Monday, February 4, 2013

Ding Darling NWR

White Pelicans
 The J.N Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge sits on Sanibel island on the gulf coast of Florida. The refuge was created in 1945 by Harry S Truman and was originally called the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was renamed the J.N. Ding Darling NWR in 1967 in honor of Jay Darling five years after his death. Darling was a political cartoonist and environmentalist. He won two Pulitzer Prizes for his political cartoons which often supported environmental and conservation causes. Darling served on Roosevelt's President's Committee for Wildlife Restoration, also known as the Beck Committee. He also served as the director of the Bureau of Biological Survey where he championed the Duck Stamp Act of 1934.
Mangrove Tree Crab
The refuge consists of 6400 acres of mangrove forests, submerged sea grass beds, cordgrass marshes, and West Indian hardwood hammocks. This environmentally vital habitat was saved to protect endangered and threatened species as well as providing habitat for many species of migratory birds. Darling was part of the effort that stopped the state of Florida from selling the land to developers and is attributed with convincing Roosevelt to make it a national refuge. The refuge is a feeding, roosting and nesting area to over 220 species of birds including white pelicans, first pic, that migrate to south Florida for the winter. The refuge also provides habitat to other creatures such as alligators, crocodile, manatee and others. One creature that we found here that we had never seen before was the mangrove tree crab, above. The mangrove tree crab is the only crab other then the hermit crab that can climb trees. We found several of them on the mangrove trees, on the refuge, seemingly basking in the sun.   


Mama Zen said...

That is so cool! I've never seen a mangrove crab!

carol l mckenna said...

Love that place ~ great photography!

Carol of: (A Creative Harbor) ^_^ ~ artmusedog and Carol on blogger

Jackie said...

Incredible as always! You always manage to get such great captures.

Fun60 said...

Interesting post. Love the crab.