St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge

Description:
Eighty miles of sand roads and 14 miles of beaches along the south and east shores traverse this undeveloped barrier island, located just offshore, close to the mouth of the Apalachicola River. Upland slash pine forests, freshwater lakes and sloughs, tidal marsh, and dunes are just some of the natural communities found here. The sand roads and a small population of nonnative sambar deer (Native to Southeast Asia) are reminders that this uninhabited island was once a private hunting preserve.

Watchable wildlife:
The island is accessible only by boat. The visitor center is located in Apalachicola. Information on the refuge is also available at the boat ramp. Resident wood ducks may be found year round on interior ponds, while blue-winged teal and a variety of other waterfowl congregate here in the winter. Scan near shore waters for buffleheads, horned grebes, and red-breasted and hooded mergansers. Shorebirds and loggerhead sea turtles nest on the beaches in the summer. Watch for nesting bald eagles in the winter, nesting ospreys in the summer and migrating falcons and other raptors in the fall. Alligators are plentiful in interior marshes. The large sambar deer coexist with the much smaller, native white-tailed deer.

Ownership:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Contact:
(850) 653-8808

Directions:
From Apalachicola, travel 8 miles west on US 98 to CR 30A. Turn left and go 10 miles to CR 30B. The boat ramp is located at the end of this road. In Apalachicola, the refuge office is located in the Harbor Master Building on Market Street.

Related Sites:
Other North West Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks



FWC Facts:
Young whooping cranes are capable of flight when they are 80-90 days old.

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