255 species of birds 94 species of butterflies 130+ kinds of trees Untold numbers of other animals and plants
Spectacular vistas, gorgeous sunsets, serene backwaters, unrivaled hunting and fishing, abundant clean water, miles of alluring trails, scenic drives, endless paddling opportunities, a way to reconnect with vanishing nature, and a respite from the sounds, sights, and pressures of everyday life—these are all things that the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges offer to the citizens of our nation. These benefits begin and end with the core mission and goal of our refuges, which is protecting and enhancing native wildlife populations.
The refuges exist for the wildlife, and without our wild species we would not enjoy the other benefits the refuges provide to us. The vast unspoiled landscapes of the lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys region that attract hunters, fishers, boaters, photographers, birdwatchers, butterfly enthusiasts, and naturalists exist because they are essential for wildlife. The 255 species of birds, 90 species of butterflies, up to 130 kinds of trees, and untold numbers of other varieties of animals and plants encountered are national treasures that our refuges hold in trust for the American people. And while focusing on the needs of wildlife, the refuges offer beauty, recreation, and the chance to get closer nature for all who visit them.
Bats of the Refuge The bat house off Headquarters Drive is home to approximately 30,000 bats. Most evenings they put on a spectacular show as they emerge to eat some of the biting insects you learned about in our Arthropod series.