Conservation Update: September 2020

Research and conservation staff assemble highlights from their fieldwork each month. Here are some reports from September.

Research and conservation staff assemble highlights from their fieldwork each month. Here are some reports from September:

Land Management

  • At Panther Island, grasses and broadleaf species continue to be tackled as the final fall push before these species go dormant during the winter months
  • Around the rest of Corkscrew, treatment of invasive popcorn sedge (Scleria lacustris) is done for the year, and the LM team is now focused again on the treatment of invasives and any hardwood regrowth in the restoration units.
  • Trail trimming and mowing were also recently completed. The smelly task of squashing invasive apple snail egg clusters in the backountry continues.
  • Essential field activities continue for research staff while staff is working from home on data entry, data management, data analysis, and other computer-based projects.


  • Research director Shawn Clem, Ph.D. was a panel in a webinar discussing ghost orchid ecology and conservation which can be found here
  • Solar-powered, satellite telemetered water level monitoring stations continue to relay real-time water level data that will assist with hydrology research.
  • The hydrologic modeling project that will help us better understand the causes of Corkscrew’s hydrologic changes continues. Preliminary results have already started to be analyzed.
  • The research team continues to work with FWC to monitor the status and health of Florida Panthers in the Sanctuary.
  • Thanks to the help of FGCU student volunteers, fish sampling has restarted at CSS.

Hydrology Update

September rainfall helped raise swamp water levels and have caught us up to near-average total wet season rainfall, despite a relatively dry June and August. Swamp water levels are currently at or near the wet season peak, with our ultimate peak dependent upon rain from any tropical systems we may see in October. With water levels high, aquatic prey are dispersed across the system and densities are low. As water levels begin to recede later this fall, densities will increase and wading birds will begin returning to nest.

Wildlife sightings

  • American Bittern and several Black-crowned Night Herons were spotted in the North Marsh; and a covey of young and adult Northern Bobwhite Quail were seen on Panther Island.

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