George Gann Becomes a Member of the North American Plant Red List Authority.

Monday, June 26, 2017

IRC's Acting Director, George Gann, has been invited to join the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) North American Plant Red List Authority. This will make him an official member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), the largest of six commissions in the IUCN.

The SSC undertakes assessments of the status of species, develops species conservation action plans and strategies, prepares technical guidelines and formulates IUCN policy statements. The Commission delivers and promotes this technical knowledge, advice and policy guidance to those who can influence the implementation of conservation actions across the world. The major role of the SSC Red List Authority is to contribute status assessments of species to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, in collaboration with Global Species Programme (GSP) staff in the IUCN Secretariat and the Red List Partner institutions.

IRC Installs Bioacoustics Recorder to Record Bonneted Bat Echolocation Calls in Miami.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

IRC Pine Rockland Initiative Program Coordinator, Maha Nusrat, and IRC Entomologist, Sandy Koi, recently installed a Bioacoustics Recorder at the USCG offices where the instrument will record wavelength data for the next month. IRC will then view the recorded wavelengths to look for bonneted bats echolocation calls at their specific high or low frequencies (19-20 kHz). The goal is to map the areas near and within boundaries of the Richmond tract to verify scientifically that bonneted bats (and probably others) are indeed on this property. If observed in this study, then bonneted bats are likely to be located within the Coral Reef Commons property as well which has not been adequately addressed by RAM developers in their Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

IRC Awarded Grant From the City of Miami Beach.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

IRC is excited to announce that we have been awarded a $5,000 Environmental and Sustainability Grant from the City of Miami Beach to promote environmental stewardship through a Beach Restoration program. We plan on using volunteers to help us remove invasive plant species and replace them with plants native Miami's dune ecosystem. IRC has a long history of restoring Miami Beach and we are thrilled to continue that work this year.

Stay tuned throughout the next year to find out how you can participate in our volunteer days!

Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Restoration Volunteer Day at Atlantic Dunes Park in Delray Beach!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mark your calendars! IRC will be holding our next restoration volunteer day at Atlantic Dunes Park in Delray Beach on Saturday, April 8 from 9 am to 12 pm. This event, sponsored by Tina Pugliese of Pugliese Public Relations, will help continue to restore the park by removing invasives, planting natives, and picking up trash/recyclables.

See the flyer below for additional information. Questions and RSVPs can be sent to Cara Abbott (abbott@regionalconservation.org and 305-304-6610).

Volunteers Make IRC's Pine Rockland Restoration Day a Great Success!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Thank you to the 25 volunteers who came out to IRC's Pine Rockland Resoration Event on Saturday! Volunteers of all backgrounds came from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade County to help restore the beautiful private pine rockland located on the Medloks, participants helped remove invasive plants such as Jasminum fluminense (brazilian jasmine), Schefflera actinophylla (umbrellatree), and Tradescantia spathaceaoyster (Oysterplant). Volunteers also provided maintenance on the trails throughout the 5 acre pineland by trimming back palms. IRC was able to donate approximately 20 pine rockland native plants to the Medloks, thanks to the Connect to Protect Netowork!

For additional photos from the volunteer day, check out the facebook album here.

IRC's Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, Co-Authors "A Gardening Guide to Living on the Barrier Island".

Thursday, February 23, 2017

IRC is pleased to announce the release of “A Gardening Guide to Living on the Barrier Island”. IRC’s Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, authored this brochure with Rob Barron of Coastal Management and Consulting thanks to Kimberlee Duke Marshall of the Ocean Ridge Garden Club and Jerry Lower of the Coastal Star. This brochure, which was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Ridge Garden Club, discusses landscaping best practices for living on the barrier island. Specifically, the brochure details how to create a resilient, native dune, which common invasive plants should be removed, how to keep your lighting safe for sea turtles, and more! If interested, you can purchase a copy for $2 at the Ocean Ridge town hall.

IRC Presents at the IX Caribbean Biodiversity Congress held in the Dominican Republic.

Monday, February 13, 2017

IRC's Senior Botanist, Jorge Carlos Trejo, recently presented a talk at the IX Caribbean Biodiversity Congress, a triennial meeting organized by the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Trejo presented on the Puerto Rican web page and data base Plants of the Islands of Puerto Rico and also discussed our Yucatán and South Florida projects.

