St. Vincent

National Wildlife Refuge - Florida

The St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge is located in northwestern Florida, on the barrier island of St. Vincent, off the coast of Apalachicola. St. Vincent NWR occupies a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. Little more than a quarter mile out in the Gulf, the refuge is a short distance from the mainland and access is limited to boat traffic. Visitors can enjoy long solitary walks on the beaches or venture into the interior of the island and explore the ten habitat types located here. Since 1990, St. Vincent NWR has been one of several coastal islands in the southeast where endangered red wolves are being bred. The wolves are allowed to roam the island and the pups raised here are taken (after weaning) to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.
St. Vincent NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/st_vincent/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Vincent_National_Wildlife_Refuge The St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge is located in northwestern Florida, on the barrier island of St. Vincent, off the coast of Apalachicola. St. Vincent NWR occupies a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. Little more than a quarter mile out in the Gulf, the refuge is a short distance from the mainland and access is limited to boat traffic. Visitors can enjoy long solitary walks on the beaches or venture into the interior of the island and explore the ten habitat types located here. Since 1990, St. Vincent NWR has been one of several coastal islands in the southeast where endangered red wolves are being bred. The wolves are allowed to roam the island and the pups raised here are taken (after weaning) to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge The National Wildlife Refuge System is an extensive network of lands and waters protected and managed especially for wildlife and its habitat by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which protects and manages over 540 refuges for wildlife and for people to enjoy from above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to the subtropical waters of the Florida Keys and beyond to the Thomas E. Lewis Caribbean and South Pacific. This blue goose, designed by J.N. “Ding” Darling, has become the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 540 refuges in a national system which encompasses over 95 million acres of wildlife habitat managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge includes a 12,300 acre undeveloped barrier island (known as St. Vincent) located just offshore from the mouth of the Apalachicola River and an 86 acre mainland unit in Franklin county, Florida as well as 45 acre Pig Island in St. Joe Bay, Gulf County, Florida. The island is dissected by dune ridges, which are geological records of ancient beaches and fluctuating sea levels over the last 5,000 years. Many of the sand roads on St. Vincent follow these ridges, extending from east to west the length of the island. Tom Barnes The interdune areas vary from freshwater lakes and sloughs on the east end to dry upland pine forests on the western end of the island. The climate is mild and subtropical, typical of the Gulf Coast, with an average annual rainfall of 57 inches. Four miles wide at the east end and nine miles long, this triangular island is larger and wider than most of the northern Gulf Coast barrier islands. Thomas E. Lewis The refuge has managed to preserve, in as natural a state as possible, its highly varied plant and animal communities. For instance: wetlands, consisting of tidal marsh and freshwater lakes and streams; dunes dominated by live oak/mixed hardwood overstory, scrub oaks, or live oak/scrub oak mix; relatively pure stands of cabbage palm; and four different slash pine communities, each with its own unique understory species. Prior to becoming a National Wildlife Refuge, St. Vincent was used primarily as a private hunting and fishing preserve. Two of its previous owners introduced a variety of exotic wildlife to the island. A population of sambar deer, an elk native to Southeast Asia, still roams the island today. Adult sambar deer average 500-600 pounds––much larger than the native white-tailed deer, which average 100-130 pounds on the refuge. These two species have coexisted on St. Vincent by occupying different ecological niches. Generally, the white-tailed deer prefer drier upland habitats, while the sambar deer spend most of their time in the marshes and other wetlands. Frank Zoutek Initially, the refuge was established for waterfowl, but its mission has been broadened to include the protection of habitat for endangered species and to provide a variety of recreational activities. A Haven for Endangered Wildlife . . . St. Vincent provides sanctuary for a number of endangered and threatened species. Bald eagles nest in pines near the freshwater lakes and marshes. Loggerhead, green, and leatherback sea turtles come ashore to nest on the pristine beaches. Wood storks stop here during their migrations. Don Pfitzer In 1990, St. Vincent became one of several south-eastern coastal islands where endangered red wolves are being bred. When they have been weaned, the wild pups raised here are taken to reintroduction sites such as Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. These solitary animals once roamed the Southeast, but predator control programs and habitat loss decimated their populations. 