Welcome to the Gulf Coast Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit. The GC-CESU facilitates collaborative research, education and technical assistance pertaining to the human and natural environment, within and beyond the region, among federal and state agencies, universities and non-governmental organizations.

Project Highlights

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The EAFB is a part of the Candidate Conservation Agreement for the gopher tortoise. This species is extremely critical to habitat preservation because it digs burrows that provide habitat for over 350 species. The EAFB teamed with NRI through the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District Sikes Act Cooperative Agreement (CA) to support the gopher tortoise. This collaborative partnership between DoD, NRI, USFWS, and Save Florida’s Gopher Tortoises resulted in capturing more than 1,000 gopher tortoises, removing them from development properties throughout Florida, and relocating them to EAFB. This successful project continues today.
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In Texas, White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) is transmitted between eastern and western North American bat species due to the diverse climatic regions in Texas. Determining where WNS will show up next in bat populations, it is important to understand where these bats are hibernating. This study sought to continue the collection on the composition and abundance of bats and their winter hibernacula in order to establish baseline bat population counts and characterizations of bat hibernacula prior to the development of WNS in Texas (Hayman et al. 2016).
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Understanding current and potential future conditions is critical to the continued management of the Key deer population. Most importantly, obtaining a current annual population estimate post screwworm and Hurricane Irma is vital to Key deer recovery efforts. The primary objective of this project is to (1) obtain a population estimate for Key deer within the core population, (2) evaluate temporary markers to aid in obtaining population estimates, and (3) update and recommend post-monitoring survey methods to support the current and future recovery actions.