Important Bird Areas

San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

Florida

Northwest of Gainesville in northwestern Alachua County, mostly between U.S. Highway 441 and Interstate 75.

In public ownership since 1974, San Felasco Hammock represents one of the largest contiguous expanses of upland pine forest in north-central Florida. It is located between the Central Highlands and Coastal Lowlands along the Cody Scarp. A complex mosaic of 25 biological communities, featuring steep ravines, pristine hammock, and diverse wetlands, characterize a high species richness for the site. The Park receives 27,000 recreationists annually.

Ravines and sinks within the Park harbor flora that otherwise occur no closer than the Appalachian Mountains; San Felasco marks the southern limit of several species. ? The Preserve supports healthy populations of gopher tortoises, Florida mice, and 27 species of ?underwing moths (Catocala spp.). ? The Park contains four streams, all of them designated as Outstanding Florida Waters. ? Twenty-five archaeological or historical sites occur onsite, from Paleo-Indians to post Civil War. Many Spanish-era artifacts have been found, along with several associated village sites. Spring Grove, the former (19th century) Alachua County seat, may have been built within the current Preserve boundaries.

Ornithological Summary

Significant numbers and diversity of Neotropical migrants; and significant natural habitats.

The Park supports significant numbers and an exceptional diversity of Neotropical migrants, and approaches the southernmost breeding site in Florida for the Wood Thrush.

Conservation Issues

*offsite development, *exotic plants, *feral hogs, cowbird brood parasitism,

Encroaching development from Gainesville threatens to isolate the Preserve. ? Water quality is declining from runoff from increased development. ? About 20 species of exotic plants occur within the Preserve, and several are considered to be threats, including Chinese tallow, wild taro, ?tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum), cogongrass, ?Chinaberrytree (Melia azedarach), ?tungoil tree (Aleurites fordii), and ?silktree (Albizia julibrissin). ? Feral hogs are a major concern; eradication is planned.

Ownership

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Habitat

*sandhills, *temperate hammock, non-native pasture, bayhead, riverine, lacustrine

Land Use

*conservation, recreation