The poison in paradise

Biscayne National Park, Florida–An abundant and beautiful tree in the Biscayne National Park has a sting. Like poison ivy and poison oak, the poisonwood tree can leave a nasty rash on anyone who brushes against it.

Biscayne Bioblitz 2010.jpgBob Showler of the National Park Service gave volunteers and rookies like myself a lesson about the poisonwood tree at the bioblitz today.

I have no intention of straying off the park’s trails while I am here, so hopefully I won’t be coming into contact with this tree. The ferocious mosquitoes are enough of a hazard for me.

Watch Showler talk about poisonwood in this video. Apparently some animals are immune to its toxins–they even eat it!

Posted by David Braun

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More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn