About the Institute
ASHTON BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH & PRESERVATION INSTITUTE, INC. (ABR&PI)
About The Institute:
Ashton Biodiversity Research & Preservation Institute, Inc. was founded for the purpose of promoting, funding and operating research and preservation projects at Ashton Biological Preserve and selected locations worldwide. The Institute specializes in projects related to biological and ecological aspects and sustainable use of biodiversity in the Florida and natural habitats worldwide.
ABR&PI is a Non-Profit Foundation located at Ashton Biological Preserve in Archer, Florida. The Institute was founded in 1998 as a 501(c)3 foundation by Ray and Pat Ashton.
About The Preserve:
Ashton Biological Preserve, also known as Finca de la Tortuga, is a 200 acre preserve located on the Brooksville Ridge near the Watermelon Pond wetland complex west of Archer, Florida. The preserve includes well-equipped office, lab, library, herbarium, and wet-lab facilities, limited researcher/student housing, tortoise isolation and breeding facilities, and a diversity of native upland and wetland habitats.
The preserve and surrounding natural habitats have an abundance of plant and vertebrate and invertebrate animal species including many protected species. Species of interest for various research projects include but are not limited to gopher tortoises, gother frogs, barking tree frogs, burrowing owls, fox squirrels, bald eagles, indigo snakes, insectivorous plants, and many invertebrate species.
Our Mission is to:
Support and manage designated ecosystems including Ashton Biological Preserve.
Contribute to knowledge in conservation biology on rare and endangered species and in sustainable use of natural resources locally and worldwide.
Provide educational and research opportunities, materials and training for students, researchers, government officials and environmental consultants.
Facilitate communication among those involved in management, conservation biology and biological research to allow for better management of the biodiversity locally, regionally, nationally and worldwide.
The Institute carries out its goals by:
Carrying out research on protected and other species and their management and key conservation problems
Cooperative Research with University and other Conservation Organization Research Programs.
Exchanging information and working cooperatively with federal and state conservation agencies.
Working internationally with organizations and national governments in planning species and protected area management and assurance colonies.
Producing and providing information to professionals dealing with conservation through courses, internships, books and other publications.
To work to educate people and Institutions in sustainable use of habitats and wildlife.
LOOK AT THE DIRECTORY TO THE LEFT AND CLICK ON THE TOPIC YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TO FIND OUT MORE
PROVIDING CERTIFICATION COURSES FOR FWC CERTIFIED AGENTS AS WELL AS BASIC GOPHER TORTOISE NATURAL HISTORY AND MANAGEMENT COURSES FOR LAND MANAGERS, ECOTOURISM STAFF, WORKERS WITH GOPHER TORTOISES. (IN COOPERATION WITH WILDLANDS CONSERVATION.)
RESEARCH IN TORTOISE LOW FREQUENCY SOUND COMMUNICATION
CONSERVATION OF GOPHER TORTOISES IN A WAY THAT IS ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE
PROVIDING INFORMATION TO THE GENERAL PUBLICH AND AGENCIES ON CHELONIAN CONSERVATION
RESEARCHING CAPTIVE REPRODUCTION IN CHELONIANS
PROVIDING SERVICES TO SCHOOLS INCLUDING PROGRAMS AND SCIENCTIST TEACHERS
COMPLETING RESEARCH ON RELOCATION, GROWTH RATES, AND BEHAVIOR OF GOPHER TORTOISES
Students interested in graduate or post-graduate research projects that have funding or are seeking funding can request a research application. Research projects may be carried out at Ashton Biological Preserve or off-site. Click here to read more about Research
||Gopher tortoises live in burrows that often reach down to the water table. Thus the depth may be 18 feet or more.
Ashton Biological Preserve is on the Brooksville Ridge, a relic dune line and old sand ridge created when sea level was higher. Some tortoises burrow spiral, double back in a zig-zag and some just extend out and down. Burrows are carefully excavated.
Ashton, Ashton & Associates, Inc., the Ashton's consulting firm, works to create management plans, relocate tortoises when needed and helps developers get permits and create on-site preserves for protected species. This work helps to support the conservation efforts of the preserve.
Star tortoises practically disappear among the savannah grasses and we use a yellow lab to find them. She has been well trained and works each morning and evening to locate the tortoises if the weather is going to be too cold to leave them out of the barns overnight.