Like many Florida birds associated with wetlands, the Wood Stork has suffered from the destruction and degradation of our state’s wetlands. Today, the Wood Stork is classed “Threatened” by the State of Florida and the federal government.
It feeds in shallow water, stirring the bottom with its unlikely pink feet and snapping up small prey that are unlucky enough to encounter the bird’s sensitive bill. They nest in early spring, just in time for the traditional season of lowest water when prey items will be concentrated in shrunken wetlands, providing good hunting so the storks can feed their young.
Now, we have altered the natural cycle of high and low water in our wetlands and Wood Storks often can’t find enough food for their young, who eventually succumb to starvation.
How Audubon is Helping
- Everglades Restoration: the Everglades is a historical feeding and nesting ground for Wood Storks. By restoring the river of grass, we will ensure there will always be places for storks to feed, nest and raise their young.
- Lake Okeechobee Recovery: Wood Storks forage in and nest around this beleagured big lake. Cleaning up the lake will help storks and a suite of other animals, as well as the Everglades itself.
- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: This Audubon Sanctuary in Southwest Florida protects one of the state’s largest Wood Stork rookeries. Audubon actively manages the sanctuary for the storks’ benefit, and we advocate for their feeding grounds downstream.
Reclassification of Wood Storks Called Premature by Audubon Biologists
Wood Storks evolved over millennia in the Everglades, including what is now Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, to take advantage of the ebb and flow of water levels in our wet and dry seasons.
Audubon Submits 50 Years of Wood Stork Data to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
On November 22, Audubon of Florida submitted 50 years of Wood Stork nesting data to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in response to the agency's call for additional research on North America's only native stork.
Audubon Provides Leadership on Wood Stork Issue
In a recent article by the Palm Beach Post, conservationists have been pitted against land developers over the latter's attempts to have the Wood Stork removed from the Endangered Species List.
How you can help, right now
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