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About Wildlife Habitat Management

Wildlife Habitat Management involves much more than just removing Brazilian Pepper and other invasive exotics. Native wildlife habitats have been altered or "disturbed" in many ways by the presence of humans. To accommodate human development, canals have been dredged, wetlands have been drained, habitats have been destroyed and fragmented with the development of roads, natural fire regimes have been suppressed, and exotic plants and animals have been introduced to Sanibel and Captiva.

These "disturbances" to the natural system have permanently changed the complexion and ecological function of our remaining conservation areas. The Foundation's restoration activities seek to return as much natural function to the interior freshwater wetland ecosystem as possible for the benefit of native wildlife. The Foundation currently owns about 1,850+ acres on about 50 parcels of land which are managed for the benefit of wildlife.

Mission and Strategies

Enhance the ecological integrity of island habitats and quality of surrounding waters through responsible stewardship.

  • Implement a land-management program on SCCF land that can serve as a model for effective stewardship.
  • Facilitate effective stewardship of private lands to support wildlife habitat.
  • Work with government agencies, businesses, and private individuals to develop an integrated management approach to lands on the islands - both developed and undeveloped.
  • Conduct directed research on resource management issues affecting the integrity and sustainability of the Charlotte Harbor Estuarine System, including coastal habitats.
  • Positively influence public officials, resource managers, and regulatory officials in making decisions affecting the Charlotte Harbor Estuarine System through the collection and dissemination of scientific knowledge and data.

The Wildlife Habitat Management Facility, located at 3399 Sanibel-Captiva Road, was dedicated on October 26, 2007.
Employees of the Foundation’s Wildlife Habitat Management and Ecology Program moved into their new building in May. The whole department was  previously based out of one office at the SCCF main building, and anyone who saw Brad Smith and Chris Lechowicz sharing an office would understand the need for more space!  This 4,100 sq. ft. building  contains four offices, a large air-conditioned room for storage and  future offices, 2 bathrooms and small kitchen area and a large, 4-bay garage for storage of equipment and work vehicles. The site, formerly  known as Hammerhead Hill, is among the highest building pads on Sanibel  (11 feet above sea level). The idea of creating a habitat management  facility -- which first took shape in the late 1990s -- is now a reality.

The driveway to the building has been paved with asphalt and the base of the pad is crushed concrete. A layer of rock is being laid down on  top of the crushed concrete. Currently, vehicles travel to and from the  building via one entrance. In the near future this will be a one-way  entrance, with an exit being created east of the building. There is also access to the fire lines on the Center Tract property for work vehicles on the back side of the building pad.

The new Wildlife Habitat Management Facility was made possible, in  large part, thanks to a generous contribution from the Haas family.