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Volunteers Needed to Help Study Threatened Florida Scrub-jay

The Nature Conservancy’s Jay Watch program seeks volunteer “citizen-scientists” and offers free training sessions in May and June. No prior experience is needed for volunteers.


ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FLA. | April 09, 2010

The work of saving the threatened Florida scrub-jay is anything but finished.

Over almost a decade, volunteers with The Nature Conservancy’s Jay Watch program have contributed thousands of hours to help the scrub-jay — the only bird that only lives in Florida.

But more volunteers are needed this summer to survey new scrub-jay sites and continue work at existing sites.

Volunteers will document scrub-jay populations while getting unique exposure to the scrub-jay and learning about its biology and fragile habitat.

The Nature Conservancy will provide single-day training sessions in numerous locations throughout the state for Jay Watch newcomers; in addition, it will ask veteran Jay Watchers to participate again this year.
Multigenerational families of scrub-jays live together in very specific areas of oak scrub habitats, but the scrub-jay is severely threatened by loss and degradation of those habitats. Ninety percent of the scrub-jay population is gone.

The data provided by volunteer “citizen-scientists” will be analyzed by The Nature Conservancy and Archbold Biological Station and used to further protect this threatened species.

The Nature Conservancy will train new volunteers from 8 a.m. to noon during several sessions in May and June.

The dates and locations are:
May 1, PEAR Park, Leesburg, Lake County

May 8, Lyonia Preserve, Deltona, Volusia County

May 15, Lake Kissimmee State Park, Lake Wales, Polk County

May 26, Little Manatee River Southfork tract, Duette, Manatee County

May 27, Royce Ranch, Lake Placid, Highlands County

June 1, Lake Marion Scrub, Poinciana, Polk County

June 4, Loggerhead Marine Life Center, Juno Beach (Contact Anne Cox at annecox@bellsouth.net or (561) 744-9531 to sign up or for more information regarding this location)

June 8, Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Martin County Volunteers need to commit to surveying a scrub-jay site for at least three mornings between June 12 and July 21. Volunteers need no prior experience. Interested volunteers should RSVP to receive directions to the training sites. For more information and to RVSP, please contact Contact Cheryl Millett at (863) 635-7506 or cmillett@tnc.org


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.

Contact information

James Miller
(407) 389-4823
james_miller@tnc.org

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