12 77 10 65 20 Tallahassee 388 71 Panama City Wilma 22 Wewahitchka 98 98 67 Sumatra 65 St. Joseph Peninsula Apalachicola 30 PIG ISLAND 98 DOG ISLAND Apalachicola Bay ST. GEORGE ISLAND Cape San Blas LITTLE ST. GEORGE ISLAND St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge 30 Port St. Joe 14 Mile ? Indian Pass Hunt Check in Pickalene Rd ? G Rd GG Rd F E RRd DR d CR d BR d AR d d d eS na ke Rd 4R ttl on rP ste Gulf Of Mexico Oy ? Seasonal Closure Hunt Check In Trails Fishing Refuge Information County Boat Ramp 5R Ra Sand Road 3R Cabin St. Vincent Boundary Salt Marsh/Lakes Paved Road d 2R d 1R d 0R d Indian Pass Rd Florida St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Refuge Office 479 Market Street Apalachicola, FL 32320 ? N 0 Miles 0 1 Kilo 1 Apalachicola Bay 5 Rd Sheepshead Bayou/Dry Bar J Rd 6 Rd I Rd 7 Rd Big Bayo u Jun gle Rd Tah iti Be ac In su la to rR d S Ch hell a R ? Rd rlot d te West Pass Hunt Check in d St. Vincent R e Creek Channel Dun d d 6R A Rd. Dune Rd West Pass Rd Ch a rli eR d. nd Ou tl et d. Rd 7R d 5R GR d Wi ndm ill R d hR d H Rd Seasonal Closures are subject to change. Contact Refuge O
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge photo: USFWS photo: William Chapman Refuge Facts ■ Established: 1968. ■ Acres: 12,490, Franklin and Gulf Counties, Florida. ■ Other management: Conservation easements: 21 totaling 1,625 acres in 12 counties in Florida. ■ Natural History ■ Undeveloped coastal barrier island with representative native plants and animals. ■ photo: USFWS ■ photo: USFWS Migratory bird stop-over, nesting bald eagles, nesting loggerhead sea turtles, red wolf island propagation site. Open water 264 acres, wetlands 4,566 acres, forest 5,861 acres, shrub 1,412 acres, sand dunes 387 acres. Financial Impact of Refuge ■ Five-person staff. ■ 8,000 visitors annually. Refuge Objectives ■ Provide habitat for migratory birds. ■ Shelley Stiaes, Refuge Manager James Burnett, Project Leader-SMNWR St. Vincent NWR (managed as a staffed satellite of St. Marks NWR) P.O. Box 447 Apalachicola, FL 32329 Phone: 850/653 8808 Fax: 850/653 9893 E-mail: FW4RWStVincent@fws.gov Location: 22 miles southwest of Apalachicola, FL, boat needed to reach island. ■ ■ Provide habitat and protection for threatened and endangered species such as American alligator, bald eagle, indigo snake, red wolf and sea turtle. To manage and preserve the natural barrier island and associated native plant and animal communities. Provide wildlife-dependent recreation and environmental education for the public. Management Tools ■ Water management for waterfowl, wood storks, wading birds, shorebirds and fish. ■ Prescribed fire. ■ Deer management with public hunting. ■ Education/interpretation. ■ Law enforcement. ■ Partnerships. Public Use Opportunities ■ Fishing. ■ Hunting. ■ Wildlife observation. ■ Educational displays. ■ Hiking trails. ■ Photography. Calendar of Events May: Migratory Bird Day. October: National Wildlife Refuge Week. November-January: Primitive weapons deer hunting. December: Christmas Bird Count. Questions and Answers Can you drive to the refuge? No. St. Vincent is a barrier island off the coast of Apalachicola, Florida. Do you need a boat to access St. Vincent? Yes. If you don’t have a boat, contact the Apalachicola Chamber of Commerce. They maintain a list of vendors who will take you to the refuge for a fee. Do you provide tours to St. Vincent? Yes. During National Wildlife Refuge Week and Migratory Bird Days, we have open house tours. When can we apply for the Sambar deer hunt? Brochures and applications are available in May. Where is your Visitor Center located? We are located in the John B. Meyer Harbor House, 479 Market Street, Apalachicola, Florida. Hours 8 am4:30 pm Monday-Friday.