Hidden Connections: STORIES FROM THE WILD PALM BEACHES
Palm Beach County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management presents two new educational photographic nature displays, “The Flight of the Swallow-Tailed Kite” and “Prescribed Fire: Using Technology and Aircraft to Restore Habitats and Protect Communities.”
The Flight of the Swallow-Tailed Kite
Since the spring of 2019, Palm Beach County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management (PBCERM) has teamed up with the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society (Zoo) and the Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) to further understand the swallow-tailed kites that call our beloved PBC Natural Areas home. The research done by ARCI has provided a clearer picture of how reliant these birds are on properly managed timber and agricultural conservation lands located in the Southeast US, as well as, provides new insights into where these birds travel when they leave us in the middle of summer. The Zoo, with support from the Florida Power & Light Company, generously donated funding to purchase GPS-equipped “backpack” transmitters. Through a team effort involving PBCERM staff leading the research team to nest locations and the crucial role of “Hino” the Zoo’s great horned owl animal ambassador, transmitters are successfully placed on birds that nest and raise their young in our Natural Areas. Visit Manatee Lagoon, An FPL Eco-Discovery Center, to learn how this research happens, as well as where these birds go on their epic adventures throughout the year!
Prescribed Fire: Using Technology and Aircraft to Restore Habitats and Protect Communities
Prescribed fire is an essential management technique for the restoration and maintenance of the native habitats in our natural areas, but also for the safety of the communities that surround these areas. It is important to remember that prescribed fire is implemented in very specific conditions in order to complete the burn in the safest way possible. Without prescribed fire, fuel (anything that grows and will burn…like grass, palm leaves and trees) will continue to build up over the decades, and if it is ignited and becomes a wildfire, there is the potential for the fire to become out of control and threaten surrounding property, homes, and infrastructure. Here we take you on a photo-story of a large, prescribed fire completed in March of 2021 at Pine Glades Natural Area. Utilizing a partnership with Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), we were able to successfully manage and restore the fire-interval on 1600 acres in one day.
About the Exhibitor: Palm Beach County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management administers a range of environmental programs designed to protect, preserve, and enhance Palm Beach County’s natural resources, both on land and water. Fresh drinking water, unpolluted waterways, a large tree canopy and controlling mosquito populations provide a welcoming outdoor tropical experience to snorkel and dive, to visit sandy beaches, to observe fresh or saltwater fishes, to kayak waterways, and to hike in the woods all while viewing wildlife in their natural habitat. From Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean, the department’s programs offer visitors a great experience across the county.
Time: During open hours