South-central and southwest Florida are home to a Florida’s “great prairie region” where vast grasslands were native along with species adapted to them. This includes the Florida dry prairie ecosystem– native upland grasses, palmettos, and scattered shrubs and pines, wet prairies, hammocks, and forested wetlands. This great prairie region is home to many unique species found nowhere else including the Florida grasshopper sparrow, crested caracara, Florida sandhill crane, Florida burrowing owl, etc. The ranches of the Florida great prairie region maintain similar open land uses that support almost all of these species as well as Florida’s unique ranching history. Without these ranches, most of the remaining open prairie lands of south-central and southwest Florida would be lost to development that would destroy this unique habitat — as well as negatively impact our water resources.
Florida’s Great Prairie Region
November 20, 2020