Escribano Point - Habitat and Management
Habitats provide the food, water, shelter and space animals need to thrive and reproduce. At Escribano Point, the northernmost part of the WMA is an expanse of black needlerush marsh surrounding Catfish Creek
and tidal creeks that grade into pine forest at higher elevations. Farther south, habitats consist of basin swamp, maritime hammock and scrubby pine forest. Escribano Point protects some of the last undeveloped waterfront tracts in the county and features scenic views of coastal habitats. The WMA is part of a network of publicly owned conservation lands that provide habitat for rare plants and animals and help safeguard the water quality in Blackwater Bay, East Bay and the Yellow River.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission works closely with the owners and operators of the adjoining conservation lands - Eglin AFB and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection – to ensure that resource protection and recreational opportunities are of the highest quality.
Some of the land has a history of silvicultural operations that included logging, ditch and road construction and fire suppression. Current and historic natural community types will be mapped and this information will guide the management and restoration efforts on the area. These efforts include restoring normal hydroperiods, replanting native vegetation and reintroducing a prescribed burning regime. The result will be enhanced water quality in wetlands and tidal marshes, increased habitat diversity and quality natural resource-based recreational opportunities.
Mechanical treatments such as mowing and roller chopping are sometimes used to remove dense woody vegetation in areas where fire has been excluded for long periods. Invasive, nonnative species, such as Chinese tallow, cogongrass and Japanese climbing fern are treated or removed.
Biologists also conduct surveys of wildlife populations, including protected species and manage game species to promote healthy populations. The nonnative feral hog occurs here and is controlled by a variety of public hunting opportunities.
In addition to the management work described here, biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rely on a wide range of techniques to ensure that natural areas throughout the state stay healthy for wildlife and inviting to visitors.