Endangered Species

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  • Florida jujube

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    Ziziphus celata, commonly known as the Florida jujube or Florida ziziphus, is a terrestrial flowering plant endemic to central Florida. Ziziphus celata is very nearly extinct and is listed as federally endangered. This species usually prefers the periphery of turkey oak sandhills or yellow sand oakhickory scrub communities. The ziziphus is known to exist in only five remnant populations that are found in Polk and Highlands counties, and some of these sites are threatened by continued land conversion for residential housing, agriculture, and road construction.

  • Pygmy Fringe-Tree

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    Pygmy Fringe-tree (Chionanthus pygmaeus) is a large shrub that occurs primarily in scrub as well as high pineland, dry hammocks, and transitional habitats in central Florida. Much of this species habitat has been lost because of land clearing for citrus production and residential development. Consequently, the species was listed as federally endangered in 1987.

  • Sand Skink

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    Sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) is a small, slender lizard adapted to living in sandy soils. This “sand swimming” skink hunts for insects, usually leaving its tell-tale s-shaped tracks in the sand. Sand skinks are endemic to habitats found along central Florida sand ridges, including rosemary scrub, scrubby flatwoods, sand pine and oak scrubs, and turkey oak ridge. Most of these habitats have been lost to agriculture and development, and as a result, the sand skink was listed as federally threatened.