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Red Wolves On the Edge of Extinction The red wolf is one of the most endangered animals in the world. It is a shy species that once roamed throughout the Southeast as a top predator. Aggressive predator control programs and clearing of forested habitat combined to cause impacts that brought the red wolf to the brink of extinction. By 1970, the entire population of red wolves was believed to be less than 100 animals confined to a small area of coastal Texas and Louisiana. photo: National Geographic Society The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reintroducing red wolves (Canis rufus) to prevent extinction of the species and to restore the ecosystems in which red wolves once occurred, as mandated by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act). According to the Act, endangered and threatened species are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people. To save the species from extinction, the Service captured as many as possible of the few remaining animals from 1974 through 1980. Only 14 captured animals met the criteria established to define the species and stood between its existence and extinction. These animals formed the nucleus of a captive-breeding program established at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, with the final goal of reestablishing the species in portions of its original southeastern range. Thirty-three zoos and nature centers in 21 states and the District of Columbia now cooperate in a national breeding program and are valuable partners in efforts to restore red wolves. cover photo: USFWS photo: SCWMRC Other red wolves have been released on coastal islands in Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina as a steppingstone between captivity and the wild. Although these islands are not large enough to provide for the needs of more than a few red wolves at a time, they provide the opportunity for them to breed and exist in the wild in order to produce animals for future mainland reintroductions. Why reintroduce red wolves? The essential reasons are to prevent extinction of the species and to restore the ecosystems in which red wolves once occurred. It is important to save all members of an ecosystem, including predators, if we intend to preserve the environment and be good stewards of the land. Predators maintain the balance and health of ecosystems by controlling overpopulations of prey species and photo: Melissa McGaw © Back in the Wild The red wolf is now back in the wild, hunting, rearing young, and communicating by its characteristic howl, in several locations in its original southeastern habitats. Since 1987, red wolves have been released into northeastern North Carolina and now roam over more than 560,000 acres that includes three national wildlife refuges, a U.S. Air Force bombing range, and approximately 200,000 acres of private land. Beginning in 1991, red wolves were also released into the 520,000-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park in eastern Tennessee. removing unhealthy animals. The Act requires recovery plans for endangered species. The recovery population goal in the Red Wolf Recovery Plan is 550 (at least three wild populations totaling 220 and 330 in captivity at 30 or more facilities). Lessons learned in the Red Wolf Recovery Program have served, and will continue to serve, as a template for recovery of other species whose only hope for survival is reintroduction. What do red wolves look like? Red wolves are mostly brown and buff colored with some black along their backs; there is Gray wolf sometimes a reddish Red wolf color behind their Coyote ears, on their muzzle, Red fox and toward the backs of their legs. Red wolves are intermediate in size Gray wolf ................... 80-120 lbs. between gray wolves Red wolf ...................... 45-80 lbs. and coyotes. Coyote ......................... 20-45 lbs. The average adult Red fox ........................ 10-15 lbs. female red wolf weighs 52 pounds and the average adult male weighs 61 pounds. Red wolves have tall, pointed ears, long legs, and large feet, similar to the domestic German shepherd. Adult red wolves stand about 26 inches at the shoulder and are about 4 feet long from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Do red wolves hybridize with coyotes? Red wolves, gray wolves, domestic dogs, and coyotes are capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. Social structures and territoriality usually prevent such interbreeding. Due to the widespread persecution of predators and the destruction of suitable habitat, by the 1960s the number of red wolves was dwindling, and coyotes had migrated into the Southeast. When the few remaining red wolves photo: Curtis Carley Former range of the Red Wolf Did red wolves ever exist in North Carolina and Tennessee? Based on fossil and archaeological evidence, the original red wolf range extended throughout the Southeast, from the Atl
