Located on Marco Island in southwestern Collier County. Sandflats about 0.6 miles (1 km) in length along the northwestern shoreline of Marco Island. The island is a former mangrove forest converted to a 2000 acre (800 hectares) residential development beginning in the 1960s. Big Marco Pass Shoal is designated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a Critical Wildlife Area. This site is also known as Tigertail Beach.

Ornithological Summary

Big Marco Pass is critically important for wintering Piping Plovers, other shorebirds, and breeding and roosting larids. It has been designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as critical wintering habitat for Piping Plovers. Beginning in 1992, shore/seabird surveys were completed regularly by Rookery Bay NERR staff. Beginning in 2015, shore/seabird surveys were regularly completed by Audubon Florida and FWC staff (nesting season) and by Audubon Florida staff (nonbreeding).

Conservation Issues

Beach use within the IBA is heavy, but mostly is limited to the inner beach, while the outer beach and flats?the area most used by shorebirds, including Piping Plovers?are seldom visited by humans.


State of Florida (sovereign lands)


coastal strand, estuarine

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