Wildlife & Habitat


Caloosahatchee NWR was established by President Woodrow Wilson on July 1, 1920, through
Executive Order 3299, also as a “… preserve and breeding ground for native birds.”

  • Habitat Types

    This refuge includes 40 acres, where 18.26 acres are spread across four islands with mangrove shorelines containing red, black, and white mangroves, and with island upland habitats covered with a variety of fresh and brackish water vegetation.

    Mangrove swamp is the dominant cover type on 67% of the refuge, while upland hardwood forests represent the remaining 33%

  • Wildlife

    Numerous birds nest, rest, and forage on and around the islands of Caloosahatchee NWR. A wood stork rookery is located on Buzzard Roost. The endangered West Indian manatee is commonly seen around refuge islands and a viewing area is located adjacent to the refuge. The warm water outflow from the Orange River Power Plant is a major wintering area for the West Indian manatee and the nearshore and riverine areas provide interjurisdictional fish species habitat.  A gopher tortoise burrow is known to occur on the refuge.