Federal funds aim to protect local bird habitats 

A Sandhill Crane at Sweetwater Wetlands Park.
A Sandhill Crane at Sweetwater Wetlands Park.
Photo by Seth Johnson

Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT) and Alachua County earned a $1 million grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, allowing the purchase of key tracks to expand the North Florida Wetland Connector Conservation project.  

The funds will help buy land near Lake Alto, Lake Tuscawilla and Lochloosa Creek. ACT will also use the funds to cover closing costs on its purchase at Orange Lake Overlook that will double the preserves footprint.  

In addition to the grant, ACT announced more than $2.1 million in matching funds to buy the different properties. ACT reports that the funds will add 1,025 acres under the trust’s protection.   

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“Together, these lands serve as important linkages between the Florida Wildlife Corridor and nearby conservation areas in North Central Florida,” an ACT release said.  

The federal funds are aimed at protecting migratory birds, and ACT said the purchased properties will benefit a flock of different species, including the Northern pintail, Mottled duck, Bald eagles, Swallow-tailed kites and Sandhill cranes.  

Related Story: Davidson uses photos to further local conservation 

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