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:
Whooping cranes mate for life, but they will take a new mate after the loss of the original. The pair will return to use and defend the same nesting and wintering territory year after year.

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