The acreage along Wulfert Road and Sanibel-Captiva Road is home to a number of species, including eagles, bobcats, gopher tortoises, and rare plants. It is also a stopover for migrating neo-tropical birds. Resident and seasonal birds alike would be seriously threatened by development, say refuge officials.
The conservation and planned restoration of the Wulfert Bayous property will protect a 4-acre lake, 16 acres of existing mangroves, hardwood uplands, and 22 active gopher tortoise burrows. Wulfert Bayous contains 15 acres of wetlands that can be restored and enhanced to create a wading bird colony of roseate spoonbills, wood storks, white ibis, and other egrets and herons. Improvements would also include limited, passive public access for wildlife viewing.
“The 68-acre parcel will complete a wildlife corridor connecting surrounding conservation lands while stemming development and water quality degradation via natural filtration,” said John McCabe, DDWS Land Acquisition Committee Chair. “As the largest parcel of unprotected undeveloped land on Sanibel, it’s the vital piece of the puzzle that will ensure Sanibel’s future as the protected, pristine natural treasure we all love.”
“We are turning to private support to meet our required $3 million campaign goal,” said Birgie. “Time is of the essence for raising the money. If we do not meet the deadline, conservation could lose the parcel to residential development. We are looking for donations and pledges large and small within the next three months.”
To pledge funds to save the Wulfert Bayous’ 68 acres from development, donors should contact Birgie at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or firstname.lastname@example.org.