For over 60 years, a small group of Wildlife Biologist/Pilots have operated within the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Conducting aerial surveys, natural resource law enforcement activities, wildlife relocation projects, and responding to natural disasters these men and women have served as the “Eyes and Ears” of the Fish & Wildlife Service throughout North and Central America. Along the way, the aircraft, the technology, and the required skill sets have had to evolve as the suite of missions has expanded.
Jim Wortham is one of these biologist/pilots. He is part of the US Fish and WIldlife Migratory Bird Program and his office is at the headquarters of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges. He will give a presentation on October 28, at the Cedar Keys Audubon Chapter Meet and Greet at the Cedar Key Public Library a 5pm. His talk will describe how he and his crew use airplanes, helicopters, and ground crews to estimate the size of waterfowl populations and evaluate habitat conditions over 2 million square miles encompassing the breeding areas of multiple species in North America.
When he finally comes back in contact with cell service, all the stored locations from his time "off line" will upload and we'll get to see where and what he's been doing. It's a nail biting time, but we have high hopes he's just fine and we'll just have to be patient.
Dr. Kent is checking daily, so as soon as data comes through she will let us know how he is doing.
Until then, we'll be thinking of our famous traveling kite and watching his progress on the interactive map in this Audubon article. Scroll down to the map. It is updated when Suwannee sends data.
The Refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the headquarters building is closed to visitors. However, staff are working as usual and the Refuge is open for appropriate recreational uses including boating, hiking, fishing, biking, and birding.
The Refuge Manager Andrew Gude can be reached by text or phone at 703.622.3896.
Hunting Information from the Refuge Manager
The print version of the 2019-2020 Hunt Regulations Brochure is now available at Refuge headquarters. For a 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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