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Cost: $4/car entrance fee
This tour of Florida's endemic Dry Prairie ecosystem will be mostly from our cars but we'll stop periodically to look around and take a couple 100-yard hikes into the prairie where it will be weedy with some uneven ground. We'll also take one ¼-mile hike on a shell road to a slough. Those who cannot walk any of these places can wait in their cars.
Audubon's Dr. Paul Gray, who has worked on the prairies for almost three decades will lead and narrate the trip through this region of rich natural and human history.
The dry prairie has more plant species per acre than any ecosystem in the United States. The Preserve also has the longest butterfly list in the state, due to the myriad plants. The most endangered bird in the continental US, the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, is barely hanging on here (we probably won't see one). And despite being only knee-high in stature, the prairie is an old growth ecosystem with some plants probably more than 5000 years old.
Leader: Paul Gray