Everglades National Park announces the seasonal closure of Paurotis Pond and the area beyond the parking area adjacent to the pond, in a continuing effort to protect the threatened Wood Stork and all nesting birds in this area from human disturbance.
This closure will be in effect through the nesting season which can vary in length depending on bird behavior. Bird watching from the Paurotis Pond parking area off the main park road will remain open, with the pond and the area beyond the lot closed to protect the nesting birds. If you're a birdwatcher, this is a particularly good time of year to watch these wonderful creatures in the nesting process.
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. Paurotis Pond is one of the traditional nesting sites located in the heart of Everglades National Park. Roseate Spoonbills have been observed flying in and out of their typical nesting area at the west side of the pond. Spoonbills are usually the first to start nesting at this site followed by storks, egrets, herons, and ibis. Species nesting here include the Great Egret, White Ibis, Snowy Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Tricolored 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 June 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, and this seasonal closure is one example of management actions that have contributed to the recovery of the species.
For additional information, contact park information at 305-242-7700 (during regular business hours, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).
WHAT: Seasonal closure of Paurotis Pond and the area beyond the parking area adjacent to the pond, in a continuing effort to protect nesting birds in this area from human disturbance.
WHEN: Immediately, until the end of nesting season and the closure sign is removed. Dependent on bird behavior, most birds finish nesting in May but will sometimes extend nesting into June.
WHERE: Paurotis Pond is located approximately 24 miles from the main park entrance near Homestead, adjacent to the park road to Flamingo.
This and other park releases are available at http://www.nps.gov/ever/parknews/newsreleases.htm
More information on Everglades National Park can be found on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/ever