controlled burn in pine flatwoods
Thaddeus Penfield
Controlled burn in pine flatwoods

Prescribed burns are one of the chief management tools for this area. Fire is crucial to maintain the longleaf pine/wiregrass ecosystem. Numerous protected species, including the gopher tortoise and Sherman's fox squirrel, make their homes in this fire dependant habitat. Prescribed burns are used to reduce fuel loads of pine needles and oak leaves, to return valuable nutrients to the soils, and also to keep understory hardwoods at bay. Curtailing understory and midstory hardwood growth in longleaf pine habitat is crucial to maintaining the open landscape that is necessary for the species that depend on this natural community to thrive.



FWC Facts:
The painted bunting is one of the most rapidly declining songbirds in the eastern U.S. Surveys show an astounding 4-6 percent annual decrease in its numbers from 1966 to 2007.

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