Threats

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Degree of Threat: Very high - high

Comments: The greatest threat to Pteroglossaspis ecristata is the destruction of its habitat by conversion to urban, suburban, or agricultural uses. This is particularly apparent in central Florida, where much potential and past habitat is now in suburban developments or citrus plantations. Many of the collection sites in this area are in suburban areas which likely have already been destroyed. In the northern part of the range, the management techniques used in pine plantation agriculture may drastically threaten the species. Disturbance of the soil by heavy machinery, bulldozing, and windrowing of competing vegetation before planting, or herbicide use are threats.

The greatest natural threat is the lack of fire. In xeric sand pine scrub habitats, it may take many decades for Pteroglossaspis to be crowded out by shrub growth, whereas in moist pine savannahs only a few years without fire can result in shrub growth which eliminates the species. In a natural landscape, given populations may be periodically suppressed or destroyed by lack of fire at a particular site, but other populations would be enhanced or created by the fire regime in a nearby area. With the alteration of those large scale natural processes and the destruction of much potential habitat, the remaining populations probably need active management to persist.

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