Impact of Vehicular Traffic on Beach Habitat and Wildlife at Cape San Blas, Florida

Cox, Jack H. and Percival, H. Franklin and Colwell, Sheila V. (1994) Impact of Vehicular Traffic on Beach Habitat and Wildlife at Cape San Blas, Florida. Gainesville, FL, Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, (Technical Report - Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, 50)

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Abstract

Cape San Bias is located on a barrier spit, St. Joseph peninsula, between St. Joseph Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in Gulf County, Florida (Fig. 1). Locally, the name of the cape is often used to refer to the entire peninsula. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park (SJPSP) comprises the northern 10 miles of the 22 mile-long peninsula. This section is closed to development and provides protection for representative coastal habitats, including sand dune and scrub pine. Two other parks are found on the peninsula, Joe B. Rish Park, a state-managed facility for the handicapped, and county-managed Salinas Park. Much of the cape itself falls under the domain of Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) (775 acres), and includes 2.8 miles of shoreline. The remainder of the peninsula is privately owned land developed principally for beach residences. All beach on the peninsula below mean high water is state-owned with Gulf County exercising proprietary jurisdiction. Cape San Bias (outside the state park) is the only area in the Florida panhandle, other than short stretches of shore in Walton County, where beach driving is still allowed. Vehicular access to the shore is managed by Gulf County under a permit system. Although beach driving is valued by local surf anglers and beachfarers, concerns have been raised regarding its effects on beachfarer safety, habitat quality, and wildlife, particularly locally occurring species that are federally listed as endangered or threatened. Eglin AFB property on the cape is believed to provide important regional habitat for a variety of nesting and migrant shorebirds, as well as nesting loggerhead marine turtles (Caretta caretta). The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the magnitude and types of vehicular traffic on Eglin AFB property; (2) assess current knowledge of federally listed species on Cape San Bias to determine distribution, habitat needs and other biological requirements; (3) conduct surveys of marine turtle nesting activities in cooperation with other entities on the peninsula; (4) assess the relationship between human/vehicular disturbance and the federally listed species; (5) conduct a winter survey of federally listed shorebirds on Air Force property; and (6) provide management options. (Document has 58 pages)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Impact of Vehicular Traffic on Beach Habitat and Wildlife at Cape San Blas, Florida
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Cox, Jack H.
Percival, H. Franklin
Colwell, Sheila V.
Series Name: Technical Report - Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Number: 50
Date: 1994
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Issuing Agency: Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Uncontrolled Keywords: vehicular traffic, beach habitat, wildlife, Cape San Blas, Florida, Caretta caretta, marine turtle, Eglin Air Force Base
Subjects: Conservation
Aquaculture
Environment
Item ID: 1013
Depositing User: Tisha Stockton
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 22:06
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 21:17
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/1013

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