Florida Map

Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge

Contact Info
Fish and Wildlife Service
Tate Road 402 (5 miles east of Titusville)
Titusville, FL 32796

Phone:
321-861-0667

Description

Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge (LWNWR) is the first Refuge designated primarily forthe preservation of endangered plants. Thirty-one rare plants can be found within the projectboundary, 22 of them federally listed as endangered or threatened, and nine candidates for suchlisting. Four federally listed vertebrates as well as 40 rare invertebrate species are alsopresent. The sand hills of Central Florida are home to a unique collection of plants andanimals, many of which are found nowhere else. The Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem, the oldest in thesoutheast, has been disappearing faster than any other in the United States. Citrus farms, ranching, and residential development have claimed 85 percent of this ancient ridge. The habitat has become highly fragmented. Fourteen tracts were identified for acquisition by the U.S. Fishand Wildlife Service and four were acquired. Acquiring the Lake Wales Ridge was a high priority for the State of Florida, The Nature Conservancy, and several local governments due to theurgency of this rapidly declining landscape.

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