Research and conservation staff assemble highlights from their fieldwork each month. Here are some reports from June 2021.
- Broadleaf species (Peruvian primrose willow, coastal plain willow, etc.) treatment is ongoing in different restoration units of the North Marsh.
- Scleria and invasive grasses treatment was completed in one of the restoration units.
- Scleria treatment in the North Marsh has begun.
- Invasive grasses treatment is ongoing, targeting as many deeper water areas accessible with ATV at this time; transition to wet prairies next month.
- Scleria treatment has begun.
- Trail camera monitoring has resumed. Locations include those near the most recently shredded restoration sites. Cameras have captured images of many medium-sized mammals, deer, hogs, and panthers in the vicinity.
- Two temporary data loggers were installed in wells in Bird Rookery Swamp. These will be in place until South Florida Water Management District installs permanent stations (1-2 yrs).
- Two temporary data loggers were installed in wells within the Sanctuary. These will be in place until they are replaced with solar-powered, telemetered wells (like what we installed in the central marsh transect) -- hopefully later this summer.
- The research team has been assisting the public engagement team with daily observations of the ghost orchids.
- The FWC panther team continues their bobcat-trapping effort around the fish farm and their trail camera monitoring.
- A team from USDA collected Salvinia minima from the boardwalk in late May.
Marsh & Prairie Restoration
- Gyro-Trac work for the year finished on 6-18-21.
- 200 acres were mulched.
- Post restoration photos for 2021-A were taken after one month. One month photos for 2021-C will be taken the week of 7-5-21.
- Aerial mapping of the central marsh has begun.
- Two trail cameras were set up in restoration site 2021-A. 2021-B and 2021-C will also be receiving a camera if conditions permit.
- Phase 2 has begun in 2021-A.
- 18 deer were spotted in restoration site 2021-A. Numerous deer have been foraging in each site.
- Sandhill cranes were foraging in 2021-B along with large flocks of other wading birds.
- Several Crested Caracaras have been spotted along Fish Farm Road.
- Glossy Ibis and many other wading birds foraging on Panther Island.
- Wood Ducks were seen in the cypress area of Panther Island.
- Deer foraging in units burned on April 1, 2021 at Panther Island.
The water level just came above ground at the B-gauge on June 21. At the lowest/dryest point in the dry season, the water level was 1 foot below the zero mark on the B gauge (that was on June 1, the first day of Water Year 2022). As water levels come up, aquatic fauna is dispersing and reproducing. Frogs, toads, crayfish, and live-bearing fish, in particular, take advantage of this time of year when they can produce young in standing water that has a very low density of predators. This time of year, aquatic fauna biomass in most shallow areas is dominated by tadpoles.
We received 12.6 inches of rainfall in June 2021. This is typical for us for June.