Important Bird Areas

Southern Atlantic Migrant Stopover


Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, 72 ha
John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, 125 ha
Spanish River Park, 38 ha

All three sites are on barrier islands fronting the Atlantic Ocean. Spanish River Park is located near Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, and extends west to the Intracoastal Waterway. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is immediately east of downtown Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, while John U. Lloyd Beach State Park is about 5 miles (8 km) to the south

Three small coastal parks in a massively urbanized region of Florida. The parks may provide the only significant coastal stopover habitats for Neotropical migrants in Broward and southern Palm Beach counties. The parks are heavily infested with exotic species. Annual visitation of the parks are: 265,000 recreationists for Birch, 600,000 for Lloyd, and 17,500 for Spanish River.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park contains a rare coastal dune?lake community with several listed plant species. ? Hugh Taylor Birch's former home now houses the park visitor center ? John U. Lloyd Beach State Park represents one of the last areas in Broward County with native coastal habitats. The beach is important for nesting sea turtles ? Spanish River Park supports some of the few remaining coastal strand and tropical hammock habitats along the barrier island in Palm Beach County.

Ornithological Summary

IBA CATEGORIES: significant numbers and diversity of Neotropical migrants; and significant natural habitats.
AVIAN DATA: This IBA is used extensively by Neotropical migrants in spring and fall, and some of these species winter in small numbers. The parks also attract various West Indian landbirds (i.e., Ruddy Quail-Dove, La Sagra's Flycatcher, Cuban Pewee, Bahama Mockingbird, and Western Spindalis); the Bahamas are as few as 65 miles (104 km) away. The beach at Lloyd State Park is used by shorebirds and larids. Overall diversity is 241 native species.

Conservation Issues

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: *offsite development, *exotic plants, *feral cats, habitat succession, runoff ? John U. Lloyd Beach State Park: *offsite development, *human disturbance, *exotic plants, habitat succession, erosion ? Spanish River Park: *exotic plants

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: Exotic plants and feral cats are removed ? A 40-acre (16-hectare) mangrove restoration?enhancement project began in January 2001; intense coastal development has removed most of the mangrove forests that previously were found in Broward County. Storm-water runoff affecting water quality is a minor concern ? John U. Lloyd Beach State Park: Broward County proposes to ?claim? about 5 acres (2 hectares) of the northwestern portion of the park to allow for the expansion of Port Everglades. ? The county also wants to add 250 feet (75 m) of sand to the beach, which may severely impact the first reef immediately outward of the beach. ? Over 90% of the park is infested with exotic vegetation, mostly Australian-pines and Brazilian pepper. In fall 1999, Australian-pines were removed from the beach, which resulted in rapid recruitment of native vegetation. Brazilian pepper eradication is ongoing. ? Spanish River Park: Parts of the park are infested with Brazilian pepper and Australian-pines. Some areas have already been cleared of exotics and replanted with native tropical hardwoods species. The program is continuing. ? Future modifications to the park for maintenance or recreational purposes should be designed for maximum compatibility with the park's natural resources. A management plan has been created.


Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and John U. Lloyd Beach State Park), City of Boca Raton (Spanish River Park)


Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: *tropical hammock, *mangrove forest, *freshwater marsh, *coastal strand, fields, artificial. John U. Lloyd Beach State Park: *mangrove forest, coastal strand, tropical hammock, fields, artificial. Spanish River Park: *tropical hammock, mangrove forest, coastal strand, artificial

Land Use

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: *recreation, conservation, John U. Lloyd Beach State Park: *recreation, conservation, Spanish River Park: *conservation, *recreation