Below: J.C. Trejo with Jorge Mancebo, Coordinator of the School of Agronomy, posing with the fist tree planted at the Arboretum of the Instituto Politécnico Loyola in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic. The arboretum was funded in 1968 by the highly respected priest Julio Cícero, a Yucatecan that lived and contributed to botany for 44 years in the Dominican Republic. Trejo is currently preparing a essay on Cicero's life and botanical contribution in the DR, which is totally unknown in the Yucatán.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY - IRC Will Hold Pine Rockland Restoration Event Saturday, March 4 from 9 am to 12 pm.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

We are excited to announce that IRC will be holding a Pine Rockland Restoration Volunteer Day on Saturday, March 4 from 9 am to 12 pm on a private pine rockland in Homestead during National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

This event is unique because we are helping private pine rockland owners who are enthusiastic and passionate about preserving this endangered ecosystem in their own backyard. Unfortunately, they do not have the resources, time, or energy to restore their land. This will be a great opportunity for everyone at the event, including already educated pine rockland enthusiasts, to learn some personal stories about these owner's history with their pine rockland, before, during, and after Hurricane Andrew, which was a significant event that unfortunately impacted the Homestead area significantly.

Check out the flyer below for more info!

IRC Moderates Breakout Session at 32nd Annual Everglades Coalition Conference.

Monday, January 30, 2017

IRC's Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, moderated a breakout session titled "Plant and Animal Biodiversity: Including a Critical Element of Everglades Restoration" on Friday, January 6 in Ft. Myers. Panelists included Todd Hopkins of Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Sandy Koi of Tropical Audubon Society, and Jennifer Rehage of Florida International University.

The session was well attended and resulted in great dialogue between panelists and attendees about making biodiversity a priority in Everglades Restoration as the water is sent south. To see additional pictures, click here. To read more about the Everglades Coalition, click here.

The topic of "Rare Plants and Everglades Restoration" was also presented by George Gann at the Miami-Dade chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society January meeting.

IRC Completes Prescribed Burn on John Kunkel Small Pineland.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Only 2% of the original Pine Rockland ecosystem remains in Miami-Dade's urban corridor and the enduring fragments stand vulnerable to habitat destruction, invasive pest plants and lack of fire. IRC continues its dedication to long-term habitat restoration of this imperiled ecosystem by actively working to minimizing these threats. We implement the Pine Rockland Initiative Program and own and manage two pinelands in southern Miami-Dade County. In December, Craig van der Heiden, through a partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service completed a prescribed burn on our John Kunkel Small pineland in Homestead. Fire is a fundamental management tool in Pine Rockland restoration. We look forward to monitoring the vegetation regrowth after the fire.

To see additional photos from the burn, click here.

IRC Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, Helps Launch International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

IRC's Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, helped author a new document titled "International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration" along with IRC board member Kingsley Dixon through the Society for Ecological Restoration. Following the launch, Gann gave a talk titled "Report on Global Launch of International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration" to the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration. This meeting was part of the UN Biodiversity Conference held in Cancun, Mexico earlier this month. To read the international standards, click here.

Sponsors Needed For Upcoming Events.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we begin preparing for the upcoming year and all we want to accomplish as we fulfill our mission of conserving rare plants, animals and ecosystems. Specifically, we are raising funds to hold a beach restoration event in Delray Beach in February of 2017 and a pine rockland restoration event in Miami in March 2017. We are seeking sponsors at the following levels to make these events a reality. To contribute, either click on the link to our Paypal account below or mail a check to 100 E. Linton Blvd. Ste. 302B Delray Beach, FL 33483.

Spider Orchid Level - $100
Longclaw Orchid Level - $50
Butterfly Orchid Level - $25

IRC Senior Biologist, Michael Barry, featured on "Years of Living Dangerously" on the National Geographic Channel on Dec. 7 at 10:00 pm.

Friday, December 2, 2016

IRC's Senior Biologist, Michael Barry, will be featured in an episode of "Years of Living Dangerously" on the National Geogrphaic Channel on Wednesday December 7th at 10:00 pm. Mike will be sharing his passion for climate change issues with episode host, Bradley Whitford. For more information on the episode, click here.

Behind the Scenes with Bradley Whitford from YEARS of LIVING DANGEROUSLY on Vimeo.

