Florida Wildlife Festival
Florida Wildlife Festival Presentations Schedule
2016 information listed, please check back frequently for updates!



Community Building
(The Umatilla Community Building/City Hall is located one block east of festival grounds and the entry is on the east side of the building)


10:30 am – Wekiva Bears

Movement and behavior of Florida black bears adjacent to urban areas in the upper Wekiva River Basin: A Pilot Study

Presented by Daniel J. Smith, Ph.D., A.I.C.P.

Dr. Smith, a Research Associate & Wildlife Biologist at the University of Central Florida, will share rare photographs and videos as well as insights on bear activity in the wildland-urban interface. The presentation will include data from a recent 2 yr research project examining habitat use, movement and behavior of bears in the upper Wekiva River Basin.

Black Bear in the forest


11:30 am – 11:30 am – Florida Wildlife Corridor - “The Forgotten Coast”
This film released in October 2015, features Carlton Ward, Jr., Mallory Dimmitt and Joe Guthrie as they leave civilization and become immersed in a lost American wilderness stretching from the Everglades to the Florida Alabama border. Following in the footsteps of a wandering Florida black bear, this rugged 1000 mile journey by foot, paddle and bike traverses Florida’s Forgotten Coast—a wilderness that has the potential to change the way we see the natural world.


1:30 pm – FWC Bear Biology
Mike Orlando, FWC Wildlife Biologist “Living safely in Bear Country”
Florida black bear biology and behavior, and the science and techniques used to discover the secrets of a bear’s life. These discoveries help people understand and appreciate Florida’s largest land mammal. Learn about interactions and contact between bears and people in Florida – where, how and why they occur and how to ensure these interactions will be positive and safe experiences. For more information on the biology of the Florida Black Bear visit the FWC black bear management page.

Cadwell Park Building
(The Cadwell Park building is located in the center of festival grounds and the entry door is located on the north side of the building)

9:30 am – Living With Alligators Presentation
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Alligator Management Program
Please join FWC Alligator Management Program biologist, Amanda West, for an exciting presentation on how to safely coexist with alligators in Florida. Learn about alligator biology and the five steps you need to know to maximize your safety around this important species. Amanda will bring a young gator for demonstration! For more info on alligators, please visit http://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/wildlife/gators/


10:30 am –An Insider’s Tips for Recreating in Ocala National Forest: get the most out of hiking, 4-wheeling, hunting, boating, fishing, and outdoor fun for kids – USFS Biologists, Recreation Specialist and Staff

Ocala National Forest staff will help visitors learn: tricks for navigating and marking your favorite places with your smart device; tips for better hunting and fishing; new experiences offered at different trails and campgrounds; exploring wilderness areas safely by foot or boat; making the outdoors fun, educational, and safe for kids of all ages; what to do when you see suspicious people or activities; and we will provide answers to any questions from the public. Bring your smart device for expert help during the presentation or at the US Forest Service booth. For more information about the Ocala National Forest visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/ocala


12:30 pm – Central Florida Zoo
Zoo staff will present information on the new Black Bear habitat project being constructed at the Central Florida Zoo. The porridge is not too hot, and the chair is not too big, but unlike Goldilocks and her bears, the bed will soon be a new habitat at the Central Florida Zoo for three confiscated bears. There has never been a more urgent time than now to educate the community of Central Florida about living with the Florida black bear. Our community has grown exponentially and we have encroached on a valuable and necessary part of our Florida ecosystem – the Florida black bear


1:30 pm – DOW Panthers
"Florida Panthers in 2016 and Beyond” – The status of the population of Florida's iconic state animal. Lisa Östberg, Florida Coexistence Coordinator, Defenders of Wildlife

With only an estimated 100 -180 remaining in the wild, Florida panthers are one of the most endangered mammals in the world. Over the last 30 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has worked closely with FWC, as well as other Federal agencies and private partners to make significant progress toward Florida panther recovery. However, the growth of the panther population in recent years has come with challenges: due to the resulting geographic expansion of the population, the number of panther deaths on roadways has increased significantly and we've seen as a rise in loss of hobby livestock and pets as well, as panthers adapt their feeding habits to living on suburban fringes. Lisa Östberg of Defenders of Wildlife will share information about the current state of the panther population and Defenders' efforts to foster the peaceful coexistence of panthers, livestock, pets and people in the ever-changing landscape of Florida.

Florida Wildlife Festival
23 South Central Ave
P.O. Box 300
Umatilla, Florida USA 32784
Phone: (352) 669-3511 Fax: (352) 669-8900 ~ Email


Florida Wildlife Festival
Florida Wildlife Festival Florida Wildlife Festival Florida Wildlife Festival

Hosting & Production by