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Why a Key Deer and Wild Life Refuge Here?

The Key Deer was declared an endangered species in the Lower Florida Keys since the 1950’s. It became obvious that if this little beautiful deer was not protected, it would disappear and be no longer with us.

But is not only Big Pine Key Florida, or the Lower Keys that has implemented strong policies regarding the preservation of its natural environment, and neither is the Key Deer the only creature marked by extinction without our protection.

They are four areas that basically comprise the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges.

  • National Key Deer Refuge.
  • Great White Heron Refuge.
  • Key West.
  • Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

These four refuges are located in different areas of the 150 miles of the Florida Keys, a vast subtropical ecosystem of almost 420 000 acres of land and water.

Public information board at the Key Deer National Refuge.

These lands also are refuge and the habitat of other animal species like the Key Marsh Rabbit, the Silver Rice Rat, the Great White Heron, the American crocodile, and a total of 22 species of threatened or endangered species and native wildlife. They are the original natives and residents of these lands, so we need to respect their rights and their habitat!

Not only animals and birds are protected here. Trees and vegetation are also a part of the preservation plan, since they are a big part of the habitat of the wildlife. These lands maintain the balanced biodiversity necessary and absolutely essential to support life.

Wild life and vegetation at the national Wild Life Refuge.

Fresh water wetlands, mangroves, tropical hardwood forests, (called Hammocks here), silver palms, thatch palm, slash pine, poison wood(causes rush on the skin), and other subtropical vegetation are bound for the balance of the eco-system of this region.

This habitat provides, food and water, shelter, living space and reproductive conditions so vital for the survival of these 22 endangered species and other native wildlife.

  • The National Key Deer Refuge.

Located in 25 islands over the Lower Florida Keys is The National Key Deer Refuge, (over 9,200 acres of land) consisting of small and large areas of pine forest, mangrove forests, hardwood hammocks, marine and fresh water wetlands.

Because the Key Deer population it's still under the thread of extinction from the human strong interaction and civilization impact, this species is listed as endangered and protected.

Key deer in the wild.
The Key Deer in the wilderness.
  • The National Key Deer Refuge.

Located in 25 islands over the Lower Florida Keys is The National Key Deer Refuge, (over 9,200 acres of land) consisting of small and large areas of pine forest, mangrove forests, hardwood hammocks, marine and fresh water wetlands.

Because the Key Deer population it's still under the thread of extinction from the human strong interaction and civilization impact, this species is listed as endangered and protected.

The refuge visitor center in the Big Pine Key Town Plaza and Shopping Center gives you all the information needed about the refuge. They have maps and brochures to offer the visitors.

You are also welcome to hike the wildlife trails, and to visit other attractions in the Big Pine and the nearby areas, Cudjoe Key, Upper and Lower Sugarloaf Keys, like the Blue Hole where you find other wildlife, turtles, birds, alligators and the deer.

  • The Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Located in the north side of Key Largo since 1980 is where the crocodile refuge. Providing refuge and habitat to the American Crocodile, another endangered species in the Florida Keys.

The mangrove wetlands provide habitat and the nesting conditions for the preservation and reproduction of the croc.

The american crocodile.
The American Crodile.
  • The Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Located in the north side of Key Largo since 1980 is where the crocodile refuge. Providing refuge and habitat to the American Crocodile, another endangered species in the Florida Keys.

The mangrove wetlands provide habitat and the nesting conditions for the preservation and reproduction of the croc.

This abundant mangrove forests in the areas of Key Largo also support other wildlife, songbirds, wading birds, white herons, pelicans, white ibis, double crested cormorants, blackbirds, egrets and others.

A special type of hardwood hammock (at The Botanical Key Largo Hammock Botanical Park) is widely spread all over the Upper Key Largo area and is also protected because it supports a diversity of other plants. This area contains the largest hardwood forest on the Florida Keys. And it's reported of having more than 100 species of trees and plants growing in this vast hammocks forest area. Other species that are found on this forest are the Key Largo Cotton Mouse, tree snails, birds and the Eastern Indigo Snake.

  • The Great White Heron National Wild Life Refuge.

This refuge main purpose is to preserve the native Florida Keys birds from extinction.

It consists of a large group of uninhabited islands known of the "back country" in the Florida Keys, where the birds find they breeding grounds and perfect natural habitat.

The Government has recognized the importance of these refuges since the 1970's.

A Great White Heron.
The Great White Heron.
  • The Great White Heron National Wild Life Refuge.

This refuge main purpose is to preserve the native Florida Keys birds from extinction.

It consists of a large group of uninhabited islands known of the "back country" in the Florida Keys, where the birds find they breeding grounds and perfect natural habitat.

The Government has recognized the importance of these refuges since the 1970's.

The National Wilderness Preservation System was created with the mission to protect these lands and its environment. The great White Heron National Wildlife refuge was created in 1938 to protect the White Heron and other birds.

  • The Key West National Wildlife Refuge.

With a similar mission to the other wild life refuges mentioned here, Theodore Roosevelt created the created this one on 1908, to stop the slaughter of these birds whose feathers were used in the manufacture of hats and other articles.

Roosevelt foresaw the need to protect and provide shelter to these species from extinction.

Adult pelican on a rock.
  • The Key West National Wildlife Refuge.

With a similar mission to the other wild life refuges mentioned here, Theodore Roosevelt created the created this one on 1908, to stop the slaughter of these birds whose feathers were used in the manufacture of hats and other articles.

Roosevelt foresaw the need to protect and provide shelter to these species from extinction.

The Key West National Wildlife and The Great White Heron National Refuges comprehend more than 50 islands, an area of more than 200, 000 acres of open water and over 8000 of land. Other species that are protected in the refuge are the, Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Atlantic Green Turtles.

The Blue Hole in Big Pine Key, iguana in the mangrove, water way, and birds feeding.
Image of the area of Big Pine Key Key Deer Refuge.

Get to really know the life of the Florida Keys by visiting The Key Deer and the other National Wildlife Refuges, you will not be wasting your time!





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