Florida Panther Refuge Open House

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JOIN US for the Annual Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge Open House

FREE Lunch and Activities Provided

Some activities REQUIRE reservations. Activities which require reservations are listed as FREE TICKETS on EventBrite (link at bottom) and will OPEN on April 25th at 9:00am. Additional activities will be awarded on a FIRST COME basis.

SWAMP BUGGY RIDES (No Reservations Required)

15 minute swamp buggy rides will be available continuously throughout the day on a first come, first serve basis for all who are interested. Space and buggies are limited. One ride per attendee.


GUIDED BIRD WALK 7:30am – 10:00am* Spring migration is a great time to see birds! Take part in this guided birding tour on the Refuge Public Trails. (2.5hr)

FIRE IN THE LANDSCAPE 9:00-9:45am*, 12:00-12:45pm Learn about the importance of fire for maintaining wildlife habitat and explore an area of the refuge one year after a controlled burn. (45m)

SWAMP WALK ORCHID TOUR 8:00-9:15am*, 9:00-10:15am, 10:15-11:30am* & 11:15-12:30pm Tours take visitors through a beautiful swamp (up to 4 feet of water), so put on your messy gear and come check out the special and rare orchids that call the refuge home! Not recommended for young children due to water levels. (1hr15m)

NATIVE PLANT WALK 9:30-10:30am*, 11:30am-12:30pm Walk with an accomplished botanist as he points out individual plant identifications and discusses forest communities and their relationship to wildlife communities. (1hr)

HABITAT MANAGEMENT WALK 8:30-9:30am*, 10:30-11:30pm Learn about Florida panther monitoring and management from a panther biologist. (1hr)


ARCHERY LESSON (Ideal for Ages 10 & Up) 8:00-8:30*, 8:45-9:15, 9:30-10:00*, 10:15-10:45, 11:00-11:30*, 11:45-12:15 Learn proper archery techniques from instructors and practice your new skills on an archery target (30m).

GUIDED HAY RIDES 8:30-10:00am*, 10:00am-11:30am Enjoy a (1.5 hr) guided hayride and learn about habitat management on the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

RESEARCH ON THE REFUGE Outdoor presentations about research on the refuge by wildlife biologists.

Deer- 8:15-8:40am*, 10:15-10:40am* (Approx. 25 min)

Bats- 8:45-9:10am*, 10:45-11:10am* (Approx. 25 min)

Florida Panthers- 9:15-10:10am*, 11:15-12:15pm (Approx 55 min)


Need more information?

Contact Chelsea at (239) 657-8017 or chelsea.rioux@floridapanther.org



Biologist Use Trail Cameras on Florida Panther NWR to Study Trends in Refuge Usage by Panthers and Deer

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Read here about the extensive trail camera monitoring program being carried out on Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge to establish baseline habitat usage by wildlife species before and after regular prescribed burns. Follow the link below to find out more:


The Strangler Gets Strangled! Invasive Workday at Florida Panther NWR by Briana Stiehl

Florida Panther Biologists, Interns, and volunteers recently took part in an Invasive Species Workday on Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge to combat the non-native air potato vine that has crept its way into the refuge. Read an account of the day by volunteer Briana Stiehl here:


Tampa Bay Times: Feds warn Collier County that land-use votes that harm panthers may violate law

An exciting move by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has resulted in a written warning sent to Collier County officials stating that recent land-use approvals may be violating federal law. Two species, the Florida panther and the red-cockaded woopecker, are both listed under the Endangered Species Act and have been found to inhabit the 1,100 acres of land where approval has recently been given to landowners to clear land, cut timber, extend a road, and pursue plans for a rock mining operation. Follow the story, by the Tampa Bay Times, here.


Florida panther (Tampa Bay Times)