| Earlier this month, Restoration Technician Jacob Zetzer was taking aerial surveys in the marsh and prairie restoration area. While flying the drone, he captured video of a Florida black bear in an area that we began restoring earlier this year. While the drone remained far enough away to avoid disturbing the bear, this perspective allows a great opportunity to see the immense scale of the project. Four months ago, this area would have been extremely difficult for this bear to traverse, highlighting the improved value this habitat has for local wildlife.
In southwest Florida, black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) use a variety of habitats, from cypress swamp to pine flatwoods, including corridors connecting these habitats. Especially in fall, bears begin exploring new areas when food resources like palmetto berries and acorns become available.
The patches of brown are areas of problematic plant species that have been treated. Our research team continues to conduct long-term monitoring to quantify both the changes in plant communities and the response by wildlife.