Caravelle Ranch - Natural Communities

Cypress swamp
Betsy Purdum

The most extensive natural communities on Caravelle are pine flatwoods, floodplain swamp and bottomland forests, and improved pasture. Aerial photos from the 1940s indicate that flatwoods on both the east and the west sides of SR 19 were sparsely populated with slash pine interspersed with numerous small (less than 5 acres) bayhead and cypress swamps.


See  Major Natural Communities.


Betsy Purdum


Previous owners cleared and ditched portions of Caravelle in the early 1970s to create improved pastures for cattle grazing. Today managers are using various methods to restore portions of these pastures to more natural communities by planting longleaf pine and by removing bahia and other exotic grasses. Prescribed fire is a critical component to restoration. Portions of disturbed pasture sites are used as dove fields, food plots, and wildlife openings.

FWC Facts:
The world's whooping crane population has gradually increased from a low of 22 birds in 1941 to 503 birds in 2009.

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