Triple N Ranch - Habitat and Management
Habitats provide the food, water, shelter and space animals need to thrive and reproduce. Although some plant communities have been modified by altered hydrologic and fire regimes, and past cattle and forestry operations, Triple N Ranch contains some relatively pristine natural plant communities. These include high-quality dry prairie, hydric hammocks and floodplain swamps along Crabgrass Creek. Mesic flatwoods and cypress domes comprise more than half of the area. Despite the small size of the remaining plant communities, several are ecologically and recreationally significant. A rare orchid called long-lipped ladies tresses (Spiranthes longilabris) occurs across a large area in the mesic (moist) flatwoods and adjacent wet prairies.
The FWC’s resource management goals for the area include enhancing and maintaining the native upland and wetland communities on the WMA. To accomplish this objective, the FWC is restoring disturbed sites and has instituted a program of prescribed burning. Nonnative invasive plants such as old-world climbing fern, cogongrass, tropical soda apple and Brazilian pepper are controlled through mechanical and chemical treatments. Other management activities include re-establishing hydrologic regimes to benefit fish and wildlife habitats.
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.