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7/16/2018 » 7/20/2018
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Help Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nests at FWC Platt Branch (5/12/2018)
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Help Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nests at FWC Platt Branch (5/12/2018)

To help protect nests during needed controlled burns, we’ll be clearing vegetation around trees with Red-cockaded Woodpecker cavities. This event is part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 75th Anniversary Celebration of the wildlife management area system, one of the state’s greatest natural treasures.

When: From 8 AM to around noon
Where: FWC Platt Branch
345 Detjens Dairy Road
Venus, Florida  33960
United States
Contact: Bill Parken
863 699 3742

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Help Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nests at FWC Platt Branch


To help protect nests during upcoming controlled burns, we’ll be clearing vegetation around trees with Red-cockaded Woodpecker cavities.

The red-cockaded woodpecker is a federally endangered species and is protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

This is also a great way to see the FWC Platt Branch Wildlife & Environmental Area!

The work involves removing palmetto branches within an eight foot radius of trees with nests, using loppers, sawsalls, and rakes.  

Please wear long pants/long sleeves and a hat, and bring your work gloves and a hiker’s water bottle or similar.

We’ll have cold drinking water and all the tools needed.

So we can plan properly, please let us know that you're coming by registering on this webpage (see button at top).


Use 345 Detjens Dairy Road, Venus, FL 33960 in your GPS or Google Maps, or see this link:

From Lake Placid: take US 27 south for approximately 16 miles, and then turn right (west) on County Road 731. Stay on CR 731 for 1.3 miles, and then turn left (south) onto Detjens Dairy Road. Look for the entrance to FWC Platt Branch on your right in 1.3 miles.

Once common in the vast expanses of mature pine forests that covered much of the southeastern coastal plain, the red-cockaded woodpecker is now a federally listed endangered species. Today, the birds' preferred habitat -- the longleaf pine ecosystem -- has been eliminated from 97 percent of the lands it once occupied.

While many species of woodpeckers are found in pine forests, the red-cockaded woodpecker is unusual in two ways. First, it is the only woodpecker that excavates cavities in the living part of pine trees. Although they will use other pines such as loblolly, shortleaf or slash, they usually prefer longleaf pines that are 90 - 100 years old. Secondly, red-cockaded woodpeckers have an advanced social system. These woodpeckers live in groups (previously referred to as 'clans') consisting of two to nine birds. The group may include one breeding pair, the young of the year and some adults (usually males) from previous years, called helpers.

Learn more at


About Platt Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area:

Platt Branch WEA comprises 1,972 acres and is located about 16 miles south of Lake Placid, east of Fisheating Creek. Diverse natural communities at Platt Branch provide habitat for wildlife and include well-managed pine flatwoods, scrub, cutthroatgrass seeps, and wetlands such as depression marshes and floodplain swamps. These habitats support a remarkable diversity of wildlife, including protected species such as the gopher tortoise, fox squirrel, Florida scrub-jay and red-cockaded woodpecker.

The area that is now the Platt Branch WEA was listed as “unexplored prairie” on a
government map from the 1850s. The area remained virtually unsettled and was used for hunting, grazing, settlement and timbering over the years. Most of the major land-use changes started during the 1900s, with turpentine and timber industries booming during the 1920s. Several older pines still provide evidence of turpentining scars. Timber harvesting slowed until the late 1980s when about 100 acres of pines were cut in the southwestern segment. Platt Branch was identified by FWC personnel during the late 1980s as a site for potential state acquisition because of its value to listed species and high quality natural plant communities. The property was acquired by the state in 1995.

 Learn more about the FWC Platt Branch Unit at