Featured Info

Florida Grasshopper Sparrow


The Florida grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus) is a subspecies of grasshopper sparrow that is endemic to the dry prairie of central and southern Florida. The Service listed the Florida grasshopper sparrow as endangered in 1986 because of habitat loss and degradation resulting from conversion of native vegetation to improved pasture and agriculture.

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Protecting the Kissimmee River Valley

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The Service is actively partnering with conservation agencies, non-profit organizations, and private landowners to protect the natural resources of the Kissimmee River Valley, while ensuring that the heritage of ranches and other working landscapes remains strong. Since 2012, the Refuge has acquired over 4,000 acres in conservation easements from willing sellers. With easements, private landowners retain ownership of their land, as well as the right to work the land to raise cattle or crops. The easements ensure these lands cannot be developed.

Special Use Permits

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife law and treaties. Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law. Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activates to go forward.

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Public Access

Refuge Unit Added to Arbuckle WMA


In cooperation with the Florida Forest Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a unit of the Refuge has been made available to public access in Polk County, Florida. The "Everglades Headwaters Unit" (395 acres) were added to the Arbuckle Wildlife Management Area (part of Lake Wales Ridge State Forest). For the latest public use rules and regulations refer to those published for the Arbuckle WMA. The Refuge is working towards providing a range of public use opportunities early in 2018 at another unit in northern Polk County. The Service is enhancing and installing infrastructure to support various levels of unguided public uses and hopes to have these in place to provide for a safe and well oriented experience for our visitors. Special use opportunities will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Land Protection Plan

About the Complex

Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

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