Big Talbot Island State Park, 644 ha
Fort George Island, 404 ha
Little Talbot Island State Park, 1065 ha
Duval County, 2114 ha

Along the Atlantic Ocean in northeastern Duval County, between the Nassau River and St. Johns River. Contiguous with the Duval and Nassau Tidal Marshes IBA to the west, the Huguenot Park?Nassau Sound IBA to the north and south, and part of the Northern Atlantic Migrant Stopover IBA to the east.
Fort George Island consists of Fort George Island Cultural State Park (620 acres; 250 hectares), and Kingsley Plantation (20 acres; 8 hectares), and some private residences. The two publicly owned sites receive 85,000 recreationists annually. Little Talbot Island State Park is a barrier island between Nassau Sound and the St. Johns River, about 1 mile (1.6 km) wide and 5 miles (8 km) long. Except for State Road A1A, which bisects the island, most habitats are largely undisturbed. The State Park receives 100,000 recreationists annually. No information was provided for Big Talbot Island State Park.

Ornithological Summary

Big Talbot and Little Talbot islands support significant populations of breeding and wintering shorebirds and larids. All three islands support significant breeding populations of Painted Buntings. No bird list is available.
About 70% of Fort George Island consists of >100-year old maritime hammock. ? The cultural history of the island is outstanding. Shell middens created by the Timucuan Indians and their predecessors date back as far as 7000 YBP. One midden, the Shell Ring, is thought to have been an important center of worship. A Spanish Mission (San Juan del Puerto) was established in the center of the island in 1587 and lasted until 1702. General James Oglethorpe established Fort Saint Georges on the island in 1736 as the English tried to take Florida from Spain (the location of the fort today is unknown). The English gained control of Florida and the island in 1763 and this began the plantation period. The most dramatic evidence of this period can be found at Kingsley Plantation, a unit of the National Park Service. ? Little Talbot Island State Park shares much of the same history as the other islands in the vicinity. An extensive Indian culture is evidenced by shell middens. ? Some of the most important habitats are at the southern part of the island, which formed in the 1880s due to the building of the jetties at the mouth of the St. Johns River.

Conservation Issues

Fort George Island: development (proposed channel dredging), human disturbance, erosion, feral cats, habitat succession, cowbird brood parasitism, and exotic plants. Little Talbot Island State Park: development, human disturbance, habitat succession, cowbird brood parasitism, and feral hogs.

Talbot Island State Park managers are currently writing the Management Plan. A General Management Plan was completed by the National Park Service and does not address the conservation aspects of the island proper, but of the Timucuan National Preserve (the proposed new name of the preserve) in general. The major future impacts will come from increasing human use. ? The State Park is currently restoring the Ribault Club House on the southeast side of the island. Preparations for increased use of this part of the island include increased mowing, removing trees along the edge of the marsh to open up the view, and planning additional parking and picnicking areas. ? The interior of the island contains unique habitat. A golf course built in the 1920s was abandoned in 1991 and offers an opportunity to manage old fairways as habitat for wildlife. Little Talbot Island State Park: The park management plan is rewritten every five years. Visitation is rising and will become an increasing concern. One positive regulation is that dogs are prohibited from the park. Little Talbot Island is long and linear, with about 5 miles (8 km) of beach. Driving on the beach is prohibited. The main problem along the beach is the disturbance of nesting and roosting birds, especially on the north end of the island. However, boaters who land on the sand islands between Little and Big Talbot Islands are a much more urgent problem. ? State Road A1A is the main highway between Fernandina Beach and Jacksonville. This highway may become an issue if planners need to move the highway farther inland as the southern end of the island continues to erode. There has already been significant erosion on the south end of the island. The pier was lost two years ago and encroachment by the sea is becoming more evident. A decision looming by city, state, and federal agencies about the Fort George River Inlet Bridge will greatly impact the south end of Little Talbot Island.

Ownership

U.S. National Park Service (Kingsley Plantation), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Big Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, and Little Talbot Island State Park).

Habitat

Fort George Island: *temperate hammock, *maritime hammock, pine plantation, sawgrass marsh, riverine, estuarine. Little Talbot Island State Park: *xeric oak scrub, *coastal strand, temperate hammock, sawgrass marsh, riverine, estuarine, artificial.

Land Use

*conservation, *recreation. Little Talbot Island State Park: *conservation, *recreation.

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