Wildlife & Habitat

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Key West National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1908 as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds. The entire refuge became a National Wilderness Preservation Area in 1975

  • Miami Blue Butterfly

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    The Miami blue butterfly, (Cyclargus (=hemiargus) thomasi bethunebakeri) is one of the rarest insects in North America, with only one known population remaining in the Key West National Wildlife Refuge.

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  • Sea turtles

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    The Key West National Wildlife Refuge contains vital feeding, breeding areas, and nesting beaches for both green and loggerhead sea turtles.

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  • Reddish Egret

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    The reddish egret, Egretta rufescens, is one of the rarest wading birds in the Florida Keys.  Their fishing antics will be sure to amuse you.

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  • Mangrove Forests

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    These communities are dominated by three mangrove species - red, black, and white.

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  • Inland Salt Pond

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    Salt ponds are high-salinity, non-vegetated, shallow-water areas of at least an acre in size that occur landward of mangroves. 

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  • Beach Ridge Hammocks

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    These hardwood hammocks occur on high sand berms, within a few feet above sea level, created by storm surge and wind events

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