An additional 125 acres of sand dunes, flatwoods and marsh ideal for Florida scrub-jays, eastern indigo snakes and gopher tortoises has become part of the Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve in Levy County, following The Nature Conservancy’s recent donation of the property.
Levy County is home to a highly at-risk population of Florida scrub-jays, and the property — which was added to the reserve in late December — is an important part of their range.
“The Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve is where this property belongs,” said Angela Klug, director of real estate for the Conservancy in Florida. “We’re very pleased to have been able to help protect it.”
The Nature Conservancy purchased the 125-acre site in 2009 using funds provided through a memorandum of understanding with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Cedar Key reserve is special in part because of its relict sand dune ridges, which occur in this area of the Gulf Coast. A region of low-lying coastal forests and hammocks extends to the north and south of these isolated scrub ridges. Purchased in 1978 under the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, the reserve was acquired to preserve these rare natural communities and geological features.
The inland areas in coastal Levy County are important to the overall protection of the Big Bend area, and permanent protection of the 125-acre tract will abate the threats of habitat conversion and landscape fragmentation adjacent to the reserve.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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