FWS Florida

HabNet Coalition

Coastal Program Highlights

Working with states and communities to remove invasive species in Florida

Charlotte and Lee County, Florida | 2013

The State of Florida purchased the 73,000-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve – one of the largest acquisition by the State. The preserve protects unique habitats and several federally and state protected species, including the gopher tortoise, red-cockaded woodpecker, and Florida scrub-jay. The preserve also supports public recreation opportunities including hunting, fishing, and camping.

The Coastal Program, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Babcock Ranch, Inc. developed a management plan to conserve these unique habitats and rare species. The plan recommended the removal of invasive species, like Brazilian pepper, using prescribed fire and other techniques. Coastal Program financial assistance supported a forestry technician to implement the management plan and monitor the restoration efforts.

Cover Photo: Prescribed burn, Tom Sykes | USFWS
Inset Photo: Florida scrub jay, NPS