At the 120-acre Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area (ONA) located in southeast Florida, 30 Cladonia perforata thalli were translocated in 2009. Thalli were transplanted from an area with a large C. perforata population, where sand pine fuels had accumulated and were at risk of a fire, to an area that had either been recently burned, or where no fuel treatments were planned in the near future. There was no C. perforata at or near the four transplant recipient locations, which were selected for habitat suitability and their protected locations within the ONA. The four C. perforata recipient sites have been monitored annually since 2009. Across the four transplant locations, C. perforata thalli have increased, numbering 173 in 2015 and 443 in 2020. Based on our findings, translocation of C. perforata was highly successful at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse ONA, with an over 14-fold increase in number of individuals in an 11-year period, assisting the colonization of new sites and buffering the lichen's vulnerable population at this location. Larger thallus size, transplant recipient site protection, and site characteristics that facilitated thalli stabilization probably contributed to this success. While habitat conservation of in situ populations is the preferred management practice for species conservation, it is encouraging to know that, with proper methodology and timing, translocation can be a tool for certain species.
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Vol. 38 • No. 2