Featured Projects - Preservation
Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia), is North America's most endangered conifer, and its habitat is the steep ravines along the Apalachicola River in north Florida and extending in similar habitat to about 1 mile into southern Georgia. Since the 1950s, the species has been threatened by numerous fungi. Most trees found in the wild are root sprouts that are just a few feet tall due to stem and needle blights caused by the fungi.
The FNPS TorreyaKeepers project is focused on working with private landowners to locate and conserve trees on private property. This project will expand upon the work that Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG) is doing on public lands and help to conserve more of the genetic diversity of Florida Torreya. In partnership with ABG we will collect seeds and cuttings for propagation by ABG in their nursery. We developed a brochure to help private landowners identify Florida Torreya and distinguish it from other similar-looking trees. We will also be developing a brochure on best management practices to help private landowners protect the species on their properties.
TorreyaKeepers Website: torreyakeepers.fnps.org
Participating in the Land Management Reviews for public lands purchased under the Florida Forever and P2000 programs has been one of FNPS' most successful project efforts.
Since 2009, FNPS members have participated in nearly 100% of all state land management reviews.
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Thanks to the success of our Citizen Science Project to Map Rare Plant Species, we were able to map an undeveloped area of sandhill that if protected, will preserve important wildlife habitat and a natural corridor connecting publically-protected conservation lands. The project area (aka "The Warea Area") is home to numerous rare plant and animal species including Clasping Warea (Warea amplexifolia), a critically endangered plant species, the Florida Sand Skink (Plestiodon reynoldsi), Florida Black Bear (Ursus americanus floridanus), Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus Polyphemus), and Sherman’s Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger shermani).
Working with our conservation partner, Putnam Land Conservancy, the first property was acquired and preserved in 2014. In 2018, Conservation Florida also donated a parcel to the project. Working together, we are engaging the assistance of scientists, students and concerned citizens while we continue to acquire properties, monitor rare species and habitat, and to manage these properties for the benefit of the species that depend on them for their existence.
In 2019, Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) completed the purchase of 12.48 acres, adding to the land already preserved by Putnam Land Conservancy. This represents the first purchase of lands significant to the conservation of native plants by FNPS.
Funding for the purchase was provided by grants from the Felburn Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and many private donors.
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We are documenting occurrences of Florida’s rare plant species throughout the state, especially those in the path of development or that are located within road right-of-ways and utility easements. This is important because many companies and contractors have begun using herbicide in place of mowing. Additionally, many of our rare species require occasional or reduced mowing in order to flower and reproduce. Management protocols for rights-of-ways are essential for the conservation of many of our rare and endemic plant species.
FNPS and our Chapters work with partners to help monitor and manage many sensitive locations located in power line and road rights-of-ways. We also help monitor and manage rare plant populations on public lands.
This mapping project has been instrumental in the following:
- Our Warea Conservation & Land Acquisition Project
- Roadside management protocol was developed for Helianthus carnosus populations in Flagler and Putnam Counties. Funded by an FNPS Conservation Grant.
- Bay County – Road-widening Project - Sarracenia leucophylla population was brought to the attention of planners
- Popluations of Ruellia noctiflora, Brickellia and numerous milkweed plants in Wakulla County were rescued and relocated for the installation of a paved trail.
- Lake County - Lilium catesbaei population conserved
- Lee County - populations of Sacoila lanceolata and several milkweeds were conserved.
How you can help:
Document all sightings of rare plants in road rights-of-way to help fill in gaps and build the database. Please provide an accurate location either using GPS or your cell phone. Please take a close-up picture of the plant and send with your email (see link below).
Encourage your county to adopt a wildflower resolution (if they haven’t yet).
If your county has adopted a wildflower resolution and you see a roadside rare plant population with no signs of protection, you can simply contact FDOT for populations located on state highways or a county roads department for populations located on county roads.
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