Ridge Rangers January 2019 Newsletter

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Ridge Rangers are volunteers restoring wildlife habitat on the Lake Wales Ridge and nearby areas in Central Florida.

January 2019

Ridge Rangers & Jay Watch Enhance Habitat for Scrub-Jays

On December 15, 2018, Ridge Rangers and Audubon Jay Watch held the first of two joint workdays at FWC Henscratch to improve scrub habitat located next to endangered but expanding Scrub-Jay families. The habitat was enhanced by cutting down intruding sand pines, which harbor predators and prevent Scrub-Jays from the using the area to increase their numbers. 27 Ridge Rangers, Audubon Jay Watchers, & FWC Staff participated, and 2,690 sand pines were eliminated from 10 acres. As you'll see in the before & after picture below, cutting down that many sand pines makes a huge difference!  

Before and After - Sand Pines Eliminated

Before and After photos showing the impact of the 12/15 Ridge Rangers/Jay Watchers effort: You (and Scrub-Jays) can now see across the scrub, and it's much harder for predators like Cooper’s Hawks to hide. Photos by Bill Parken and Marianne Korosy.

Group Photo - Ridge Rangers, Jay Watch, and FWC Staff

Everyone was working hard and spread out over the 10 acres, but some of some of the 27 people who helped on 12/15 stopped long enough for a quick group picture. Thanks to all 27 who participated! Photo by Marianne Korosy.

Results Map

Sand pine problem area shown in red outline (Scrub-Jay family territories in purple). On 12/15 and on the eastern side near an expanding Scrub-Jay family, Ridge Rangers and Jay Watchers completely cleared the area of intruding sand pines!

Scrub-Jays at Henscratch

Endangered Florida Scrub-Jays near the problem area in the Henscratch site. Photo taken during last summer's Jay Watch by Joe Sage.

On January 19, Ridge Rangers and Jay Watchers are going back to Henscratch to complete the sand pine elimination on the western side of the problem area – come join us!  See Remove Sand Pines to Enhance Scrub-Jay Habitat  in the January Ridge Rangers Events below.