Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge
Wading birds, shorebirds, fishes, manatees, bald eagles, crabs, and even reptiles are some of the species of wildlife that find suitable habitat on the islands and marshes that make-up Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. In the 1800's massive numbers of birds in the south were killed for their plumage, so that ladies might wear the latest hat fashion. In response to the rapidly declining bird population, refuges were established to protect birds during breeding and nesting. In 1929 the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, consisting of 13 islands, was established for the protection of the 200,000 birds that used the keys for raising their young. Today, 20,000 birds use the westernmost finger of Seahorse Key and Snake Key as rookeries.