Support IRC on #GivingTuesday (11/29/16)

Friday, November 18, 2016

IRC will kick off our end of year fundraiser with #GivingTuesday on November 29th. As a non-profit organization, we rely on your support to make our community outreach efforts possible. By supporting IRC with a tax-deductible donation, you will directly have an impact on conservation in 2017. The money we raise will be used to fund our community based restoration events throughout South Florida, enable us to provide innovative presentations and programs that are free to the public, and help us keep our databases up to date with the latest information. Help us continue our mission of conserving rare plants, animals and ecosystems by clicking here.

IRC Completes Invasive Plant Management Project at Coral Pine Park

Monday, November 14, 2016

To kick off IRC’s Pine Rockland Initiative Program, IRC completed a restoration project at Coral Pines Park this November. The IRC restoration team worked on the three-acre site to remove twenty exotic species which included FLEPP Category I and II invasive plants such as Brazilian Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), Woman’s Tongue (Albizia lebbeck), and Shoebutton Ardisia (Ardisia elliptica). To see additional before and after pictures from the project, click here. The team also held a volunteer restoration day for passionate and curious community members, who were eager to learn more about an endangered ecosystem and lend their helping hands to remove the oyster plant (Tradescantia spathacea) infestation that was taking over the complete north side of the plot. By clearing out the area of the hundreds of oyster plants, we were able to discover some native understory such as coontie (Zamia integrifolia) and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) from under the limestone rock outcropping, as well as finding pineland fern (Anemia adiantifolia) after removing all the invasive Burmareed (Neyraudia reynaudiana).

The Coral Pine Park pine rockland is also habitat for two threatened plant species, Crenulate leadplant (Amorpha herbacea var. crenulata) and Florida southern sandmat (Euphorbia pergamena). Also known as the Miami lead-plant, A. crenulata is endemic to Miami-Dade County, Florida. Crenulate lead-plant was listed as endangered on July 18, 1985. It has been almost entirely eliminated by agriculture, urban, and commercial development in it’s pine rockland habitats (USFWS 1997). In addition, fire suppression, invasion by exotic plant species, and drainage threaten the survival of the plant species thus possibly disrupting the flowering and seed production of the species (Roncal 1996). Today, threatened species like the Crenulate lead-plant and others continue to be in danger of extinction unfortunately due to development and urbanization, the primary causes for the imperilment of the threatened pine rocklands. IRC will continue to monitor Coral Pine Park as a means to maintain the beautiful pine rockland site and keep abreast of the presence of the threatened species at Coral Pines Park. To find the complete plant list for Coral Pine Park, please click here.

Photos © Maha Nusrat.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED at Coral Pine Park on Saturday, October 22nd from 10 am to 12 pm.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Volunteers are needed to help IRC on a Restoration Event at Coral Pine Park in Pinecrest, Florida on Saturday, October 22nd from 10 am to 12 pm. Volunteers will help hand-remove and bag Oyster Plant (Tradescantia spathacea) throughout the park. This is a great opportunity to make a difference at a beautiful park! Interested volunteers can contact Maha Nusrat at mnusrat@regionalconservation.org or 305-505-9192.

IRC's Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, will be giving a talk titled "Everglades Restoration and Rare Plants - Including a Critical Element of Biodiversity" on October 5th at the University of Miami

Friday, September 23, 2016

IRC’s Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, will be giving an invited presentation at the University of Miami on October 12th at 7:00 pm. The talk titled "Everglades Restoration and Rare Plants - Including a Critical Element of Biodiversity" will explore the abundance of rare plant species potentially affected by Everglades restoration and the need to include rare plants in Everglades restoration planning and monitoring – currently South Florida’s rare native plants receive little if any attention within the restoration process. This talk is for the Friends of Gifford Arboretum October meeting and is free to the public.

Volunteers Needed For Beach Restoration/ International Coastal Clean Up Event on Saturday, October 1st in Delray Beach

Friday, September 16, 2016

IRC will be holding a Beach Restoration/ International Coastal Clean-Up Event on Saturday, October 1st from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Delray Beach municipal beach across from the Delray Beach Marriott. Volunteers of all ages are needed to help with planting native species and picking up trash along the beach. RSVPs are appreciated and can be sent to IRC’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, Cara Abbott, at 305-304-6610 or abbott@regionalconservation.org for additional information.

This event is funded and supported by Waste Management and Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc.

