A wide variety of wildlife are regularly monitoried on Tall Timbers, including the gopher tortoise population. The gopher tortoise population is inventoried on Tall Timbers every other year. We have increased the number of burrows from ~40 in the early 1990s to over 170 burrows documented in our GIS data base today. Gopher tortoises are considered a key stone species, and an indicator of forest health.
A white-tailed deer census is conducted in September and October prior to hunting season each year. The survey gives us an estimate of deer per acre, buck to doe ratio, and recruitment. We also keep observational data by hunters. This data helps to improve buck to doe ratio, and greatly improves our recruitment index. In 2018, we plan to add a camera survey that will help with our indexes.
Feral hogs are disruptive animals that are rapidly expanding their population. They do considerable damage to crops, roads, and the wetland ecotone. There are traps and other methods to reduce the hog population, but a logical strategy, and diligence are necessary and must be continuous.
Other wildlife monitored include: amphibians, song birds, northern bobwhite quail, Red-cockaded woodpeckers, avian predators, meso-mammals (raccoons, opposums), and rat and snake populations.
White-tailed Deer – Doe and Fawn
Sherman’s Fox Squirrel
Feral Hogs Caught in Trap