In the Field
Florida Stewards take to the wild places with sweaty brows and well worn boots.
With over 425 species spotted each year, Florida is paradise for birders. Unfortunately, 13 species in the Headwaters of the Everglades are currently imperiled, while 2 others have already gone extinct. Biologists work to improve the populations of endangered species in the region, while keeping the common species common.
Florida's name means "the land of Flowers," which is appropriate for a state with more than 3,500 plant species. Many rare plants are found in the Headwaters of the Everglades, especially along the Lake Wales Ridge, which has one of the highest concentrations of endemic species on any continental land in the world. Ecologists work to revive populations of endangered plants and better understand the complex relationships between plants, other organisms, and fire.
Nature provides us with many beneficial services. Some support our physical needs, like: food production and drinking water, climate regulation, crop pollination, and medicine. Other services support our cultural needs, inspiring our art, spirituality, and identity. Recognition of these ecosystem services, is supporting conservation in Florida.
Today's wildlands often require care and restoration. Land managers, biologists, fire crews, and volunteers all help to ensure a healthy ecological balance in the lands and waters of the Headwaters of the Everglades. These stewards fight invasive species, replant trees, improve habitats, and add life-giving fire to the land.