National Wildlife Refuge
|1 Wildlife Drive
Sanibel, FL 33957
Phone Number: 239-472-1100
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Almost hunted to extinction the early 1900's because of its extravagant plumes the Great White Egret puts on a display at one of Pine Island's mangrove islands.|
Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge
The Pine Island NWR is located on the southwest coast of Florida, north of Sanibel Island in the Pine Island Sound. It is administered as part of the J.N. "Ding" Darling NWR. The refuge was established by President Theodore Roosevelt through Executive Order 939 in 1908 to protect the thousands of herons, egrets, and pelicans that were being hunted to support the plume trade in the early 1900's. The refuge has also been designated as a Florida State Aquatic Preserve.
The 500-acre refuge has been expanded to over 17 islands and consists of densely forested red and black mangroves with little uplands habitat. Indian shell mounds located on Benedict Island show evidence of Calusa Indians once inhabiting the area at the time of European exploration. Several of the islands, including Hemp Island and Bird Key, are important nesting and roosting areas for colonial birds, particularly the Brown pelican. Raccoons are the primary mammal found on the islands and dolphins and manatees can be seen in the surrounding waters.
Small colonies of gopher tortoises may be found on some of the larger islands. Endangered and threatened species include bald eagles, wood storks, sea turtles and manatees.
The Pine Island NWR is located on the southwest coast of Florida, north of Sanibel Island in the Pine Island Sound. It is administered as part of the J.N. "Ding" Darling NWR. Learn More>>
The refuge is closed to the public.
Pine Island NWR is managed as a natural area. The refuge islands consist primarily of mangrove forests needing little manipulation or physical management. Periodic biological and wildlife population surveys are conducted by staff to assess wildlife communities utilizing the area. The refuge uplands and wetlands are maintained in their natural condition in order to provide undisturbed habitat for birds, fish, invertebrates, and other animals. Law enforcement patrols are routinely conducted for the protection of wildlife species. Occasionally, upland habitats, primarily on Patricio Island, are treated for exotic plants via prescribed burns, chemical treatment and/or hand pulling. Colonial bird roost surveys are conducted quarterly on Bird Island and Broken Islands. Colonial nesting surveys are conducted annually from April through August on Bird Island, Broken Islands, and Hemp Key.