Our Dedication to Preservation
One of the primary focuses of a Wetland Mitigation Bank is to improve the ecological health of the site using a variety of tools such as thinning monoculture pine stands, prescribed fire, hydrologic improvements, and wildlife management. Although these activities can be and often are implemented individually on forested lands, the lack of one or the other can adversely impact meeting ecological goals. As such, Wildlife Management is one of the best ways to measure the success of the ecological improvements to the site.
Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank is home to an abundance of native Florida wildlife species such as white-tailed deer, black bear, Osceola turkey, grey fox, and gopher tortoise. All of these species are directly impacted by the health of their environment. Ecological improvements to the site result in optimal health for the animals that inhabit the site. But this is only part of the equation. In fact, improving habitat for animals without keeping their numbers in check can be extremely detrimental to the animals and the goals of improving the ecological health of the site.
White-tailed deer are often referred to as a keystone species, which means that they directly and indirectly affect other wildlife species. In many regions, White-tailed deer have been detrimental to forest vegetation by over browsing when the herd becomes overpopulated. Vegetation degradation leads to habitat loss for a variety of species as well as food source loss to the deer herd and other herbivores. The best way to avoid detrimental habitat loss, unsustainable populations, and ultimately disease, is to keep the deer population at healthy and sustainable levels. Using cues from the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) and quality onsite management, Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank has implemented a Wildlife Management Plan, which revolves around the health of the present White-tailed deer herd.
Feral wildlife such as hogs and predator species such as coyote, have become nuisances to other animal populations throughout the United States. In Florida, these animals have reached record numbers and if not minimized, will decimate other wildlife species. At Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank, every effort is made to keep the numbers of these animals low.
Wildlife Populations and Data
At Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank we like to share the information that we gain from the implementation of our Wildlife Management Plan. This information includes deer density survey data, deer harvest data - including sex, age, and weight of harvested animals, and identification data. All of this information is collected to record trends in the population and overall herd health. Eventually this data can be used to determine the overall success of the ecological health of Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank.
For more information about our wildlife management and preservation, please contact Andy Hassan.