Thursday, August 8, 2013

RWSSP of the month—Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

The Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (RWSSP) is the foundation of the Red Wolf Recovery Program. To let people know what’s happening throughout the program through, we are continuing to feature different RWSSP locations.   

The RWSSP of the month is Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park (Homosassa, Florida). As part of Florida’s State Park System, this area has been attracting people since the early 1900s, when passengers on the train tourists stopped to rest at the spring.  Located just a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico, it is showcases native Florida wildlife, including manatees, black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, and river otters. The new Homosassa River Walk and Manatee Observation area encompasses an elevated boardwalk that starts at the park entrance, surrounds the main spring and continues to the Fish Bowl underwater observatory, where visitors can see one of the four resident manatees.
Resident manatee. Photo: B. Bartel/USFWS.
A new Shorebird Aviary at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park allows visitors to enter the enclosed viewing area for close-up views of the birds and great opportunities for nature photography.

Birds viewable from the Shorebird Aviary. Photos: B. Bartel/USFWS.

Last month at the 2013 RWSSP meeting, we had a wonderful tour of the facilities (thank you Susan and staff!) and also got to see the red wolves. The park is home to three male red wolves, which came from Brevard Zoo (Melbourne, Florida) in November 2008.
Red wolf. Photo: B. Bartel/USFWS.
Please visit their website, Friends group website, or Facebook page for more information! We are grateful to these new partners for their continued role in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan and send a thank you to all their staff for generously hosting our annual meeting this year.

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