The Effects of Flatwoods Restoration on Wildlife
The Effects of Flatwoods Restoration on Wildlife
The Effects of Flatwoods Restoration on Wildlife
The Effects of Flatwoods Restoration on Wildlife

In 1998, CF Industries underwent an experiment to compare various treatments in attempt to identify the most effective, timely, and cost efficient way to restore improved pasture to pine flatwoods, the native habitat type on six selected treatment areas.  One way to gage the success of this flatwoods restoration is to compare the wildlife use of these treatment areas to the wildlife use in typical pine flatwoods (reference sites) in close proximity to the treatment areas.  In other words, “if you build it, will they come?”  Wildlands designed and implemented an intensive survey regimen on the treatment sites and two local, typical pine flatwoods communities for comparison. We’ve employed several survey techniques, including the use of herpetofaunal arrays (for reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals), pvc refuge stations (for frogs), small mammal traps, tracking  and sign surveys, and visual and auditory surveys (primarily for birds and frogs).  This rigorous survey regime has been implemented for the last three years with literally 100’s of trap nights; we have documented thousands of terrestrial vertebrates.  Our preliminary findings indicate that the treatment or restoration areas are approaching a species assemblage that is statistically similar to our reference flatwoods sites.  CF Industries is funding this study to better understand the level of their restoration success; it is not a requirement of any permit condition.  We intend to move forward and, in partnership with CF Industries, and possibly the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, continue this study with the purpose of tracking the long-term results of these restoration efforts.