Flatwoods dominate the upland portions of Half Moon that were not converted to pastures; they are characterized by a sparse overstory of longleaf pine and a moderately dense understory of saw palmetto and oaks. On more poorly drained sites, slash and loblolly pine dominate the overstory.


Butterfly Milkweed
Effie Smith
Butterfly Milkweek


One small 15-acre natural stand of sandhill remains on the area. Its overstory consists of longleaf pine, with a ground cover of wiregrass. Its midstory is a mix of scattered turkey and post oaks interspersed among dense stands of blackjack oak. Projects to restore old pastures to open pinelands include planting longleaf pine.

Nancy Dwyer


Hardwood hammocks, with their ancient oaks and open understory, occur widely over Half Moon. These hammocks represent a climax community in the process of ecological succession; fire no longer penetrates or carries into this habitat.


Feral hogs foraging on dry marsh.

Limestone cave
Biologist Nancy Dwyer is looking into limestone caves
where alligators sometimes hide. Here, streams
disappear and resurface.


Freshwater wetlands comprise 40 percent of Half Moon WMA. Half Moon contains a diverse assemblage of wetlands. In emergent wetlands, common plants include maidencane, saw grass, sand cordgrass, and pickerel weed. Bald cypress, ironwood, live oak, red maple, and blackgum are found in forested wetlands. Shrub-scrub wetlands species include wax myrtle, fetterbush, red chokeberry, and Carolina willow.

FWC Facts:
Florida is #1 in the country for total days of wildlife viewing by nonresident visitors. (8.5 million)

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