This animal refuge helps protect a wide array of endangered plant and wildlife species.
Situated on Big Pine Key, the National Key Deer Refuge is a haven for the endangered Key Deer. It was founded in the late 1950s and it also helps protect a number of other wildlife species, such as certain fish, birds, and reptiles. Visitors are welcome to stop by the refuge to learn about the fascinating wildlife that calls this place home, as well as to fish, kayak, and to of course snap some incredible photos. The refuge is comprised of over 9,000 acres with a diverse variety of ecosystems for the assorted species.
The Key Deer is native to the Florida Keys, and it is estimated that there are less than 1,000 of these animals left. The refuge is a great place to visit with the family and to stroll around while observing all the plants and animals. There are observation decks, a visitor center, and trails to explore on the grounds. Be sure to come prepared if you’re planning your visit in the scalding summer months – this means keeping lots of sunscreen and water handy. The refuge is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am until 3 pm.