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Contact: Linda Friar, 305.242.7714
Contact: Mary Plumb, 305.242.7017
In a continuing effort to protect nesting Roseate Spoonbills, the following areas in Florida Bay have been closed to all access until further notice: the west side of Palm Key, the channel running along the west end of Frank Key, and Carl Ross Key. In order to minimize disturbance and maximize nesting success for the Roseate Spoonbill and other nesting wading birds, a closure is needed.
Palm Key is located in Florida Bay approximately 2.5 nautical miles southwest of Flamingo. The area within 100 feet of the western edge of Palm Key, as marked by buoys, is closed to all entry. Roseate Spoonbills are currently nesting in trees along the western edge of this island. Disturbance from boating activity can flush adult birds off nests leaving eggs and chicks exposed to extreme hot/cold temperatures and predators such as crows or vultures. This seasonal closure protects birds and nests from disturbance.
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 Florida Bay’s most significant spoonbill colonies. The temporary closure will be removed once biologists determine that the nesting colonies are no longer active.
For additional information, contact park information at 305-242-7700 (during regular business hours, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).