Important Bird Areas

William Beardall Tosohatchee State Reserve


Brevard and Orange counties
30,691 acres (12,420 hectares)

In extreme eastern Orange County and a small part of western Brevard County, mostly west of the St. Johns River between State Road 50 and the Osceola County line. Contiguous with parts of the Upper St. Johns River Basin IBA to the north and south, and near one parcel of the St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge IBA to the east.

A large parcel of flatwoods, hammocks, and marshes along the west side of the St. Johns River. Formerly a cattle ranch, the property was purchased by the state in 1977 to protect its aquatic resources.

The Reserve contains 15 distinct natural communities. Most significant of these are the St. Johns River, which runs for 19 miles (30 km) along the Reserve's eastern boundary, and the Tootoosahatchee, Jim, and Taylor creek systems that cross the Reserve and empty into the river.

Ornithological Summary

Significant populations of Threatened and Special Concern species; significant numbers of wading birds; and significant natural habitats

The Reserve supports large numbers of foraging wading birds, and species of slash pine flatwoods. Red-cockaded Woodpeckers formerly occurred, and reintroduction may be an option.

Conservation Issues

development, human disturbance, exotic plants, cowbird brood parasitism

The management plan emphasizes managing natural communities, rather than managing for individual species. Measures are implemented to mimic the historic natural processes and conditions to the greatest extent possible. The goal is to restore and maintain habitats in their original condition, especially with prescribed fire. ? Since public acquisition, 14 miles (22 km) of canals have been back-filled, and 6000 acres (2428 hectares) of drained grazing land have been restored back into wetlands. ? Exotic plants are controlled as needed.


*slash pine flatwoods, *temperate hammock, *cypress swamp, *tidal marsh, *riverine, bayhead, cattail marsh, sawgrass marsh, lacustrine