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Wekiva Basin Ecology Field Course # 2: Fire Ecology

On October 15, the Friends of the Wekiva River hosted the second in a series of ecology field courses in the Wekiva Basin. The 25 participants in the six-part series convened at Wekiwa Springs State Park (WSSP) to discuss historical and current fire management in the longleaf pine/wire grass ecosystems that predominate the uplands within the park.

The course instructors included Jay Exum, who is leading the series, along with Paul Lammardo Park biologist at WSSP, Zach Prusak with The Nature Conservancy and Randy Mejeur with AECOM. Paul, Zach and Randy all provided expertise on the implementation and consequences of fire in longleaf pine ecosystems. WSSP provided a tram to traverse the field roads along our 6-mile study area.

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Wekiva Basin Ecology Field Course # 1: Wetland Hydrology and Breeding Frogs

The first installment of the Friends of the Wekiva River Ecology Field Course was held on August 19 th at Seminole State Forest (SSF). All 25 slots for the course were taken and there was a waiting list – we may have to schedule another nocturnal excursion into SSF later.

Based on a study of the breeding frogs in shallow, ephemeral marshes on SSF a couple of years earlier, I had already identified the areas that we visited on Saturday night. I had also done some recent reconnaissance to find the most convenient way to access a couple of the most productive marshes.

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Year-End Summary/Wekiva Basin Biological Calendar

What’s going on in the Woods of the Wekiva? Year end summary. Year-End Summary/Wekiva Basin Biological Calendar

On a cool, sunny morning in late February, I realized that I had completed a full year of What’s Going On in The Woods articles. The realization came from undeniable cues that plants and animals had transitioned to spring. Read more

Friends of the Wekiva – Radio Interview

Dr. Exum has been involved with issues related to conservation in the Wekiva Basin for more than 20 years. This has included leading field trips, giving presentations, and participating on the Friends of the Wekiva River Board of Directors. Along with the current president, John Pottinger, Dr. Exum was interviewed by Beth Perril about various issues in the basin and the role of the Friends in environmental advocacy, biological research and education. This interview played on several local radio stations in August 2015. In the interview, Dr. Exum and Mr. Pottinger discuss water quality and quantity, human/bear conflicts, the Wekiva Parkway and other issues related to conservation of natural resources in Central Florida.

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Wekiva River Bird Survey – Part of the 115th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

The field work associated with the 115th Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has now been completed. More than 2000 “count circles” are surveyed each year in December and January and the number of species and the number of individual birds are recorded. Such a survey has been conducted in what is known as the Wekiva River count circle for more than 25 years. The Wekiva River count circle is divided into 15 zones based on landmarks and natural boundaries such Interstate 4 and the Little Wekiva River. Read More…