The Cape San Blas Ecological Study

Lamont, Margaret M. and Percival, H. Franklin and Pearlstine, Leonard G. and Colwell, Sheila V. and Kitchens, Wiley M. and Carthy, Raymond R. (1997) The Cape San Blas Ecological Study. Gainesville, FL, Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit , University of Florida, (Technical report - Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, 57)

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Eglin AFB on Cape San Blas consists of approximately 250 acres located about 180 miles east of the main Eglin reservation. This area lies on the S1. Joseph peninsula, part of a dynamic barrier island chain that extends across the northern Gulf of Mexico. Due to the natural forces that formed Cape San Blas and those that maintain this area, St. Joseph Peninsula has experienced severe land form change over time (see GIS land form change maps). These changes allow for fluctuations in habitat types along Cape San Blas (see GIS land cover change maps)that influence the floral and faunal species using this area. The dynamic environment along Cape San Blasincludes flatwoods, interdunal swale, rosemary scrub, and beachfront. These habitats support a wide array of species, including several threatened and endangered species such as the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), PipingPlover (Charadnus melodus), Least Tern (Sterna antillarum), and Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Proper management of these species and their habitats require knowledge of their abundance and distribution, and the effects disturbances have on their survival. In addition to threatened and endangered flora and fauna, Cape San Blas also supports tourists and recreationists. Although Gulf County is sparsely populated, with approximately 13,000 inhabitants throughout 578 square miles, summer tourism and heavy recreational use of beaches for fishing, crabbing, and shelling place continued and increasing pressure on the natural resources of these areas (Rupert 1991). Gulf County is also one of the few remaining counties in Florida that permits vehicular traffic on its beaches, including Cape San Blas. In addition to recreational use of these habitats;EAFB also uses the area for military missions. Air Force property on Cape San Blas is primarily used for radar tracking of flying missions over the Gulf of Mexico, although in recent years it has been used for missile launchings and other various military activities. To allow continued military and public use of Air Force property while also protecting the unique flora and fauna of the area,EAFB proposed a characterization of the resources found along Cape San Blas. A complete inventory of the physical features of the area included investigating topography, soil chemistry, hydrology, archeology, and the dynamics of land mass and land cover change over time. Various thematic layers within a geographic information system (GIS) were used to spatially portray georeferenced data. Large scale changes over time were assessed using stereo aerial photography. Vegetation transects, soil samples, elevation transects, an archeological survey, freshwater wells, and a tidal monitor were used to investigate the remaining features. (247 page document)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: The Cape San Blas Ecological Study
Personal Creator/Author:
Lamont, Margaret M.
Percival, H. Franklin
Pearlstine, Leonard G.
Colwell, Sheila V.
Kitchens, Wiley M.
Carthy, Raymond R.
Series Name: Technical report - Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Number: 57
Date: 1997
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit , University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Latitude: 29.6635
Longitude: -85.3555
Issuing Agency: Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cape San Blas; Florida; ecological inventory
Subjects: Conservation
Earth Sciences
Item ID: 1094
Depositing User: Stephanie Haas
Date Deposited: 01 May 2008 21:08
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 21:09

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