Lake Wales Ridge By: Gabbie Garcia

Formation of Lake Wales Ridge

Counties: Polk and Highlands Counties, Florida

Size/Acres: 1,857.58 acres

The ridge began as a progression of sand islands, shaped amid what researcher called the Pleistocene epoch in the very beginning. Over the large number of years, rising and retreating oceans uncovered and secured a significant part of the Florida Peninsula. Taking after glacial stages, polar ice tops dissolved, waters rose, and a progression of ridges remained as islands in a sea that secured most of Florida. Secluded from their relatives, plants and creatures existing on these ridges developed extraordinary characteristics. The ridges are collectively called "Florida's Ancient Islands". The ridges were framed as beach front ridges when the oceans were higher. The Lake Wales Ridge is the biggest of these ridges and goes through the center of the Florida Peninsula.

Locations above sea level
  • The Lake Wales Ridge is the biggest, most astounding, and the most seasoned of the edges of Central Florida.
  • US 27 keeps running on top of the Ridge.
Uniqueness of Lake Wales Ridge

It contains special geographical components that keeps running for around 150 miles through Lake county, Orange county, Osceola county, Polk county and Highlands county. Today the clean environment that flourishes with the ridge has the most elevated grouping of uncommon and endangered plants in the United States. 40 types of jeopardized plants and creatures survive on the Ridge.

The Floridian Scrub

In the Lake Wales Ridge, the Florida Scrub is a standout amongst the most fascinating and interesting amongst the most imperiled common plant groups in the United States. The expression "clean" regularly implies low-developing, shrubby plants in dry, sandy soil. Florida Scrub is a one of a kind plant group that happens in little fixes scattered over the state. It is home to many plants and creature species that happen no place else on the planet.

Floridian Scrub

Numerous creatures spend quite a bit of their lives underground. The gopher tortoise digs a tunnel underground that might be up to ten feet deep and up to 30 feet long. More than 360 species may share the gopher's tunnel.

Abiotic Features

The abiotic components of the clean for the most part depend on soil, rain, sun, and temperature. The dirt is for the most part made up generally of sand and next to no soil. The temperatures in the clean biological systems have a tendency to be warm and loaded with moistness.

The sinkhole lakes scattered along the Ridge were shaped when normally acidic rain made pits in the limerock that underlies the majority of Florida. Quick drainage of precipitation on the Ridge gives important energy to the Florida's Aquifer.

Florida's Aquifer
Biotic features

The Lake Wales Ridge, the Refuge, was set up in 1993 as the principal Refuge assigned for the recuperation of endangered plants. The Refuge is a piece of a system of scrubs claimed by the condition of Florida, The Nature Conservancy, and the Archbold Biological Station.

Archbold Biological Station


Saw-Toothed Palmetto

Saw palmetto is a weed issue in fields, timberlands, and non-cropland ranges all through Florida. Since it lies on the ground floor, it is an incredible plant for various creatures like sand skinks and Florida scrub jays. Saw palmetto give shelter and nourishment to more than 211 types of natural life. It was used as a source of food for the native American Indian tribes.

Scrub Oak

Scrub Oak

Scrub oak resembles a smaller, shrubby form of the bigger, more well known live oak. Because of the way that they did not need to bother with loads of the supplements found in water. Scrub oak can thrive in harsh environments.


Wild Scrub Olive

The scrub wild olive is a little evergreen or huge bush. It produces modest smelling flowers on the tips of its branches which then transform into an olive looking vegetable for birds to eat. It is local to the clean biological system and is a decent, low support food source for different Scrub creatures.

Scrub Blazing Star

Scrub Blazing Star

The species inclines toward open, fire-kept up habitats along the Lake Wales Ridge of Florida. This plant was initially found in regions of Polk and Highland county areas in Florida that have generally been changed over for agricultural, private and recreational purposes. This species was recorded as an endangered species in 1989.

Sand Skink

It is a small and thin reptile that can be found in the scrub biological communities. Their body parts are little in size and crawl to move. Sand skinks can be found all through the Florida Scrub and Lake Wales Ridge because of the way that they like the chance to live in bushes like the Florida rosemary.

Scrub Jay

It is native to the Florida scrub ecosystem and can be found on the Lake Wales Ridge. This bird is very unique because it lives off of the Florida Scrub when the ecosystem catches fire and make new food for them to eat.

Short-Tailed Snake

Fights off smaller and smoother snakes. They get a kick out of the chance to tunnel in the Florida sand as a living space. Nit a lot is known about the short-tailed snake because of their essential biological system to be the Florida Scrub.

Highlsnds Tiger Beetle

Highlands TigerBeetle

live in the Lake Wales Ridge. Both the adults and immature stages are predacious and feed on other insects. Populations of this beautiful beetle are small and scattered. No doubt there are many more scrub invertebrates yet to be described, and many that will go extinct before they are described.


Created with images by USFWS/Southeast - "Foraging Gopher Tortoise"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.