Nature & Science
Nature at Fort Matanzas National Monument
The original national monument site consisted of only the fort on Rattlesnake Island. Through the years, however, the National Park Service has acquired additional land on both Rattlesnake and Anastasia Islands and has been able to preserve a slice of an intact barrier island ecosystem. The river and ocean beaches as well as the .6 mile nature trail offer visitors the opportunity to view a variety of plants and wildlife native to this ecosystem.
A Diverse Ecosystem
Fort Matanzas National Monument protects a variety of habitats for many different species of plants and animals. Click HERE to explore the different habitats of Fort Matanzas.
Critter of the Month
Click on the star to read about the Matanzas Critter of the Month, one of the many animals who calls Fort Matanzas National Monument its home. Come back next month and discover a different Matanzas Critter.
Natural Resource Management
The park's natural resource department is participating in several
Upcoming Nature Programs at Fort Matanzas
Please contact the park for more information
Great Horned Owls Call Fort Matanzas Their Home!
NEWS FLASH! December 10, 2013, It looks like the great horned owls have returned to Ft. Matanzas to mate once again. Keep in touch to see more of this famous couple!
Click HERE for general information about Great Horned Owls.
The Matanzas Great Horned Owls in Mating Mode, Nov. 26, 2011
K. Krysko -- Used by Permission
Snakes and Turtles and Frogs, Oh My!
During 1998 and 1999, Dr. F. Wayne King from the University of Florida conducted an extensive survey of the reptiles and amphibians found at Fort Matanzas National Monument. Click HERE for the results of his study complete with information on each species' ecology and habitat and photographs like this one of a red rat snake (corn snake), one of the beautiful, non-poisonous snakes at Fort Matanzas.
The area around Fort Matanzas National Monument is also part of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR), one of 25 such reserves in the United States. Designated in 1999, GTMNERR is a federal/state partnership administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Did You Know?
Tax Evasion: The Spanish King received a quinto, a 20% tax, on all cargoes of private ships. Archaeology has found that much more was transported than archive invoices show. Merchants resorted to smuggling to transport their riches untaxed. Ft Matanzas National Monument, Florida