Located in the town of Osprey in southwestern Sarasota County, east of U.S. Highway 41, north of County Road 681, and west of Interstate 75. Near the Myakka River Watershed IBA to the east.

A small State Park in a rapidly growing part of southwestern Florida. In 1991, the State paid $11.7 million to purchase 912 acres (369 hectares) northeast of the original park to increase its size and to better protect the regional population of Florida Scrub-Jays. The Park receives 130,000 recreationists annually.

Oscar Scherer State Park contains an herbarium collection. ? Shell scatter sites are evidence of earlier human settlement.

Ornithological Summary

The Park supports a significant population of Florida Scrub-Jays that has been color-banded and studied for 13 years.

Conservation Issues

*offsite development, *feral hogs

Overgrown scrubby flatwoods were restored to suitable habitat for Florida Scrub-Jays using mechanical means and prescribed fire. By 1999, this restoration effort had created 19 new scrub-jay territories. The scrub-jay population is censused monthly. ? A comprehensive management plan is being devised. ? Management activities include mechanical treatment and prescribed fire. ? Feral hogs and exotic plants such as cogongrass, ?St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), rosary pea, punktree, and Brazilian pepper are eradicated. ? Hydrologic improvements are proposed for South Creek, which flows through the park.

Ownership

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Habitat

*longleaf pine flatwoods and scrubby flatwoods, *temperate hammock, *riverine, xeric oak scrub, non-native pasture, mangrove forest, freshwater marsh, lacustrine

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