SAVE FLORIDA'S BROMELIADS CONSERVATION PROJECT
Moving the Conservation Cages at the Enchanted Forest
11 December 2017
We are protecting the giant airplants in the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary from an invasive weevil by keeping the plants in large Conservation Cages. We moved the cages to a better location, with nice breezes and dappled sunlight. The plants will grow seeds and we will spread the seeds in the Forest.
An Interview with Karen Andreas: The Al Muzzell Memorial Weevil Fund
16 June 2017
People often ask me, who was Al Muzzell and what is the Al Muzzell Memorial Weevil Fund? In this interview, Karen Andreas, Chairperson of the Al Muzzle Memorial Weevil Fund, answers these questions.
SFBCP Update: What a month December 2016 was!!!
16 February 2017
This SFBCP Update covers our activities at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, and the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, for December 2016.
The Next Generation of Belize Giant Airplants in Florida
Grown by Jay Thurrott
In November 2014, Jimmy Yawn and I brought some giant airplants (Tillandsia utriculata) from Belize to Florida. In Belize, these giant airplants co-exist with the Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona), without suffering the extreme damage the weevil causes giant airplants in Florida. I and my colleagues at the Indian River Research and Education Center (University of Florida) studied these plants in the laboratory, to help us understand why the Belize giant airplants are resistant to the weevil and to see if it would be possible to impart that resistance to the Florida giant airplant. I saved 2 of the Belize giant airplants for seed production, to produce a new generation of Belize giant airplants for future studies. Jay Thurrott, current Chairperson of the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies and an expert on growing Tillandsia, is germinating and growing the plants. Jay spread the seeds on 3 types of structures and he is collecting data on the germination and growth rates of the plants, as well as survival. This data will be useful in refining the methods we use in our conservation project. Jay shows and describes the structures he is using. The seeds are just beginning to germinate.
October has Gone and Now We are into November
10 November 2016
Hurricane Matthew caused a lot of damage to the Enchanted Forest, but our efforts to keep the giant airplants (Tillandsia utriculata) safe were successful. The cages were undamaged and remained standing and the plants inside were still in place and doing well. The younger giant airplants that were removed from the Forest Gardens were put back in the forest; most of them were doing well, but there were some deaths. We had to reclaim some of our Garden Trails and clean up the debris that had fallen in the Gardens.
Battening down at the Enchanted Forest
6 October 2016
Hurricane Matthew is on its way to Florida and the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is directly in its path. Volunteers gathered and we worked hard to batten down for the storm. We put the younger, Garden giant airplants (Tillandsia utriculata) in the screen house by the Visitors' Center and we tied down the cages with the larger giant airplants. Then we headed to our homes, to prepare ourselves for the storm.
Tri-Annual Garden Count
22 September 2016
Three times a year, in the spring, fall, and winter, we count and measure the young giant airplants (Tillandsia utriculata) that we are growing in our Forest Gardens at the Enchanted Forest. I demonstrate what data we collect and how we collect it. The volunteers and I made counts for all 6 Gardens.
Enchanted Forest: Six Gardens
30 August 2016
We have been creating Gardens in the Enchanted Forest to grow young giant airplants (Tillandsia utriculata). Our goal was to make 6 Gardens; on this trip, we made the 6th and final Garden. Now, we need to fill these Gardens with giant airplants.
Cage Building at the Carlton Reserve: March 2016
26 July 2016
Volunteers at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve gathered together to build a cage to keep large giant airplants (Tillandsia utriculata) safe from the Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona). The Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies and Friends of the Carlton Reserve generously provided funding for materials to build the cage.
22 July 2016
In 2011, I, Ron Cave, Howard Frank, and Dennis Giardina went to Honduras to collect Franki flies (Lixadmontia franki). This fly is a parasitoid of bromeliad-eating weevils and we were trying to use it as a biological control agent to control the Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona). This is a slideshow of images taken from that trip.