The Audubon online magazine has an excellent summary of the story of the Seahorse Key rookery abandonment. It provides the up-to-date information on possible and likely causes.
The Natural Resources Defense Council posted a CSI story about the Seahorse Key rookery abandonment in its magazine onEarth. Thanks NRDC and all the other organizations, agencies, and media from the members of the Friends of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys NWRs. We greatly appreciate your attention to the importance and value of protecting the refuge that protects the birds and their habitat.
Meanwhile, those of us who live here in the backyard of the refuges even in the summertime are enjoying their beauty as much as the media are enjoying their mystery.
Since April, our Refuge Update page has been reporting on the disappearance of the birds from Seahorse Key. In June, the Friends News Brief mentioned it and several readers sent theories and tips about the possible cause. The Refuge staff appreciates those and is following up on them.
The Gainesville Sun recently carried a story about mystery. An Associated Press reporter came and interviewed Refuge staff about it and the story was placed on AP wire on July 7. The same day, the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC had a 4-minute segment about the story.
Here are links to several stories about the abandonment. Many are based on the Associated Press report:
Below is a link to a story that ran in 2010 and provides background about the rookery and its inhabitants.
National Geographic (link is no longer available)
We will keep you posted as new clues arise and data are gathered.
The Refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk.
The Refuge Manager Andrew Gude can be reached by text or phone at 703.622.3896.
Refuge Information from the Refuge Manager
The Nature Drive on the Levy County side of the Refuge is now open. Finally, the road is dry enough to travel safely and without damaging the roadbed.
The Dixie Mainline has been closed because of major damage to a culvert from last month's rain. The County plans to open it on or about September 12, at least temporarily.
Access by vehicle to the Refuge roads in both Levy County and Dixie County is still very limited because of the heavy rainfall in recent weeks.
Even when roads are closed to vehicles, they are open to pedestrians and bicycles.
Hunting Information from the Refuge Manager
The print version of the 2019-2020 Hunt Regulations Brochure is now available at Refuge headquarters. For an digital version,
Click on the Photo Below
For Information about getting a Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge Hunt Permit and a Deer Bag Report, Click Here
To Apply for a Permit to Hunt on the Lower Suwannee Refuge,
For a copy of the Deer Harvest Log, Click Here
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