scrub jay banner

Preservation of Wildlife

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

While this section of the website will tell you a bit about Gopher Tortoises, Scrub Jays, and the Florida Alligator, there are other sections of the City website that can give you more information on trees and the environment.

Gopher Tortoise Review Process

Gopher tortoises are one of Florida’s threatened species, which means they are likely to become endangered in the near future unless steps are taken to protect them. Referred to as a keystone species, tortoises have an enormous impact on the local environment.

The City of North Port’s Department of Public Works is proud to have created an incredibly successful Gopher Tortoise Awareness Program to educate residents on the environmental importance of gopher tortoises and their burrows.

Recognized as a leader in raising gopher tortoise awareness, North Port has introduced new technology and taken the necessary measures to protect gopher tortoises and help conserve the City’s environment.

Gopher Tortoise homes are common in North Port.  Safely transplanting these animals away from development is a priority.  This process is covered in detail here.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has put together additional information for Developers and Residents in the state of Florida to help protect these animals from interference and harm.

Get the Facts About Gopher Tortoises: Laws, Policies and Guidelines

Attention Builders!  Got Gophers?  Get Permits.

Koreshan_SHS_-_Gopher_Tortoise

 

Scrub Jay Review Process

The scrub-jay lives primarily in scrub habitat, one of the rarest habitats in Florida -- and one which is under tremendous development pressures. The City of North Port underwent a scrub-jay habitat survey in 2006 in order to identify areas of the city that are occupied. These areas represent suitable habitat for the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), a threatened species that is only found in Florida.

Occupied Scrub-Jay Habitat in the City of North Port.

The City of North Port underwent a scrub-jay habitat survey in 2006 in order to identify occupied habitat. These areas represent suitable habitat for the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), a threatened species that is only found in Florida. The scrub-jay lives primarily in scrub habitat, one of the rarest habitats in Florida -- and one which is under tremendous development pressures.
 
The Scrub-Jay identified areas are depicted in a parcel-specific format in the North Port Scrub-Jay spreadsheet, which lists each parcel, by PID number, that lies within the scrub-jay identified areas. To determine if your property is affected, locate the Parcel Identification number (PID) on your ownership/title document(s). The PID is given in this format: ###-##-####. 
 
To  view a map of the scrub jay areas, click here.
TIP: The spreadsheet lists a large number of parcels. To speed up your search and learn if your property is in a scrub-jay area, use the spreadsheet "search" key combination, which is Ctrl-f (hold down the control key and press the "f" key). When the dialog box opens, type in your PID number in the format given above and click the "Find Next" button. If your parcel is listed, the cursor will advance to its PID number.

NASA_Kennedy_Wildlife_-_Florida_Scrub_Jay_(3)

 

What to do if your property is in scrub-jay habitat

In all areas, only lands that are occupied by the scrub-jay may need a Federal incidental take permit to clear lands or build. The City of North Port and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have provided a detailed survey of scrub-jay areas in North Port to identify where scrub-jays occur.

 
Property owners must contact US Fish and Wildlife Service upon submission of a building permit. If your parcel is identified on this list please follow the steps as provided in the Scrub-Jay Review Package (see link below) to initiate the review process. In areas which Scrub-Jays are not an issue, a Federal permit will not be needed at this time.

Scrub-Jay Review Process

If a property owner finds his property on the list, he must seek consultation upon submission of a building permit and download the Review Package to start the review process. The Parcel ID list will be updated to reflect new scrub-jay sightings or a shift in current habitat. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will operate under the most current information available.
 
Review and approval of a Habitat Conservation Plan to obtain an Incidental Take Permit may take more than a year. You should plan your building process accordingly. Mitigation costs are based on the cost of purchasing additional lands for conservation. These costs can be met by on-site land conservation, purchase and dedication of lands for conservation, payment to an approved conservation fund, or purchase conservation credits from an approved conservation bank. 

The City of North Port and the Service are working with Sarasota County to include North Port in the County-wide Habitat Conservation Plan for scrub-jays to facilitate the sustainable development of lands within scrub-jay zones. This will expedite the incidental take permit process and provide a comprehensive plan for conservation of the scrub-jay. 

 

Florida_Scrub-Jay

The Florida Alligator

North Port has a number of American Alligators swimming thru its various water ways.

Alligators are opportunistic feeders. Their diets include prey species that are abundant and easily accessible. Juvenile alligators eat primarily insects, amphibians, small fish, and other invertebrates. Adult alligators eat rough fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds.

Do not feed or harass alligators that you find, as they can be dangerous and interacting with them teaches to be less afraid of humans, making them far more dangerous in the future.

Be aware that these animals are around, while they are mostly docile take care that small children and pets steer clear of waterways as alligators can be a real danger to them.

For more information on Alligators please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

american-alligator