Pine Rockland: Disappearing Land

National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key, Monroe County

pine rockland

National Key Deer National Refuge is home to the last remaining pine rockland habitat in the Florida Keys, and the Jack C. Watson Mannillo Nature Trail cuts through it. It's tough, tough land, adapted to periodic fire. The plant life is scrubby — slash pines and palms in what little canopy exists and saw palmetto below — but there are some incredibly beautiful wildflowers throughout, including some that exist nowhere else. Pine rocklands play a vital role in the survival of key deer; its one of the few places where they can get fresh water. The Watson trail is about two-thirds of a mile and loops through other habitats, including wetlands and hardwood hammock. In places, the trail can be wet and mucky. NEXT PHOTO


Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.
Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.