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Space Coast

March 12, 2013

Not quite urban wildlife, but these photos still demonstrate that nature does well in the human-built environment. Today we’re at Kennedy Space Center! On our tour we spotted this black vulture (according to our tour guide this look-out spot is a favorite) with a view of one of the launch pads in the background. We were at the remote camera facility — the spot where NASA documented shuttle launches.

KSC is home to over 500 species of wildlife, including over 300 species of birds, and is adjacent to a National Wildlife Refuge (Meritt Island). They have nesting sea turtles and nesting bald eagles (apparently one of the largest populations of bald eagles outside of Alaska; we drove past a massive eagle nest on part of the tour). Their manatees do quite well in part because there are so few boats in the area, and they have a thriving alligator population. In fact, our guide told us that every so often a stray gator made his way into an off-limits facility, courtesy of automatic doors. And as we were heading back to the Visitor’s Center, we passed a small group of feral pigs, another prominent Floridian example of human-wildlife conflict.

It’s not uncommon for large government facilities to be havens for wildlife; many military bases have on-site natural resource managers, for example, and some bases contain habitat for endangered species. Finding a balance between human needs and wants and wildlife can be tricky, but in many places that balance is being found.



One Comment leave one →
  1. March 12, 2013 10:17 pm

    We saw a gator there when we visited several years ago!

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