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Improving, Restoring, and Managing Wildlife Habitat in Florida: Sources of Technical Assistance for Rural Landowners

Mark Hostetler, Chris Demers, and Martin Main

Introduction

In Florida, roughly 50% of the rural land area is held in private ownership and engaged in some form of agriculture or forestry (Florida Statistical Abstract, 1992). Privately owned lands in Florida provide critically important wildlife habitat for many species. Effective management of wildlife habitat on private lands in Florida is essential for maintaining healthy wildlife populations into the future.

Managing for wildlife essentially includes maintaining the natural processes on the land. For example, fire in pine flatwoods and seasonal flooding of wetlands are essential for maintaining plant and wildlife communities that are adapted to these natural processes. However, multiple land uses, invasive non-native species, and other factors may interfere with natural environmental processes. In these cases, active management is needed to maintain or restore healthy and productive wildlife habitat.

Expert advice can be helpful when deciding on specific management actions needed to maintain or restore wildlife habitat. This is especially useful when attempting to benefit wildlife species of special management interest or concern. Landowners are advised to consider the types of habitats that exist on their property and that they are interested in managing, such as wetlands, pine forests, hardwoods, abandoned pasture, and so forth, to assist them when they begin searching for information.

This document summarizes sources of information from federal, state, and non-governmental organizations that provide technical assistance to rural landowners interested in managing or restoring habitat for wildlife (Table 1). Additional information regarding conservation and management of wildlife habitat in Florida is available on the UF/IFAS Extension Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS). Related documents present information on programs that provide:

  1. Financial assistance to private landowners

2. Technical assistance for homeowners:

3. Conservation options (easements, etc.) for private landowners

4. Evaluating private lands for conservation

Additional information

Demers, C., 2014. Forest resource information on the Internet: connecting to today's online resources. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr182.

Demers, C., Long, A., and C. Latt. 1999. Establishing and maintaining wildlife food sources. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FR062.

Demers, C., Hawkins, L., Long, A., and C. McKelvy. 2001. Providing wildlife cover. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FR124.

Hostetler, M.E., Klowden, G., Miller, S.W., and K. N. Youngentob. 2003. Landscaping backyards for wildlife: top ten tips for success. Circ 1429. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/UW175.

Main, M. B., Karim, A.K., and M. E. Hostetler. 2003. Conservation options for private landowners in Florida. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/UW194.

Main, M. B., Karim, A. K., and M. E. Hostetler. 2003. Evaluating private lands for conservation of wildlife. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/UW195.

Main, M. B. 2000. Management of white-tailed deer in Florida—Part I: collecting information on herd health. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/UW136.

Main, M.B., and G.W. Tanner. 1999. Effects of fire on Florida's wildlife and wildlife habitat. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/UW132.

Marion, W. R., Werner, M., and G. W. Tanner. 2002. Management of pine forests for selected wildlife in Florida. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/UW098.

Schaefer, J.M. 2000. Florida's invaders: exotic pests. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/CR008.

Tables

Table 1. 

 

Organizations and programs that operate throughout Florida (statewide) to provide technical assistance for management of wildlife habitat and natural resources.

 

 

Publication #CIR1472

Date: 3/11/2021

  • Program Area: Animal Systems
Fact Sheet

About this Publication

This document is CIR1472, one of a series of the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date May 2005. Revised May 2008 and December 2014. Reviewed February 2021. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

About the Authors

Mark E. Hostetler, professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology andConservation; Chris Demers, forest stewardship coordinator, School of Forest Resources and Conservation; and Martin B. Main, professor, associate dean and program leader, Natural Resources Extension; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • Mark Hostetler