IRC Awarded a “Think Green” Grant For Programs in Delray Beach

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

IRC is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a “Think Green” Grant in partnership with Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc. from Waste Management. Part of the awarded “Green Delray” program includes a Beach Restoration/ International Coastal Clean-Up Event that will be held on Saturday, October 1st from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Delray Beach municipal beach across from the Delray Beach Marriott. Volunteers of all ages are needed to help with planting native species and picking up trash along the beach. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact IRC’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, Cara Abbott, at 305-304-6610 or abbott@regionalconservation.org for additional information.

The grant will also support IRC as we implement a Think Green school program with Delray Students First and provide a free native gardening workshop later this fall. Stay tuned for more information on all three components of this exciting grant!

Photo © Cara Abbott.

IRC's Senior Botanist, Carlos Trejo, Contributes to Publication of New Critically Endangered Vine (Marsdenia calichicola) in the Yucatan

Thursday, August 18, 2016

IRC’s Senior Botanist, Jorge Carlos Trejo Torres, helped author a new article published in Phytotaxa earlier this week. The article reports on the identification and conservation status of the critically endangered, endemic vine, Marsdenia calichicola, in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula. To access the abstract of this publication, click here.

Photos © Germán Carnevali.

IRC Surveys for Rare Birds in the Lower Florida Keys

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

IRC’s newest field biologist, Trevor Watts, has been conducting rare species surveys by foot and kayak in the lower Florida Keys. Despite the intense heat recently, he has documented the presence of several rare birds including the Roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), the Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) and the Least Tern (Sternula antillarum). For additional pictures taken by Trevor during the surveys, click here.

TOP: Roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) MIDDLE: Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) BOTTOM: Least Tern (Sternula antillarum) Photos

© Trevor Watts.

IRC Conducts Invasive Plant Removal Project at FAU Pine Jog

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

IRC’s Ecological Restoration Management program is making great progress on an Invasive Plant Management project at FAU Pine Jog Environmental Center in West Palm Beach. IRC staff members are working to remove a variety of Category I and Category II invasive plants including Nephrolepis falcata and Sansevieria hyacinthoides. To see before and after pictures of the fishtail fern and snake plant, click here.

IRC’s Landmark Publication "Rare Plants of South Florida : Their History, Conservation, and Restoration" Now Available in a Free Electronic Book

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The complete manuscript of IRC’s landmark publication "Rare Plants of South Florida : Their History, Conservation, and Restoration" is now available in a free electronic book. This critically acclaimed document, which includes data on all of the regionally extinct and imperiled plant species in South Florida, was originally published as a printed book in 2002. Not only is this manuscript now available for free, but also all 1081 pages of the electronic pdf are fully searchable.

For nearly 15 years, "Rare Plants of South Florida : Their History, Conservation, and Restoration" has been a tool for conserving, restoring and understanding the history of rare native plants and their habitats in South Florida. As always, we hope that you will consider supporting our work as we continue expanding our conservation efforts.

"Rare Plants of South Florida : Their History, Conservation and Restoration" authors, Steve Woodmansee (left), George Gann (middle) and Keith Bradley (right) in the premier issue of Orion Afield in 1997.

IRC’s Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, Attends 2016 NatureServe Network Conservation Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Monday, May 23, 2016

IRC’s Chief Conservation Strategist, George Gann, recently attended Biodiversity Without Borders: The NatureServe Network Conservation Conference held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. NatureServe is a network of over 1,000 conservation professionals that have collaboratively assessed over 70,000 species and mapped over 1,600 ecosystems. The conference hosted a select group of leading conservationists for a week of plenaries, symposiums, workshops, panels, presentations, and field sessions focused on conservation and biodiversity trends in the western hemisphere.

Gann was an active speaker at the conference and gave presentations titled “Improving species selection for restoration: global context, resources and tools” and “Plants of the island of Puerto Rico: an innovative web-based conservation tool for scientists and enthusiasts”. Additionally, Gann served as a panelist on “Developing a protocol for assessing the regional conservation status of species” and “Present and future priorities for plant conservation in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” the latter at a one day workshop held at the Doña Inés botanical garden.

IRC’s participation in this conference helped fortify our international presence and relationships with scientists at the forefront of global biodiversity conservation.

Participants of the Biodiversity Without Boundaries Workshop including George Gann, past IRC board member Joyce Maschinski, and Director the Doña Inés Botanical Garden Christian Torres Santana.