Important Bird Areas

Sarasota and Roberts Bay

Florida

Cortez Key Bird Sanctuary, 2 ha;
Roberts Bay Colony, 0.4 ha;
adjacent foraging areas

Located in extreme southwestern Manatee County and extreme northwestern Sarasota County. Bordered by County Road 684 to the north, the mainland to the east, Philippe Creek to the south, and Longboat, Lido, and Siesta keys to the west.

Two small keys in Sarasota Bay and Roberts Bay, about 16 miles (25 km) apart, linked by estuarine foraging habitat

Ornithological Summary

The islands support significant colonial waterbird rookeries, and Cortez Key serves as a roost for large numbers of Magnificent Frigatebirds. Only a rudimentary bird list is available.

Conservation Issues

*human disturbance, *raccoons, *erosion, *discarded monofilament fishing line, exotic plants

Cortez Key: The island is posted and patrolled to control human access. ? Raccoons and monofilament fishing line are removed from the islands regularly. ? Vegetation has been planted to control erosion, but current efforts are not sufficient. A proposal to add oyster shells to stabilize shorelines is being considered. ? Roberts Bay: The islands are posted and monitored by Audubon of Florida staff. Discussion of shoreline stabilization and island enhancement is underway.