Important Bird Areas

Lake Disston and Adjacent Uplands

Florida

In extreme southwestern Flagler County, between the Volusia County line and State Road 11, south of County Road 305.

Lake Disston is a shallow (average depth 8?10 feet; 2.4?3 m) tannic lake drained by Little Haw Creek, which flows north into Crescent Lake. It is ringed by a band of ancient cypresses, mostly along the northern end. The lake and creek are part of the St. Johns River basin. Two developments are built along parts of the eastern and southwestern shorelines of the lake, but these do not impact the cypresses. The lake receives an estimated 250 boats and 80 hunters annually.

The largely intact natural forest cover surrounding the lake and its water clarity help to explain the importance of Lake Disston to raptors, and have allowed for the lake and its drainage to remain one of the most pristine and intact black-water habitats in northeastern Florida. In April 2001, the State designated Lake Disston as an Outstanding Florida Water. ? A huge area surrounding Lake Disston has been designated by +Cox et al. (1994) as a Strategic Habitat Conservation Area.

Ornithological Summary

Significant populations of FCREPA species; and significant natural habitats

Lake Disston supports significant populations of Swallow-tailed Kites and Ospreys. The number of Osprey nests has been monitored informally in many years since 1967, when 5 nests were known. Since that time, numbers have increased significantly, but show a high degree of annual fluctuation; the highest count was 84 nests in 1985.

Conservation Issues

*development (of surrounding uplands), runoff

Ownership

State of Florida (lake), private (uplands)

Habitat

*lacustrine, cypress swamp

Land Use

*conservation, recreation, private (potential development)

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