Everglades National Park has reopened areas closed to protect the Frank Key Roseate Spoonbill colony during nesting season.The channel running along the west end of Frank Key, and the Carl Ross Key campsite, have been reopened to public access.
In a continuing effort to protect Roseate Spoonbills in Florida Bay, Frank Key Channel and Carl Ross Key have been closed annually to public entry during the winter nesting season. These temporary annual closures have provided added protection for two of Florida Bay's most significant spoonbill colonies.
Spoonbill nesting in Florida Bay has been threatened by residual damage from Hurricane Wilma, human activity, and unnatural predation. Hurricane Wilma in 2005 tore apart Carl Ross Key, a popular park campsite, and pruned the protective tree cover on nearby Sandy and Frank Keys, home to two major spoonbill nesting colonies. With less protective foliage, nesting spoonbills can be easily spooked by passing boats and other human activity, prompting them to leave their nests and expose their young to predator crows. Both Sandy Key and Frank Key have been permanently closed to public entry for more than 20 years to protect these nesting colonies.Carl Ross Key is open annually April 1 to October 15.
The Park is working with local anglers and boaters to help inform the public and visitors of the reopening of the channel and continued closures.
WHAT: Everglades National Park has reopened the channel running along the west end of Frank Key, and the Carl Ross Key campsite, which were closed to protect Roseate Spoonbills during their nesting season.
WHEN: Frank Key Channel is reopened as the winter nesting season comes to a close.Carl Ross Key is open annually April 1 to October 15.
WHERE: In Florida Bay out of Flamingo, Frank Key Channel and Carl Ross Key campsite.The Flamingo boat dock is located at the extreme southern tip of the park approximately 38 miles south of the park's main entrance near Homestead.
The pink coloration of the Roseate Spoonbill comes from a red pigment, related to Vitamin A, found in some crustaceans that they eat. Look for them foraging among the shallows of Everglades National Park.