Loxahatchee Refuge Gets a Close-Up
|At Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, a Fish and Wildlife Service employee pulls exotic invasive melaleuca from the Everglades. An October segment of “Dirty Jobs” features the Florida refuge and its invasive-control efforts.|
|Credit: Ryan Hagerty, USFWS|
TV cameras will take viewers deep inside Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday, October 26, when the Discovery Channel airs a segment of “Dirty Jobs” featuring the Florida refuge. The segment, titled “Wetland Warriors,” shows Fish and Wildlife Service workers fighting the invasive melaleuca tree and conducting a prescribed burn.
Loxahatchee Refuge, the northernmost reach of the Florida Everglades, is thick with exotic plants such as melaleuca (Brazilian pepper), which threatens to dry up the swamp, and lygodium (Old World climbing fern), which threatens to smother it. Controlling these plants is a costly and messy business that can mean challenging the turf of resident alligators. The refuge is also on watch for other large animal predators including Burmese pythons, non-native constrictors that have become established further south in the Everglades.
In the segment, refuge contractors cut and spray melaleuca trees. Then, Service staff burn a previously treated area of melaleuca trees in a controlled fire. The segment premieres at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Times. For other areas, check local listings.