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Bird List photo: Monica Harris Great Egret St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge includes the 12,300 acre, undeveloped, St. Vincent Island and an 86 acre mainland tract in Franklin County, Florida, as well as the 45 acre Pig Island in St. Joe Bay, Gulf County, Florida. The diversity in habitats fosters a diversity of bird species. The triangular-shaped St. Vincent Island is wider (four miles) than most other barrier islands in the area. The nine miles of Gulf beaches are good for observation of shorebirds, gulls, terns, and fish eating raptors such as Bald Eagles and Ospreys. Large expanses of both salt and fresh water marshes and bayous provide good viewing of many species of water birds, including divers, waders, shorebirds and ducks. The interior ridge and swale system provides habitat for a wide variety of passerines and raptors. The oak ridges along the Gulf provide excellent habitat for neotropical migrants. In addition, the refuge represents the western limit of breeding range for American Oystercatchers, Scott’s Seaside Sparrows and Boat-tailed Grackles in Florida. The seasons bring about marked changes in both species and abundance of birdlife. Best opportunities for observing the greatest variety and number of birds occur during the fall and spring. Waterfowl are most easily seen on the refuge from mid-November through late December. Shorebirds are most common during late spring and early fall. photo: Monica Harris Bald Eagle and shorebird nesting areas are posted and closed to the public. Please honor these signs. Enjoy your visit! Willet photo: Monica Harris Common Moorhen Seasonal appearance SP-Spring: March - May S-Summer: June - August F -Fall: September - November W -Winter: December - February Seasonal abundance a-abundant A common species which is very numerous c-common Certain to be seen or heard in suitable habitat u-uncommon Present, but not certain to be seen o-occasional Seen only a few times during a season r-rare Seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years x-accidental Generally considered out of species normal range * Has nested on refuge + No longer occur on refuge @ Exotic species not native to the area SP F W u r a u u r o r c u o c o u u o c o o o c u c c o o r a u u o u r u u o c o u u o c u u u c u c c o Gallinaceous birds (Quails, Turkeys, and Allies) Wild Turkey* r r Northern Bobwhite* r r r r r r Loons ___Red-Throated Loon ___Common Loon c r u r c Grebes Pied-billed Grebe* Horned Grebe u u r r o o u u Gannets, Pelicans, and Allies Brown Booby Northern Gannet American White Pelican Brown Pelican Double-crested Cormorant Anhinga* Magnificent Frigatebird u u a a c o x r r a c c o o o a a c o u u a a c Herons, Egrets, and Allies American Bittern Least Bittern* Great Blue Heron* o c c r c c o u c o r c Waterfowl Snow Goose Canada Goose Wood Duck* Gadwall American Wigeon American Black Duck Mallard Mottled Duck Blue-winged Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Canvasback Redhead Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup Surf Scoter White-winged Scoter Black Scoter Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser Red-breasted Merganser Ruddy Duck r c u u r o c u o c o u u o c u u u c u u c o S c r u r o o SP F W a a c c o c c c u S x a a c c u c c u u a a c c u c u u r a a c c o r u c r Ibises, Spoonsbills, and Storks White Ibis Glossy Ibis* Roseate Spoonbill Wood Stork u o r u u o r u u .u c o r u o Vultures, Hawks, and Allies Black Vulture Turkey Vulture Osprey* American Swallow-tailed Kite* Mississippi Kite Bald Eagle* Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk Cooper’s Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk* Broad-winged Hawk Red-tailed Hawk* Golden Eagle American Kestrel* Merlin Peregrine Falcon o c c u r c u o o c o u r u o r o c c u r u r r r c o u o c u Rails, Gallinules, Coots and Cranes Yellow Rail Black Rail* Clapper Rail* King Rail Virginia Rail Sora Purple Gallinule* Common Moorhen* American Coot Sandhill Crane r o c u u c o c c r Shorebirds Black-bellied Plover American Golden Plover Snowy Plover* Wilson’s Plover* c r u o Great White Heron Great Egret* Snowy Egret* Little Blue Heron* Tricolored Heron* Reddish Egret Cattle Egret* Green Heron* Black-crowned Night-Heron* Yellow-crowned Night-Heron* r c u r u a o u u o r c u u u c u c r u o o o c o c u u o c c r u o o r c u u c o a c o o c u u c r o c o c r u o c u r Semipalmated Plover Piping Plover Killdeer American Oystercatcher* Black-necked Stilt* American Avocet Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Solitary Sandpiper Willet* Spotted Sandpiper Whimbrel Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit Ruddy Turnstone Red Knot Sanderling Semipalmated Sandpiper Western Sandpiper Least Sandpiper White-rumped Sandpiper Baird’s Sandpiper Pectoral Sandpiper Dunlin Stilt Sandpiper Buff-breasted Sandpiper Short-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe American Woodcock Wilson’s Phalarope Gulls, Te
