WUFT News

Threatened Bird Species Get New Homes

By on April 23rd, 2014
This previously installed nest box is home to a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. The nest box pictured was designed for this type of bird and is located at Prairie Creek Lodge, a preservation site of the Alachua Conservation Trust.

Daniela Mencos/WUFT News

This nest box is home to a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. The nest box is located at Prairie Creek Lodge, a preservation site of the Alachua Conservation Trust.

A major problem facing Florida’s endangered birds is habitat loss, and the Alachua Conservation Trust is working to combat that.

Thirty new nest boxes were installed April 17 at Little Orange Creek Preserve. These nest boxes are used to increase populations of birds that have limited nesting cavities in trees, according to the FWC’s website.

Deforestation and development have reduced the amount of trees, so there is a scarcity in nesting habitats for birds.

Chris Burney, project manager for the trust, a non-profit organization, said the boxes were specifically designed for the wood duck and the southeastern American kestrel, but any nesting bird can use them. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission consider both birds threatened species.

“I think the kestrel box program will have success in re-establishing birds in parts where they have vacated,” Burney said.

According to the Wildlife Habitat Management Institute, the kestrel’s value lies in the role it plays in keeping insect and small rodent populations in check.

In 2009, the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, a department within the FWC, created a statewide nest box-monitoring project because of a decline in bird species.

About 15 nest boxes were installed on Alachua Conservation Trust lands after the program’s start in 2009.

With the acquisition of 1,000 new acres along the Alachua and Putnam county line, the conservation trust is now looking to expand the number of nest boxes available for birds.

Karl Miller, the FWC’s avian coordinator for land birds, instituted the original project in 12 North Central Florida counties, including Alachua County.

Last fall, staff and volunteers built 30 nest boxes.

Since the project was started the boxes have shown to be effective in increasing kestrel numbers, but a lot still needs to be done to improve the quality and quantity of suitable habitats, Miller said.

Volunteers from the community are encouraged to come out to the sites and assist staff in installing the new boxes.

 


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Preserving History Through Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ Recipe

The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park exists as a way to remember Florida history… But the workers there are doing something extra to “preserve” memories. WUFT’s Marie Edinger reports.


CMT’s “Gainesville” docu-series will premiere Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. This “coming of age” show will focus on a group of 20-something year old’s as they try to make it on their own. Photo courtesy of CMT

Gainesville Reality Show Set To Air Aug. 20

Country Music Television’s new docu-series “Gainesville” is set to air back-to-back episodes on Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. Some residents are worried that the show will not accurately portray Gainesville.


Midwife Talks About Life Experiences

Former midwife, Glenn Cameron, gives a glimpse into her years as a midwife in the 70s and the challenges the practice presented.


FDOT Cuts Funding For Active Streets

The FDOT cut funding for Gainesville’s Active Streets event, which offers free pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly activities twice per year. The organization and its supporters are trying to overturn the decision and look for new ways to fund the event.


Amanda Norman and two other Grace Marketplace residents wait outside the kitchen doors as it rains heavily. Norman has lived in Dignity Village for more than two months. photo by Thomas Lynn

The Grace Marketplace Debate Over Improvements

Gainesville’s City Commission approved a $585,525 budget for improvements that will make 10 campus buildings at the Empowerment Center livable. Residents and volunteers look forward to the changes, but some are concerned by the nearby chaos at Dignity Village.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments