Important Bird Areas

Cayo Costa-Pine Island

Florida

Cayo Costa State Park, 243 ha of uplands
Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge, 964 ha

Offshore of Cape Coral in northwestern Lee County, including barrier islands between the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound, and keys within Pine Island Sound. It is near the J.N. ?Ding? Darling National Wildlife Refuge IBA to the south.

The State Park includes portions of Cayo Costa Island and North Captiva Island, and all of Punta Blanca Island. The Park is accessible only by private boat. The Refuge consists of 17 small keys between Cayo Costa and Pine Island. Four of the islands (Broken Island, Hemp Key, Pine Island Bird Key, and Useppa Bird Key) support or have supported colonial waterbird colonies. Most information for this IBA refers to Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Hemp Key contains an Indian mound. ? Part of this IBA has been designated by +Cox et al. (1994) as a Strategic Habitat Conservation Area.

Ornithological Summary

Cayo Costa State Park has supported significant populations of Snowy Plovers, while some keys within Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge support significant breeding populations of colonial waterbirds. Only a rudimentary bird list is available.

Conservation Issues

monofilament fishing line, raccoons

Except for Hemp Key, all current rookery islands are posted against human intrusion. ? Monofilament fishing line and raccoons should be removed as necessary.

Ownership

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Cayo Costa State Park), and private owners (Hemp Key)