In 1991, Conservancy biologists initiated the Land Acquisition Program that resulted in conserving approximately 70,000 acres in Picayune Strand State Forest. Once part of the Southern Golden Gates Estates development, Picayune Strand State Forest was over-drained by a system of canals in an attempt to build a large scale housing development. More than 290 miles of roads and 48 miles of drainage canals were constructed. Those roads and canals radically altered the flow of water through Southwest Florida. An estimated 411-million gallons of freshwater unnaturally flow into the Gulf of Mexico, disrupting resident species of plants, animals and marine life.
From 2001- 2013, the Conservancy Science and Research Department completed pre-restoration baseline wildlife studies for the Picayune Strand State Forest Restoration Project. These studies will be repeated post-restoration to evaluate restoration success.
Mangrove systems are often called “nature’s nurseries” because they provide habitat and shelter for a variety of animals. They also serve as an indicator of the health of our coastal waterways.
Developing a feasible, non-invasive survey methodology for the Everglades mink helped to facilitate future designs of more rigorous surveys to establish mink distribution, habitat and populations
The Conservancy’s Science Department is conducting research to advance the field of urban ecology to encourage use of resources within developed areas to support some of our natural resources.
Conservancy scientists, in collaboration with research partners, have learned that Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) in Southwest Florida often make use of burrows constructed by large, native wildlife.
Conservancy biologists have been studying refugia in swamplands on the western edge of the Everglades, Picayune Strand State Forest and Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve.
1495 Smith Preserve Way Naples, Florida 34102
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