Next Meeting, September 19, 2018
"Conserving a Remnant Population of Gopher Tortoises:Land Management Challenges at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve" George L. Heinrich (Heinrich Ecological Services, Florida Turtle Conservation Trust)
Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is one of the last remaining natural areas in urban Pinellas County and is completely surrounded by development. The preserve's diverse habitats support several imperiled species, including the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus), and Nuttall's rayless goldenrod (Bigelowia nuttalli). A significant portion of the preserve (149.6 acres) consists of well-drained, sandy soils and suitable forage species which support the largest remaining tortoise population in the southern Pinellas Peninsula.
The presentation will review recent gopher tortoise burrow surveys and ongoing habitat restoration and management efforts (e.g. prescribed fire, thinning of trees, and control of invasive non-native species) as well as discuss the challenges of managing a natural area bordered by urban interface.
George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida reptiles. His company, Heinrich Environmental Services, is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours.
Light Refreshments are served and a plant auction follows the main meeting
Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Rd 579, Seffner, FL
We meet in the back