Scattered wetlands provide important breeding habitat for many reptiles and amphibians.
Habitats provide the food, water, shelter and space animals need to thrive and reproduce. Here at Caravelle Ranch, several natural communities provide habitat for fish and wildlife. The most extensive natural communities are pine flatwoods, floodplain swamp and bottomland forests, and improved pasture. Historic aerial photos from the 1940s indicate that flatwoods on both the east and the west sides of SR 19 were sparsely populated with slash pine, interspersed with numerous small (less than 5 acres) bayhead and cypress swamps.
Through special lease agreements, cattle grazing continue on some portions of Caravelle Ranch.
Previous owners cleared and ditched portions of Caravelle Ranch in the early 1970s to create improved pastures for cattle grazing. Today wildlife managers are restoring portions of these pastures by planting longleaf pine and removing bahia and other exotic grasses. Prescribed fire is a critical component to restoration efforts. Portions of disturbed pasture sites are used as dove fields, food plots and wildlife openings.
In addition to the management work described here, biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rely on a wide range of techniques (link to management at work page) to ensure that natural areas throughout the state stay healthy for wildlife and inviting to visitors.
Conceptual Management Plan