"Ten Thousand Islands"
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Refuge Facts Financial Impact of Refuge ■ Established: December 1996. ■ 2 person staff. Refuge operations supported by the staff at Florida ■ Acres: 35,000. Panther National Wildlife Refuge. ■ Located in Collier County, Florida, ■ Approximately 100,000 visitors 25th Congressional District. photo: USFWS annually. ■ Location: The refuge is located ■ Current budget (FY08): Refuge 20 miles southeast of Naples, FL, operations funded through Florida south of U.S. 41 near Goodland, Panther NWR FL. The refuge headquarter is located in the Comfort Inn at exit Refuge Goals 101 off of Interstate 75. ■ Conserve, enhance, and protect the ﬁsh and wildlife resources, Natural History especially threatened and ■ Refuge receives freshwater ﬂow endangered species, and the other from the Fakahatchee Strand and natural values supported within the photo: USFWS Picayune Strand watersheds, which refuge portion of this unique south nourishes the refuge’s diverse Florida coastal ecosystem. wetland habitats and dependent wildlife. ■ Provide visitors with quality recreational opportunities, guided ■ Large concentrations of wading by the refuge’s vision and mission, birds, including herons, egrets, and compatible with its purpose. rosette spoonbills, and wood storks utilize the refuge wetlands. ■ Promote the interpretation, Shorebirds, waterfowl, and other education, and appreciation of photo: USFWS water birds, such as rails, rest, feed coastal natural resources of the Ten and nest on the refuge. Thousand Islands area, and the importance of conserving them. ■ Ten percent of Florida’s manatee population utilizes the refuge and ■ Promote cooperation among adjacent waters. Loggerhead sea agencies, private landowners, turtles nest on the beaches. organizations, and other stakeholders in the management ■ Refuge is part of the largest of natural and cultural resources mangrove estuary in North within the Big Cypress Watershed. America. The southern portion of the refuge is mangrove estuary, ■ Promote refuge cultural resources, consisting of mangrove islands encourage archaeological photo: USFWS surrounded by open tidal waters. investigations, and promote Uplands on the islands contain sea interpretation and appreciation of grapes, gumbo limbo, Jamaican the area’s history. dogwood and other tropical species. Layne Hamilton, Refuge Manager To the north are brackish and Management Tools Ten Thousand Islands NWR freshwater marshes, with small ■ Mechanical/chemical/biological 3860 Tollgate Boulevard upland hammocks of gumbo limbos, control of non-native pest plants. Suite 300 live oaks and slash pine. ■ Prescribed ﬁre. Naples, FL 34114 Phone: 239/353 8442 ■ Several large pre-Columbian ■ Education/interpretation. Fax: 239/353 8640 Indian sites are located on the refuge. ■ Law enforcement. E-mail: ﬂoridapanther@fws.gov U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ■ Partnerships: Florida Department What can I do on the refuge? of Environment Protection, Rookery The refuge offers outstanding salt Bay National Estuarine Research and freshwater ﬁshing opportunities. Reserve, South Florida Water During the winter, many visitors camp Management District, Florida on the refuge islands to better enjoy Fish and Wildlife Conservation the ﬁshing and wildlife observation Commission, National Park Service, opportunities. Collier County Sheriff. Summer months can be hot with Public Use Opportunities voracious mosquitoes. Dolphins, sea ■ Hiking. turtles and manatees frequent the tidal waters, while bald eagles, osprey ■ Wildlife observation. soar overhead. Wading birds and ■ Canoeing/kayaking. shorebirds utilize the refuge in great abundance. ■ Fishing. In the winter, manatees concentrate ■ Photography. adjacent to the refuge at Port of the ■ Waterfowl hunting. Islands, north and south of the U.S. 41 Bridge. Nearly 100-200 manatees ■ Camping. can be seen in this area on very cold days. Winter time is also the best time Calendar of Events to walk the hiking trail. Wintering January: Southwest Florida Wildlife and migratory songbirds can be seen Birding Festival. along the trail and as water levels January-March: Optimal time for drop, large concentrations of wading manatee viewing. birds, alligators, and waterfowl utilize the wetlands adjacent to the trail. May: International Migratory Bird Day. October: National Wildlife Refuge Week. November-January:Waterfowl hunting. Questions and Answers: Where is the Ten Thousand Island National Wildlife Refuge? The refuge is located approximately 20 miles southeast of Naples, FL on the south side of U.S. 41. The eastern boundary lies just east of the Port of the Islands community and Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. The western boundary is adjacent to Collier Seminole State Park and Winddancer Airboat Tours. The refuge surrounds the town Goodland, just off of County Road 92. The Gulf of Mexico forms the southern boundary. How can I access this refuge? The best method to access the refuge is by boat. The marine portion of the refuge is accessible by private boat ramps in Goodland (C.R. 92) and Port of the Islands Marina (U.S. 41). The northern marshes are accessible by canoe and kayak. A one-mile hiking trail will take the refuge visitor through the northern marsh. This trail is located off of U.S. 41.