|Image credit: USFWS|
I am interning for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, which consists of 4 Refuges: Crocodile Lake NWR on Key Largo, Great White Heron NWR (Keys to the North of the Lower Keys), Key West NWR (Located ~25 miles West of Key West), and the Key Deer NWR (on Big Pine Key).
My co-intern, Heidi, and I also take out the GEM car, a cool little electric car that we used to be “out there” on the Refuge in the evening so that people can ask us questions, and so that we can also try and deter feeding of the Key deer. I’ve also worked on vamping up our Facebook posts and information sharing by starting a “Wildlife Wednesday” and “Flora Friday”, which on those days, I feature a native species of wildlife or plant with a picture and a brief blurb. It’s been fun for me learning about the biota that calls the Refuge home. Again, our Facebook page is: Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex … check us out and “like” us!
I also hope to get involved in some biological stuff as well, while I’m here. Even if it’s just a ride along for a day with a biologist. I was afforded the chance to head out to the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, which is pretty much a preserve and closed to the public due to sea turtle and bird nesting habitat. It was a real privilege to be able to accompany one of our Law Enforcement Officers, Steve, and our Deputy Refuge Manager, Chris out there. It was everything we dream and hope for with tropical islands. Turquoise, clear water, hot, sunny… paradise! And pristine because people haven’t been out there ruining it :)
The wildlife sightings have kept me busy, and I have some fun entries to write. For now, I’ll leave you with a compilation of some Key deer videos I put together. They were taken via camera trap in my yard here on Big Pine Key, Florida.