Everglades National Park Reopens Frank Key Channel and Carl Ross Key in Florida Bay

Roseate Spoonbill in nest with chicks.

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News Release Date: May 12, 2015

Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700

Contact: Media Contact, Linda Friar, 305-242-7714

Contact: Media Contact, Mary Plumb , 305-242-7017

 Everglades National Park has reopened areas closed to protect the Frank Key and Sandy Key Roseate spoonbill colonies during nesting season. The channel running along the west end of Frank Key and Carl Ross Key have been reopened to public access. Visitors to Carl Ross Key are reminded that while Carl Ross Key is open, Sandy Key is permanently closed to public entry year-round to protect sensitive wildlife, and people should not walk from Carl Ross Key to Sandy Key.

 

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 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. Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Wilma, the Carl Ross Key campsite has not been reopened and Carl Ross Key is open for day use only. 

 

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 areas closed to protect the Frank Key Roseate spoonbill colony during nesting season. The channel running along the west end of Frank Key and Carl Ross Key have been reopened to public access. Visitors to Carl Ross Key are reminded that while Carl Ross is open, Sandy Key is permanently closed to public entry year-round to protect sensitive wildlife, and people should not walk from Carl Ross to Sandy.

 

WHEN: Winter nesting season comes to a close. 

           

WHERE: In Florida Bay out of Flamingo, Frank Key Channel; and Carl Ross Key. 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. 

           

For information and directions to the park please visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/ever or call (305) 242-7700 (during regular business hours, Monday – Friday8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

 

This and other park news releases are available at https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/news/newsreleases.htm

  



Last updated: May 18, 2015

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40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Phone:

(305) 242-7700

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