Volunteers Needed to Help with Survey of Endangered Florida Scrub Jay


Scrub Jay Survey in Cedar Key

Volunteers needed to help with survey of endangered Florida Scrub Jay

Written by: Christopher Camargo – Park Services Specialist

Have you ever seen a Florida Scrub Jay?
It’s one of the rarest birds in the world. The Florida Scrub Jay is endangered, and it’s the only bird that is found exclusively in Florida. Its beautiful blue plumage stands out in the upland Florida Scrub ecosystem that it calls home. That ecosystem is quickly disappearing. The destruction of its habitat has caused the loss of 90 percent of Scrub Jays throughout the state. We are lucky to have some of that rare Florida Scrub ecosystem in the Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve, and historically it has been home to a small population of Florida Scrub Jays. Cedar Key’s Scrub Jay population is considered to be one of the most important in the state. This is due to their isolation on this small patch of scrub on the Gulf Coast away from the larger populations in the center of the state.

Jay Watch is a citizen-science program in which volunteers help with the monitoring of the endangered Florida Scrub Jay throughout the state. It was first held at the Archbold Biological Station by The Nature Conservancy to help monitor Florida Scrub Jays at that site. It is now held at over 50 sites in 19 counties all over Florida.

Jay Watch will be held at the Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve from June 25-27 starting each day at 8am. We will meet at the entrance to the reserve located on State Road 24. Everyone is welcome. If you are interested in helping with the survey, or for more information about volunteering in the Cedar Key State Parks, please contact Christopher Camargo by phone at 352-543-5567 or via e-mail at christopher.camargo@dep.state.fl.us.

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