Bird Key, 0.4 ha
Bill Baggs-Cape Florida State Park, 166 ha
Biscayne National Park, 69982 ha with 3683 ha uplands
Deering Estate at Cutler, 178 ha
Matheson Hammock Park, 254 ha
Crandon Park, 327 ha

All sites are off the coast of Miami-Dade County, stretching from east of North Miami Beach to southeast of Homestead. Bird Key is located in Biscayne Bay about 300 feet (90 m) east of the Intracoastal Waterway and less than 1 mile (<1.6 km) south of North Bay Causeway (State Road 934). Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park comprises the southern end of Key Biscayne. Biscayne National Park occupies a substantial portion of the Miami-Dade County shoreline between Kendall and Turkey Point. About 95% of the Park consists of open water of Biscayne Bay. The Deering Estate at Cutler is on the mainland south of Kings Bay and is adjacent to the northern mainland boundary of Biscayne National Park. The Estate also includes Chicken Key, about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) offshore. Matheson Hammock Park is on the mainland east of Kendall bordering Biscayne Bay. This IBA is nearly adjacent to the Florida Keys Ecosystem IBA to the south.

Several publicly owned sites along and inside Biscayne Bay, one of the dominant coastal features of southeastern Florida. Uplands in the northern part of the Bay are heavily developed, while those to the south are mostly in their natural state. Barrier islands in southern Biscayne Bay are undisturbed and protected within Biscayne National Park. Bird Key is a small mangrove key in the northern part of Biscayne Bay. They key is within the Flight Control Area of Miami International Airport, which may explain its omission from the state's colonial waterbird surveys, which are based primarily on aerial surveys. 

Ornithological Summary

Bird Key: significant populations of Special Concern and IBA species; Bill Baggs?Cape Florida State Park: significant populations of Threatened and FCREPA species; and significant numbers of Neotropical migrants. Biscayne National Park: significant natural habitats. The Deering Estate at Cutler significant natural habitats. Matheson Hammock Park: significant natural habitats

Bird Key supports a colonial waterbird rookery and a Magnificent Frigatebird roost. Bill Baggs?Cape Florida State Park is most important for Neotropical migrants, which can occur in large numbers, especially after storms. In a few hours during recent days during spring, thousands of wood-warblers were observed. Biscayne National Park also supports large numbers of Neotropical migrants, and migrant raptors in fall. The Deering Estate at Cutler also supports Neotropical migrants. Overall diversity is 240 native species.

Conservation Issues

Bird Key: unknown. Bill Baggs?Cape Florida State Park: *proposed development (sports field), human disturbance, exotic plants, runoff. Biscayne National Park: *offsite development, human disturbance, exotic plants, runoff. The Deering Estate at Cutler: human disturbance, exotic plants, runoff. Matheson Hammock Park: human disturbance.

Bird Key: The landowner has permitted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to close the island to the public to protect the rookery. Bill Baggs?Cape Florida State Park: Since Hurricane Andrew destroyed the State Park's predominantly exotic vegetation in August 1992, staff have been replanting with native species, which probably will increase the Park?s value to birds. ? Exotic vegetation is controlled as needed. ? There is an ongoing local effort to develop a sports field within the park, a plan that is opposed by the state and Audubon. Biscayne National Park: Homestead Air Force Base, which was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and declared as surplus federal property, is within 2 miles (3.6 km) of the National Park. The Miami-Dade County government attempted to obtain permission to convert the Air Force Base into a commercial airport, but this action seems to have been defeated. The runway and support facilities will be retained by the Air Force, with about 700 acres (283 hectares) being converted to residential and commercial developments??a far more compatible land-use. ? Exotic plants are controlled by Park staff and others. ? The Arsenicker Keys in the southern portion of the Park are closed year-round to protect wading bird rookeries. The Deering Estate at Cutler: Exotic plants are controlled as needed.


U.S. National Park Service (Biscayne National Park), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Bill Baggs?Cape Florida State Park), State of Florida and Miami-Dade County (The Deering Estate at Cutler, managed by Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department and assisted by the Deering Estate Foundation), Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department (Matheson Hammock Park), private (Bird Key)


Bird Key: *mangrove forest. Bill Baggs?Cape Florida State Park: *coastal strand (under restoration), *tropical hammock (under restoration), mangrove forest (under restoration), lacustrine (under restoration), artificial. Biscayne National Park: *open water, *tropical hammock, *mangrove forest, tidal marsh, estuarine, artificial. The Deering Estate at Cutler: *pine rocklands (150 acres; 60 hectares), tropical hammock (115 acres; 46 hectares), *mangrove forest, tidal marsh, artificial. Matheson Hammock Park: *tropical hammock, *mangrove forest, estuarine, artificial

Land Use

Bird Key: *conservation. Bill Baggs?Cape Florida State Park: *recreation, conservation. Biscayne National Park: *conservation, recreation. The Deering Estate at Cutler: *historic preservation, *environmental education, *conservation, recreation. Matheson Hammock Park *recreation, conservation.

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