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Fish, Amphibian, Reptile and Mammal List photo: Debbie Hooper Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake photo: Monica Harris photo: USFWS The St. Vincent NWR was established in 1968. The primary feature of St. Vincent NWR is St. Vincent Island, a 12,300 acre undeveloped barrier island, located in Franklin County, Florida, at the west end of Apalachicola Bay. The island is triangular in shape, nine miles long, four miles wide at the east end and gradually forms a point at Indian Pass on the west end. The island is characterized by ridge and swale topography American Alligator with well developed wetland and upland habitats. The refuge manages both salt and fresh water wetlands including several impoundments to provide a mix of wetland habitats. The size and shape of the island and variety of habitats provides for a diversity of wildlife species not typically found on barrier islands in the area. The refuge also administers an 86 acre mainland tract in Franklin County and the 45 acre Pig Island in St. Joe Bay, Gulf County. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife St. Vincent NWR provides refuge for several Federally and State listed endangered and threatened species. St. Vincent Island is an “Island Propagation Site” for the Red Wolf Recovery Program. A red wolf pair is allowed to raise pups on the island which are removed when they reach 18 months of age and shipped to North Carolina to help augment the wild population. Red Wolf Occasionally, West Indian manatees are seen in the waters around the refuge. Loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles nest on the beaches of St. Vincent Island. Several federally listed species of birds including the Bald Eagle, Piping Plover and Wood Stork use the refuge. This list includes thirty-nine species of fishes, fifty-one species of herptiles and twenty-five species of mammals that have been confirmed on the refuge. An asterisk (*) following a species denotes that it is an exotic species not native to the area. Birds found on the refuge can be found in a separate refuge bird list. Fishes Gars Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) Bowfins Bowfin (Amia calva) Tarpons Ladyfish (Elops saurus) Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) Herrings Atlantic Menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianun) Threadfin Shad (Dorosoma petenense) Carps and Minnows Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)* Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas) Suckers Lake Chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta) Bullhead Catfishes Yellow Bullhead (Ameiurus natalis) Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) Sea Catfishes Hardhead Catfish (Arius felis) Killifishes Sheepshead Minnow (Cyprinodon variegates) Golden Topminnow (Fundulus chrysotus) Banded Topminnow (Fundulus cingulatus) Gulf Killifish (Fundulus grandis) Pygmy Killifish (Leptolucania ommata) Rainwater Killifish (Lucania parva) Livebearers Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) Least Killifish (Heterandria formosa) Sailfin Molly (Poecilia latipinna) Silversides Tidewater Silversides (Menidia beryllina) Sunfishes Everglades Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma evergladei) Warmouth (Lepomis gulosus) Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) -Hand-painted Bream color variant Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) Porgies Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboids) Drums Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) Silver Seatrout (Cynoscion nothus) Atlantic Croaker (Micripogonias undulates) Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) Mullet Striped Mullet (Mugil cephalus) Sleepers Fat Sleeper (Dormitator maculates) Gobies Naked Goby (Gibiosoma bosc) Clown Goby (Microgobius gulosus) Lefteye Flounders Gulf Flounder (Paralichthys albigutta) Total Species Confirmed = 39 Amphibians and Reptiles Salamanders Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means) Frogs & Toads Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus) Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus) Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris) Eastern Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea) Pine Woods Treefrog (Hyla femoralis) Non-Marine Turtles Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox) Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentine) Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia) Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) Eastern Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum) Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) Florida