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Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Media Contact Katie Corrigan, 305-242-7714
Contact: Media Contact Mary Plumb, 305-242-7017
Paurotis Pond (and the zone beyond the parking area adjacent to the pond), has been reopened after the seasonal closure to protect nesting birds. Visitors may now enjoy open access for fishing, canoeing, and wildlife viewing. Paurotis Pond is located 24 miles from the main park entrance in Homestead.
Paurotis Pond is one of the traditional nesting sites located in the heart of Everglades National Park and is seasonally closed to protect Wood Storks and all nesting birds from human disturbance. The area was closed in January for the nesting season for Roseate Spoonbills, which tend to nest earlier than other birds. The closure for nesting can vary in length from year to year, depending on bird behavior.
Every winter "dry season," wading birds throughout the Everglades gather at traditional (and new) nesting sites in preparation for nest building. They form nesting colonies that often contain hundreds and even thousands of nesting birds. Species nesting at Paurotis Pond include the Great Egret, White Ibis, Snowy Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Tri-colored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Black-Crowned Night Heron, Great Blue Heron, and Anhinga.
One nesting species in particular really stands out among the others: the Wood Stork. In 2014, the Department of Interior announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had down-listed the Wood Stork from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), reflecting a highly successful conservation and recovery effort spanning three decades. In recent years, Paurotis Pond has been the nesting site for approximately 400 pairs of nesting Wood Storks.