The Nursery

National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key, Monroe County


Much of National Key Deer Refuge is mangroves, like this area on the northern end of Big Pine Key. The Florida Keys offer some of the best sport fishing in the world, a vital economic driver for the region, all possible because of places like this. These mangroves act like a nursery providing protective habitat for young fish, including sharks, and myriad marine animals that would otherwise become prey for creatures further up the food chain. They also provide nesting spots for birds. Mangroves protect the land against the ravages of tropical storms, a critical role considering Big Pine and other members of the Florida Keys are low-lying islands. These, by the way, are the walking trees, red mangroves. 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.