Cooter (Pseudemys floridana) Florida Redbelly Turtle (Pseudemys nelsoni) Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) Marine Turtles Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) Loggerhead Kemp’s (Atlantic) Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) Crocodilians American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) Lizards Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) Six-lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata) Broadhead Skink (Plestiodon laticeps) Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis) Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis) Snakes Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Scarlet Snake (Cemophora
How to Be a presence, please quietly and slowly retreat until the birds no longer appear disturbed. ShorebirdFriendly Photographer n Never get close enough to cause the bird to leave its nest. Please back off immediately if you flush a bird. Sometimes birds nest near the edge of a posted boundary, so even if you are outside the string, if the bird responds to you, you’re too close! Photographing shorebirds Roseate terns, FWC Photography of shorebirds and seabirds (collectively called “shorebirds”) along Florida’s shores and beaches is a popular recreational activity for persons of all ages. When taking photos, please take great care to avoid disturbing the birds, and their nests and chicks. Many shorebird populations are in decline, due in part to human disturbance. Therefore, by photographing shorebirds without disturbing them, you help protect and conserve them. n Scan for predators. Make sure there are no predators nearby such as raccoons, cats, and crows that may be attracted to human presence or scent. Predators also are alert to movement, so by flushing a bird, you may inadvertently help predators notice birds that would otherwise have remained camouflaged. Here are guidelines on how to safely photograph shorebirds without disturbing them. During Shorebird Nesting Season (February through August) Many shorebird nests are posted, or staked off with signs and string.* This gives the birds space to nest without disturbance from people or pets. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) needs your help to ensure these posted areas do not draw excessive attention or prolonged disturbance to nesting birds. * If you find a nest that isn’t posted, please notify the land manager or FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline (1-888-404-3922) as soon as possible. When photographing a bird on a nest: Remain behind the posted area. No part of you or your camera equipment should go beyond the string or signs. If the area around the nest is not staked off, you should remain far enough away to avoid disturbing the birds (typically 300 feet). If the birds show any sign of agitation as a result of your n FLShorebirdAlliance.org Snowy plover on nest, FWC Don’t exceed 10 minutes. Too much time near the nest may unduly stress the birds. Be considerate and do not spend more than 10 minutes near the nest. If other photographers are present, try to coordinate your time near the nest, and leave the area together, so that the birds have at least three hours of undisturbed time. n Don’t specify the nest’s exact location when sharing or publishing photos. Advertising the birds’ nesting location may draw additional disturbance to the nest. n When photographing birds that are away from their nests, or birds with chicks: n Stay at least 100 ft away from the birds. Wait for the birds to approach you for closer shots. Don’t “push” the birds around the beach. Birds need to be able to feed and rest without disturbance. Shorebird chicks must constantly forage to gain enough weight to fledge in time, so any time taken away from foraging can be harmful to their health and survival. n During Shorebird Wintering Season (September through January) Even outside of the nesting season, disturbance can be harmful to shorebirds. Each time a bird is disturbed and forced to fly off while it is feeding or resting, it uses important energy reserves needed for survival, migration, and future breeding. Due to the widespread decline of shorebird populations, it is especially important to let the birds feed and rest without causing disturbance that could pose additional threats to their survival. Therefore, many of the same guidelines listed above apply. Large crowds and extended presence outside of a posted area may disturb nesting birds. Photo © Ericka Hering. Remember to never push birds around the beach. Stay far enough away so the birds do not change their behavior in response to your presence. n Report Banded birds If you photograph a bird with plastic