Monday, January 7, 2013

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Wood Stork
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is an Audubon sanctuary located in south western Florida. The sanctuary began back in the early 1900's when the National Audubon Society hired a game warden to protect the rookery in the Corkscrew area. The rookery was a nesting place for many egrets who were hunted at the time for their plumes. As the plume trade died out, partially due to laws passed to help protect many of the species that had been hunted to near extinction, the rookery prospered and the wardens retired. The swamp was safe until the 1940's when loggers moved into the area and began removing 500 year old trees. People living in the area were concerned of losing all of the forest to logging so the National Audubon Society along with many other concerned groups began a campaign to raise the money necessary to purchase and protect the swam.
Red-shouldered Hawk
By 1954 almost 5700 acres had been acquired and the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary was born. The new sanctuary contained the last expanse of virgin bald cypress left in the world. It was also the home of the largest and most important endangered wood stork rookery, see top photo, in the United States. Over time the sanctuary has grown, almost doubling in size. Visitors to the sanctuary back in the 1940's and 1950's  had entered the park by four-wheel drive and toured in canoes. Today the park has 2.25 miles of boardwalk that runs through out wetland and lets visitors get up real close and personal to the wildlife. Besides the 200 species of birds that can be found in the park there is also 34 species of mammals, 64 species of reptiles and amphibians and thousands of species of insects. I spent a good part of two days exploring the swamp but like usual I wished I would have had more time.

4 comments:

Genie Robinson said...

I was so fascinated by your post I had to Google the sanctuary to see where it is located. I grew up in Palm Beach, but never once heard of this wonderful place in Naples. It appears to be a birders paradise. I bet you were in hog heaven during those two days. That first shot is wonderful. genie

makiejl.com said...

Wonderful!!

Maria @ LSS said...

Interesting image.

Lobster Bisque

Fun60 said...

Enjoyed reading the information with those excellent photos.