Orchid Habitat Preservation
Myrtle Head Savanna, North Carolina
M Fields, Jim Fowler, and Skip Pudney
text by Angie Carl
We have been doing a lot of work out at Myrtle Head Savanna these past 3 years. We have leveraged the grant the American Orchid Society gave us with another grant.
We have thinned out 10 acres, burned the north unit 2 times and the southern unit once. The response has been amazing. Where we opened up and burned, I have never seen so many Carolina Grass of Parnassus in on site, except in the Green Swamp Preserve.
The grasses our also coming back. The photos you see are from the site we burned this year were taken after the May 2013 burn. You can see that there is a wide variety. The pink grass orchid, Calopogon tuberosus was taken on the other side in the Myrtle Head Savanna we burned last May 2013. We have only seen the pale grass pinks on the side we burned this year, and no fall orchids.
We do have a population of Cooley’s Meadowrue, a federally endangered plant on the north side and hope that we see some great results next June when we do some surveys.
We are contracting to have a new botanical survey done, and we have put in plots. We hope to have a report next fall so that you can see the work that we have done in Myrtlehead. We have also been collecting seeds of the grasses and some forbs. We will put the seed back in the restoration portions of the unit after the next burn. We are hoping to burn the south side again this March 2015.
Thanks to you all for jump starting this project. We have seen a lot of success and hope to replicate this in some of our other rare clay savannas.
Coastal Fire and Restoration Manager
The Nature Conservancy