or metal leg bands, please report band colors & codes to www.bandedbirds. org. These protected birds are among those that nest on Florida’s beaches Nesting from March to August Black skimmers nest in colonies. They have large orange and black beaks which they use to skim the water’s surface for prey. Least terns are small yellow-billed birds with white “foreheads.” They nest in colonies on beaches and frequently nest on rooftops as well. One-day-old Snowy plover chick. © M. Zdravkovic-Conservian/CBC Advocate for the birds! Wildlife photographers can be important advocates for birds, if they follow these simple guidelines and help educate their peers on the beach. However, if you observe someone disturbing shorebirds and seabirds, and they do not respond to a polite request to stop, please immediately notify the applicable land management authority or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922. Thank you for your inte
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sport fishing on the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, Franklin County, Apalachicola, Florida is permitted as a use that is compatible with the area’s primary objectives of protection and management of endangered species and migratory birds. Fishing seasons are designed to minimize disturbances to endangered species such as nesting bald eagles. St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Fishing Regulations Open areas Open freshwater areas, comprising 272 acres, are shown on the map. The provisions of these specific regulations supplement the regulations which govern fishing on wildlife refuge areas which are set forth in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 33. Sport fishing shall be in accordance with all applicable State and Federal regulations subject to the following specific regulations: 1. Fishing is permitted from sunrise to sunset. 2. Boats with electric motors are permitted. All other motors must be removed from the boats and secured to a motor rack with a lock and chain. 3. Boats may not be left on the refuge over night and camping is prohibited. 6. Fishing is permitted in Lakes 3, 4, and 5, May15- September 30. April 2005 5. Fishing is permitted in Lakes 1, 2, and Oyster Pond, April 1 September 30. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1 800/344 WILD http://www.fws.gov 4. The use of live minnows as bait is not permitted. St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 447 Apalachicola, FL 32329 850/653 8808 saintvincent@fws.gov Sport Fishing Regulations St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Refuge Office Apalachicola N 30-C Rd 0 Miles 14 Mile 0 1 1 Kilo Apalachicola Bay Rd H 4R d A Rd. Jun gle Rd Dune Rd Lake 5 cannot be reached by boat and has very limited fishing shoreline due to extreme-dense marsh vegetation. Oyster Pond can be reached by entering the pond’s outlet channel on the island’s south shoreline three miles west of West Pass. Lakes 1-4 cannot be reached by boat from Oyster Pond. Water Control Structure The St. Vincent Creek structure may be open and low water levels may make access difficult to Lakes 1 thru 5 during that time period. Oyster Pond water levels will be allowed to fluctuate naturally and access may be difficult. d hR eac ti B S Ch hell a R Rd rlot d te Tah i In su la to rR d d 6R d 5R G Wi Rd ndm ill R d 7R d R Sn attl ak e eR d. St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge is a 12,350 acre undeveloped barrier island located in Franklin County approximately 9 miles offshore from Apalachicola. The freshwater Lakes 1-5 can be reached from the island’s east shoreline near West Pass. The Outlet Channel near West Pass may be used for access to Lakes 1-4. Lakes 1-4 are connected by small pole-boat channels. Access is easier with small boats, therefore, two boats are normally required to fish on St. Vincent Island; the usual pond-type jon boat (approximately 14') for use in the lake system and a larger boat for safe and efficient travel on coastal waters. 7 Rd 5 Rd Gulf Of Mexico 6 Rd Rd I 3R d 2R d 1R d Freshwater Lakes Rd J G Rd GG Rd F E RRd DR d CR d BR d AR d d 0R d Cabin 14 Mile St. Vincent Boundary Salt Marsh/Lakes Roads Additional information 5 Rd Pickalene Rd Indian Pass Rd Dune Rd Cabin West Pass Rd Surf Fishing In addition to seasonal fishing in the interior lakes, year-round surf fishing is permitted, except in signed Closed Areas. A saltwater fishing license is required.