Playalinda Brewing Co, located in Titusville FL, crafts high quality beer while being engaged with their local community. They have a lot of love for Florida’s natural areas and wildlife. One of the specialty beers that Playalinda releases every spring features a bird close to many of our hearts: the Florida Scrub-Jay.
Florida Scrub-Jays are found only in Florida, where they depend on oak scrub to survive. The habitat they need relies on fire which maintains the low-growth scrub, but due to fire suppression and increasing development, oak scrub habitat is being lost, leaving Florida Scrub-Jays as a Federally-designated Threatened species. It has been estimated that in the past 50 years, Florida Scrub-Jay populations have declined by 90%.
A changing climate also impacts Florida Scrub-Jays because it means higher temperatures, more severe droughts, and unpredictable rainfall patterns, which in turn threaten habitat and food availability. As temperatures increase, sea level also rises, causing coastal communities to move inland, further encroaching on oak-scrub habitat that the Florida Scrub-Jays need.
At Audubon, we conserve Florida Scrub-Jay populations by advocating for policies that mitigate climate change while conserving jay habitat. By tracking how populations are faring from year-to-year, we can also better understand how to protect this unique species now and into the future. Through our Jay Watch program, community scientists contribute to Florida Scrub-Jay conservation by monitoring populations annually at more than 40 sites.
Florida Scrub-Jays live in Brevard County and near the city of Titusville. Playalinda Brewing Co. recognizes how special the Florida Scrub-Jay is and has worked with Audubon Florida to do a special release of their Scrub-Jay Lemon Wheat brew during November 2021. Guests can visit either of their Titusville locations to get this brew on tap while supplies last.
“By working with our community partners and local businesses, we continue to spread awareness about Florida’s birds and the places they need. By advocating for sound climate policies, we also protect Florida Scrub-Jays and the other species that call Florida home while also protecting our own communities," says Olivia Sciandra, Audubon Florida Conservation Organizer.