Upland Habitat Projects
In addition to providing research and scientific counsel, Upland Habitat is responsible for essential ecosystem restoration and management projects. Projects include the Native Ground Cover Restoration Program, the Objectives-Based Vegetation Management Program, a Cabbage Palm control study, a Sanibel Island Rice Rat Project, a Flatwoods Salamander study and a Scrub Ecosystem Management study.
The OBVM program provides data that is essential to best manage, protect and restore ecological structure on FWC lands.
Upland Habitat scientists are currently studying control methods of Cabbage Palm (Sabal Palmetto) on Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. Comparisons of recent and historical aerial photographs show numerous mesic flatwood sites in Florida have been invaded by cabbage palms over the last 6 decades.
In order to enhance wildlife habitat and ecosystem functions, the GCR program works to restore degraded habitat, pasture, and agricultural lands to native ground cover.
Upland Habitat scientists are currently involved in a study to determine habitat selection for the Sanibel Island rice rat (Oryzomys palustris sanibeli). Data collected will be used to inform restoration efforts and habitat management decisions.
The Frosted Salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum) and the Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander (A. bishopi) are experiencing population decline due in part to loss and degradation of crucial nesting habitat. In order to understand how to improve habitat for these declining species of flatwoods salamander, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting vegetation surveys at ephemeral ponds known to have salamander occupancy and successful nesting. The goal of this project is to establish a baseline for monitoring how optimal nesting habitat changes under management treatment efforts.
Absence of fire on some FWC lands has resulted in so much vegetation overgrowth that using prescribed fire is not safe or practical. To restore and maintain pyrogenic ecosystems, Upland Habitat scientists study mechanical treatments on scrub communities.
View photos from upland habitat restoration projects around the state.