FLORA and FAUNA

 

Although our little island wilderness is home to many Florida native plants, a significant portion of the island is also a home for many non-native invasive species of plants. While some are very attractive, they actually are a threat to some of the habitats and habitants on the island.

The most dominant non-native species include  Sprenger’s Asparagus Fern, Brazilian Pepper, Oyster plant, Wandering Sailor and Australian Pine.

           

   

The Brazilian pepper appears in all portions of the island except for within the mangrove habitat. It is estimated that the Brazilian pepper covers 20 acres. The Australian pine dominates along the central portions from the north through the south and is a threat to some of the mangroves. The oyster plant and asparagus fern occur under the Brazilian pepper and the wandering sailor is found along the walks and trails.

Some of these invasives, particularly Australian pine and Brazilian pepper, restrict the growth of native plants that provide food for gopher tortoises and other native wildlife.

Beginning this fall and winter, we, along with the Parks department, plan to organize invasive plant removal volunteer programs.  Check our website for future postings.