Wood Stork Signage Erected at Myakka River Critical Wildlife Area
St. Petersburg, FL (July 25, 2019) – A grant from the Campbell Family of Denver, CO and Punta Gorda, FL funded two new interpretative panels for an important nesting colony of wood storks and other wading birds along the lower Myakka River in Sarasota County.
One of 18 Critical Wildlife Areas (CWA) designated or re-established in 2016 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Myakka River CWA is known for its population of wood storks, one of Florida’s largest and most distinctive birds. Due to loss of habitat and declines in their population, wood storks are listed under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species.
The interpretive signs, recently installed at Senator Bob Johnson’s Landing Park and North Port Marina Park, describe the natural history and nesting requirements of wood storks. Nesting season extends from January 1to August 31 each year, during which the public is prohibited from entering the colony.
Family member Clark Campbell said he was excited about the signs’ ability “to educate and enlighten the visitors of the lower Myakka river system for the continued successful recovery and conservation of these magnificent birds and other species within this treasured ecosystem.”
The nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida made a 2016 grant of $225,000 to fund start-up management of the 18 Critical Wildlife Areas. Funding came from the “Conserve Wildlife” specialty license plate, which includes an image of the Florida black bear. The Foundation receives $25 for every plate sold to protect bears and other wildlife, like the wood stork. The plate design is being updated in collaboration with students at the Ringling College of Art and Design.
About the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida
The nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida is dedicated to supporting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other public and private partners to conserve Florida’s native animals and plants and the lands and waters they need to survive, and to enhance public access and enjoyment to traditional outdoor activities, including fishing, boating and hunting. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has raised and donated more than $35 million to conservation and youth and family outdoor recreation and education. More information can be found at wildlifeflorida.org.