U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Pine Island
National Wildlife Refuge

1 Wildlife Drive
Sanibel, FL   33957
E-mail: dingdarling@fws.gov
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.
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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.

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