Tuesday, November 29, 2011

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, near Fort Myers, FL…

A nice side trip from the Fort Myers, Florida area is the J.N. Ding Darling Horseshoe CrabNational Wildlife Refuge on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel. It is known for its display of migratory bird populations and that fact that has one of the largest undeveloped mangrove populations in the USA.

Visiting wildlife refuges is a past time I will always enjoy going back to my roots of having studied Wildlife Biology back in college. I am always curious to not only see the refuge and it flora and fauna but I am also curious to see how the refuge is being managed and maintained. While working for Texas Parks and Wildlife I was a Biologist responsible for maintaining the natural integrity of parkland ecosystems in the eastern half of the state of Texas.

Roseate Spoonbill

Mangrove CrabAs a Biologist I assisted in many events such from prescribed burning to maintain habitat for endangered species such as Attwater's Prairie Chickens to eradicating non-native species such as sika and fallow deer from the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. So when I visit parks and refuges I am looking at them from two different perspectives… and from what I can see they are doing a lot of real good things here at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

This super scenic four mile driving loop is well worth the $5.00 and if you have the National Park Access Pass your free for entry are waived. The absolute best to time to see the most wildlife will be during low tide. This would also make an absolutely wonderful bike ride, with camera in tow of course…

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