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Key Largo woodrat. Photo by Clay DeGayner.

Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex to hold informational meeting on November 10

The Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex will host a meeting on Monday, November 10, 2014, to provide information on efforts to conserve federally protected species through control of feral and free-roaming cats and to answer questions about the implementation of its Integrated Pest Management Plan as part of that recovery effort.  

The informational meeting, which the public is invited to attend, is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Visitor Center Auditorium located at 102601 Overseas Highway in Key Largo, Florida.  The meeting will be informal with a presentation from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Complex Project Leader Nancy Finley and other representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be available after the presentation to answer questions. 

In keeping with its mission to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats, the Complex is actively controlling and removing feral and free-roaming cats and other invasive, non-native species from national wildlife refuges in the Florida Keys as part of the implementation of its Integrated Pest Management Plan.  The Plan was released in January 2013 after close coordination and engagement with the public and other partners.  It addresses the substantial issues of protecting the Keys’ treasured wildlife from a host of challenges and details various methods to address each threat.

Non-native species pose threats for many of the Complex’s threatened and endangered species by preying on them, competing for their food or habitat, or altering their habitats.   The endangered Key Largo woodrat and Lower Keys marsh rabbit are particularly susceptible to predation by feral and free-roaming cats.  The removal of cats and other non-native animals to protect native species and habitat is a widespread practice essential for wildlife in human-altered ecosystems. 

For more information on the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, please visit fws.gov/nationalkeydeer/.

Contacts

Nancy Finley, Florida Keys Refuge Complex Project Leader, USFWS
305-304-4907
nancy_finely@fws.gov

Jeremy Dixon, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge Manager, USFWS
305-451-4223
jeremy_dixon@fws.gov

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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