Scrub Management Guidelines for Peninsular Florida
Using the Scrub-Jay as an Umbrella Species
This document provides management guidelines using Florida scrub-jay habitat requirements as the basis for the restoration and management of scrub habitats in the Florida peninsula (defined as the mainland south of an imaginary line from Cedar Key on the Gulf Coast to Jacksonville on the Atlantic Coast). The Florida scrub-jay can serve as an umbrella species (see Appendix 1) for Florida’s peninsular scrub because the scrub-jay’s habitat requirements encompass those of a majority of scrub-specialized plants and animals, which require a patchy mosaic of low vegetation heights and open patches of bare sand. If followed, these guidelines should benefit most scrub plant and animal species. Many scrub habitats in Florida have experienced fire exclusion or unnaturally infrequent fire regimes. Restoration of scrub habitats to a condition most beneficial to scrub-jays and most other scrub plants and animals will require re-establishment of the historical fire regime.