Preserving maximum plant and wildlife diversity is an active and adaptive process, requiring the maintenance of a wide variety of habitats. Management plans must continually be revisited to ensure that our goals are met.

Nature Preserves

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Preserving maximum plant and wildlife diversity requires maintaining a wider variety of habitats than typically is found on hunting plantations. For example, hardwood forest habitats associated with wetlands are no longer bush-hogged to promote viable quail hunting habitat but have been allowed to develop a subcanopy for nesting songbirds.

Fields have been an important part of the Spring Island landscape for centuries. Prior to chemical fertilizers, fields were left fallow for several years before being replanted. These “unused” weedy fields provided both cover and abundant food for species adapted to colonizing areas where fires or hurricanes had destroyed large areas of forests. Bobwhite quail, cotton rats, and several kinds of songbirds require this kind of habitat, and were abundant during the era of un-mechanized agriculture. Fields are still maintained at various successional stages to provide this important wildlife habitat.

Man-made ponds provide a variety of aquatic habitats on Spring Island. Some of the first ponds were built for duck hunting. They were drained during the summer and planted with grain crops. These ponds lacked fish and therefore were excellent breeding sites for amphibians. Other, deeper ponds were created to provide fishing. These ponds also provide habitat for wildlife and long-legged waders. More recently, ponds were created as part of the golf course.

Click on the links to the left to learn more about preserving and protecting nature on Spring Island.