South Region Program
The South Region Volunteer Program involves a wide range of nature-based projects aimed at conserving, monitoring and protecting species and habitats. By volunteering with the FWC, you can play an active role in fish and wildlife conservation.
The following projects take place throughout the south region. South Region counties include Broward, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie.
Black Spiny-Tailed Iguana
Black spiny-tailed iguanas pose a threat to the state-threatened Florida Burrowing owl. Both species shelter and nest in burrows, and thus, iguanas displace the owls. Volunteers assist with trapping and removing iguanas from areas with the presence of owls. This project can run throughout the entire year, but it is more frequent from October to May.
The Everglades Wildlife Management Area East Recreational site offers the public a wildlife viewing opportunity. The butterfly garden has native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that provide habitat for butterflies and other wildlife. Volunteers help maintain the garden and record what species are utilizing the area. This project needs volunteers throughout the entire year.
Debris and litter pose a threat to wildlife, humans, and the environment. Animals can die from becoming entangled or from ingesting debris. Volunteers participate in coastal or inland clean-ups along waterways.
During high water events, White-tailed deer congregate in higher-ground areas to avoid flooded terrains. This clustered distribution stresses the deer so FWC staff conduct weekly spotlight surveys in Wildlife Management Areas to monitor deer populations. This volunteer opportunity is dependent upon water levels on the landscape.
Florida Burrowing Owl
FWC staff, in collaboration with the Florida Audubon Society, install artificial burrows for the Florida Burrowing owl as a habitat enhancement measure. Volunteers learn how to build artificial burrows and assist with burrow installation, monitoring and maintenance if needed.
Invasive/Native Plant Workdays
FWC staff organize workdays to remove invasive plants and to survey invasive species to assist with future management efforts. FWC staff also undertake native plantings on lead Wildlife Management Areas, Critical Wildlife Areas and other cooperatively managed public lands. Volunteers assist with invasive and native plant workdays as well as surveying invasive species.
FWC staff attend community events throughout the south region and are always looking for assistance with these events. Volunteers are tasked with helping to set-up and disassemble these events as well as talking with the public to provide information about fish and wildlife. South events may include the South Florida State Fair, Outdoor Adventure Day and different nature-based festivals.
Shorebirds and Seabirds
In partnership with the Florida Shorebird Alliance, FWC staff monitor shorebirds and seabirds during the breeding season. Volunteers can be involved with bird surveys, sign posting for beach nesting birds, habitat enhancement and bird stewardship. The monitoring component of this volunteer opportunity runs from March to August. Volunteers who are familiar with shorebird and seabird species are preferred.