Nature and Wildlife

ManateePine Island's remote and natural environment is home to many varieties of exotic and tropical wildlife. There are more than eighteen, active American bald eagle nesting sites whose residents are often seen soaring through Pine Island's sunny (maybe 350 days a year) skies. Other island birds include the osprey, heron, roseate spoonbill, endangered wood stork, egret, brown and white pelicans, pileated woodpecker, ibis plus the usual array of hawks, owls and songbirds.

Area waterways hold endangered manatees (the gentle giants also known as sea-cows), sea otters, sea turtles and the rolling dolphins, often seen "surfing" our many canals in search of their daily supply of sashimi (without rice) or sushi (we are told, "that comes with the rice!")

Polling Place

For a full sized version of the award-winning photo on the left, simply click on the image! We like to think of it as a non-political and non-controversial poling place . . .

Uninhabited Little Pine Island consists of 4700 acres and is now involved in a process called the Wetland Restoration & Mitigation Bank. A unique ecological transformation is taking place with removal of "exotic" non-native trees and vegetation that have virtually destroyed the ability of the wetlands to support the original native mix of flora and fauna. With the removal of the prolific and invasive Australian pines, the melaleuca (paper trees) and the Brazilian pepper, the return of the bird and animal life is already well under way. Welcome back, Mother Nature! For an interesting look at the scope of this fine project, you are invited to take a detour to Little Pine Island.

Nature and wildlife, as well as the environment, are protected on Pine Island by the island's largest organization, the Calusa Land Trust and Nature Preserve of Pine Island, Inc. With over 800 members, the Trust is a local, non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable organization devoted to protecting the natural diversity and beauty of Pine Island. It does so by acquiring and preserving in perpetuity, environmentally sensitive, native Pine Island habitats. As of 2002, the Trust owns or manages some 2,300 acres of native uplands and wetlands - an impressive record, but more needs to be done. For details, tour the Trust Web site at www.

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