Arthur R, Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Announces Largest Wading Bird Colony in Everglades

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Arthur R, Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Announces Largest Wading Bird Colony in Everglades

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) has the largest active wading bird colony in the Everglades this year, with over 7,000 active nests, primarily of White Ibis. Scientists from the South Florida Water Management District recently came out with their survey as monitoring of wading bird nesting and foraging is currently underway. The Refuge is important foraging and nesting habitat for wading birds, and because of the Refuge’s location as the northernmost Everglades, is particularly important foraging habitat during pre-nesting periods. Wading bird nesting in the Everglades, in general, is not off to a strong start this season because of high water levels resulting from the unusually wet dry season. High water levels also delayed the start of nesting season and the survival of chicks in this colony will greatly depend on maintaining stable water depths through mid-summer. Working with our partner agencies to manage water levels to support nesting wading birds (and other taxa) is a priority for Refuge management.  This priority is balanced with other priorities and partner goals, such as flood control and water supply. If you want to learn more about wading birds, the Everglades, or the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, please visit the Refuge Visitor Center. The Refuge is located off U.S. 441/SR 7, two miles south of SR 804 (Boynton Beach Blvd.) and three miles north of SR 806 (Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue). The Refuge is currently open from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week. Refuge hours are posted at each entrance. The Visitor Center hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days a week. An entrance fee of $5.00 per vehicle or $1.00 per pedestrian is charged. A variety of annual passes, including a $12.00 Refuge-specific annual pass, are available. Please visit the Refuge website at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/arm_loxahatchee or call the Administration Office at (561) 732-3684.The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our

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