The Babcock Ranch Preserve (Preserve) covers 73,000 acres in south-central Florida, and includes several unique habitat types containing dozens of state and federally protected plants and wildlife. Invasive species can displace native plants and animals, which can impair an entire ecosystem.
The Coastal Program partnered with Babcock Ranch, Inc., and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to develop and implement an invasive species management and monitoring plan to restore 884 acres of habitat on the Preserve. Prescribed fire and herbicide were used to remove invasive plants, including Brazilian pepper, cogon grass and water hyacinth. After the treatment, monitoring for amphibians, Florida scrub-jay, and red-cockaded woodpecker will be conducted to evaluate the success of the project.