Important Bird Areas

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Florida

Mostly north of U.S. 27 along both sides of the Ichetucknee River in southeastern Suwannee County and southwestern Columbia County, just upstream of its convergence with the Santa Fe River.

Ichetucknee Springs is a series of springs that discharge 233 million gallons (880 million liters) per day??a first-magnitude flow??and that form the short (6 mile; 9.6 km) Ichetucknee River. The Park receives 200,000 recreationists annually, primarily inner-tubists on the river.

Surveys in 1994 documented 629 vascular plant species, including several significant sandhill and ?high pine? species. The Park also supports 134 vertebrate species. Plants and animals of interest include ??Ichetucknee ladies'-tresses? (Spiranthes odorata  S. ovalis), ?wakerobin (Trillium spp.), ?King Solomon's seal (Polygonatum biflorum), ?Florida willow (Salix floridana), ?Ichetucknee siltsnail (Cincinnatia mica), ?mountain mullet (Agonostomus monticola), pine snake, ?short-tailed snake (Stilosoma extenuatum), gopher frog, gopher tortoise, Florida mouse, and ?Sherman's? fox squirrel. ? Many cultural sites occur within the Park, of which the most studied is the Mission de San Martin de Timucua. Ichetucknee Springs was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1972.

Ornithological Summary

significant populations of Watch List species; exceptional diversity of wood-warblers; and significant natural habitats

The Park contains a diversity of species, including pine flatwoods?sandhills species and Neotropical migrants. An American Kestrel nest-box ?trail? was established in 1994 and nestlings are banded annually.

Conservation Issues

*human disturbance, offsite development

The Park has an approved management plan. Upland habitats are prescribed-burned to maintain their open character. ? Overuse of the river by inner-tube ?riders? has caused damage to vegetation in the river and along its banks. As a result, the number of inner-tubists within the Park now is regulated to protect riverine habitats.

Ownership

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Habitat

*upland (?high pine?) forest, *sandhills, *temperate hammock, *riverine, fields, cypress swamp, hardwood swamp, freshwater marsh

Land Use

*conservation, *recreation

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