South Florida Rare Species Conservation Partnerships
Much of our focus in south Florida is on critically endangered plant communities such as Pine Rocklands and Scrub. Because so many of the lands supporting these plant communities have been lost to development, many of the plant species native to these habitats are themselves critically endangered. We are working with partners at Florida International University (FIU) to conserve several rare orchid species, including Cyrtopodium punctatum, Oncidium ensatum, Bletia patula, and Polyradicion lindenii aka Dendrophylax lindenii.
Cyrtopodium punctatum (cigar orchid).
Invasive Plant Removal at Secret Woods Nature Center
Our Broward Chapter sponsors events to promote public understanding of the urgency and importance of protecting our last remaining natural places. They host workdays to remove invasive exotic species from the Secret Woods Nature Center.
The Broward Chapter also helped found a workgroup “Friends of Natural Areas in Broward.” The Broward Parks Foundation adopted the workgroup under their 501(c)(3) sponsorship. The purpose of the group is to fund invasive removal work. Because the group is independent, neither run by the County nor any one environmental organization, it has the potential to bring together everyone who cares about natural areas to fight the invasive plant menace. It is critical. We have about five years. Some parks and preserves are degrading rapidly.
Rare Plant Monitoring and Rescue
Volunteers from the Coccoloba Chapter have been monitoring 36 endangered Curtiss’ milkweeds (Asclepias curtissii) within Koreshan State Site Park. The team is working to study and save endangered native plant species, like Curtiss’ milkweed and to teach local residents about the benefits provided by native plants in in the wild and in home landscapes.
The Coccoloba Chapter team also helped rescue and relocate thousands of Tillandsias that were downed by Hurricane Irma.
In southeast Florida, volunteers from Palm Beach County Chapter helped rescue and relocate Florida Endangered Tillandsia species, which included Tillandsia utriculata (Giant wild-pine, Giant airplant) and Tillandsia fasciculata Sw. var. densispica (cardinal airplant).
Broward County Scrub