Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Wildlife Resources

Fresh water turtle. Credit: USFWS

Fresh water turtle. Credit: USFWS

The Suwannee River, bottomland hardwood swamps, pine forests, cypress domes, tidal creeks, and vast salt marshes provide habitat for thousands of creatures annually. Many species including white-tailed deer, Osceola and eastern wild turkeys, bobcats, alligators, and river otters are here year-round – feeding, nesting, and roaming the forests and swamps. Gulf sturgeon, salt marsh voles, eastern indigo snakes, gopher tortoise, and wood stork are examples of threatened or endangered species that find suitable habitat within the Refuge. Numerous birds, including the spectacular swallow-tailed kite, bald eagles, osprey, prothonotary warblers, and dozen of species of shorebirds use the refuge seasonally then migrate farther south during winter months. . More than 250 species o birds have been identified on the refuge with at least 90 of those species nesting here. The Refuge’s undisturbed coastal salt marshes, tidal creeks, and tidal flats are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. These areas provide important foraging habitat for thousands of shorebirds and diving ducks while also serving as a valuable nursery for fish, shrimp, shellfish and juvenile sea turtles. The West Indian manatee can often be seen in the Suwannee River and just offshore where the River meets the Gulf of Mexico.

Wildlife surveys and censuses provide useful information regarding various Refuge species including bald eagles, swallow-tailed kites, breeding birds, and amphibians. Under Special Use Permits, the University of Florida and the U.S. Geological Survey are involved in on-going research activities on the Refuge for various species including salt marsh voles and mosquitoes.

 

Gopher Tortoise. Credit: USFWS
Gopher Tortoise. Credit: USFWS
Manatee with Calf. Credit: USFWS
Manatee with Calf. Credit: USFWS
Egrets in plummage. Credit: USFWS
Egrets in plummage. Credit: USFWS
Tri-colored Heron. Credit: USFWS
Tri-colored Heron. Credit: USFWS
Nesting Egret. Credit: USFWS
Nesting Egret. Credit: USFWS
Swallow-tailed Kite. Credit: USFWS
Swallow-tailed Kite. Credit: USFWS

 

Last updated: June 14, 2010