com
Read Miami Herald article here
When doctors at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Broward told CJ George he had cancer, the Hialeah boy didn’t understand.He had only been suffering from back pain.

CJ George, 13, the 2012 Southern Florida Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Boy of the Year, and Matthew Sacco, the organization’s man of the year, at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Wednesday, July 25. CJ was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, which is currently in remission.

“I was only 9, I didn’t know exactly what I was going through,” said CJ, now 13.

His mother remembers how the news affected him

“When he was told he could no longer play sports, he had a total meltdown,” said Dawn George.. “He didn’t care about cancer; he cared about how his life was going to change.”

CJ is now in remission after undergoing two years of treatment for Stage 3 Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. After seeing children his own age pass away, CJ wanted to help raise awareness and fund research to find cures for blood cancers. This year, CJ was named the 2012 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Southern Florida Chapter’s Boy of the Year.

His sponsor — and the society’s Man of the Year — is Matthew Sacco, president of communications and public affairs for Sunrise Sports and Entertainment, the Florida Panther’s Hockey Club and the BankAtlantic Center .

Each year, LLS names a boy and girl of the year with either leukemia or lymphoma blood cancers. LLS also names a Man and Woman of the Year, as part of a 10-week national campaign to raise funding for critical research. Each candidate raises money on their boy or girl’s behalf, and each dollar raised counts as a vote. Sacco won after raising more than $100,000. Together, the 13 candidates raised $378,000.

“It was a record-breaking year for us,” Rhonda Siegel, Campaign Manager for LLS Southern Florida Chapter, said. “It was the most money ever raised.”

Sacco said he jumped at the chance to get involved and campaign after meeting CJ two years ago at LLS’ Light the Night Walk’s corporate reception, an event aimed to inspire corporate sponsors to get involved. CJ was the honoree that night and was scheduled to speak, after he had just come back from one of his treatments. Continue reading