Inland Salt Pond

salt pond

A Haven for Wading Birds


Salt ponds are high-salinity, non-vegetated, shallow-water areas of at least an acre in size that occur landward of mangroves. Large salt ponds (greater than 3 acres) in the Key West NWR are found on Boca Grande and Barracouta Keys. High numbers of wading birds may gather in such areas, depending on water depths and fish density. Of special note is the salt pond on Boca Grande Key, which is used year-round by wading birds. Seasonally, it is used by piping plovers, white pelicans, black-necked stilts, and least, royal, and sandwich terns. This island and Barracouta Key harbor the largest known mangrove terrapin populations in Key West NWR.

The inland salt pond on Boca Grande Key does have a shallow water connection to the adjacent waters. This area is closed to public access to prevent bird disturbance.