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Hunting Regulations 2019-2020 General Provisions St. Vincent NWR is one of over 500 national wildlife refuges. The primary objective of the refuge is to provide habitat for conservation and protection of all species of wildlife. The harvest of surplus animals is one tool used to maintain wildlife populations at a level compatible with habitat. Hunters must check out with refuge staff before leaving the island. Campers must remove all personal equipment from the island by 11 am on Sunday after each hunt. Each adult may supervise only one youth. The successful hunter must check out game at designated check stations. No live game may be checked out. The regulations below supplement the general regulations which govern hunting on wildlife refuges as set forth in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 32. Hunting will be in accordance with applicable State regulations. Hunters must field dress game in the woods prior to collection during game pick up runs. Game pick up will only occur on open roads south of Big Bayou. Hunters who have a state mobilityimpaired person permit number, and require help during the hunts, must contact the St. Marks NWR office at 850/925 6121 to request a Hunter Assistance Form. Specific Hunting Regulations Public hunting of white-tailed deer, sambar deer, feral hogs, and raccoons is permitted on 11,400 acres of St. Vincent Island as shown on the map on the reverse side of this brochure. Access onto St. Vincent Island is restricted to the Indian Pass and West Pass campsites. Hunters may not leave hunt gear nor stage equipment nor access island before check-in time which is 8 am Eastern Time (ET) on the Wednesday before the hunt begins. Strictly enforced. Hunters arriving after Wednesday must sign in at the check station, if the check station is unstaffed they may hunt. Hunters must complete check-in later that same day of arrival with staff. The check stations will be staffed beginning at 9 am ET each day of the hunt. St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 447 Apalachicola, FL 32329 Website: http://www.fws.gov/saintvincent No entry allowed in closed areas on Refuge. The following may ride during the game pick up runs: successful hunter of game retrieved. If a successful minor (18 years or younger), one adult may accompany. If a successful adult, accompanying minor hunter (18 years or younger) may ride. Primitive weapon hunts (sambar and white-tailed deer): All hunters, when outside campsite area, must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of solid, unbroken fluorescent orange-colored material above the waistline, including while in stand. Archery hunters are encouraged to wear a fluorescent orange outer garment while hunting on the ground or walking to and from stands. All hunters, regardless of age must possess a refuge permit. Youth hunters (younger than 16 years) must be supervised by a permitted adult at least 21 years of age, and must remain in sight and normal voice contact of the adult. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 Website: http://www.fws.gov/saintmarks 850/925 6121 Non-quota white-tailed deer hunters, regardless of age, must possess a refuge hunt permit. Stand hours will be enforced from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 9 am ET for all hunts. Courtesy evening stand hours will be observed from two hours before sunset until sunset. A hunter safety orientation meeting will be held Wednesday evening before each hunt at 5 pm ET at each check station. Hunters may set up tree stands only after check-in and stands must be removed from the island at the end of each hunt. Camping and fires are restricted to the two designated camping areas. Refuge manager may suspend campfires if drought conditions exist. Campsites are unimproved. Only non-potable water will be available at the campsites. Hunters must observe quiet time in the campground(s) between 9 pm – 5 am ET. No loud or boisterous activity permitted. Weapons may be discharged at the designated discharge area(s) between 5 am to 9 pm ET. 1800/334 WILD U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service July 2019 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The use or possession of alcoholic beverages while on the island during refuge hunts is prohibited. n No motorized equipment, generators, vehicles or electric bicycles allowed. n Littering and cutting of live or standing dead trees are prohibited. Only dead and downed wood may be cut. n No baiting n Use of flagging tape and reflective materials prohibited. Painting or defacing plants or trees prohibited. Target practice is prohibited. n Discharging of weapons (including cap firing) in campgrounds is prohibited. Hunt Permits The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) will be handling all hunt permits for St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge. Applications may be submitted at any license agent or tax collector or on-line at http://myfwc.com/license/limited-entryhunts/ begi

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