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Pelican Island: What You Need to Know
Dated: November 7 2020
Pelican Island – the very first national reserve in the U.S. – is a beautiful island tucked away in the Indian River Lagoon just east of Sebastian. You can visit the island via a boat or kayak, though you have to stay off the ground itself.
What is Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge?
The Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge supports bird rockeries, but that’s not all. It’s also a location of key fish spawning sites – and even better, a globally important juvenile sea turtle nursery.
Wildlife at the refuge include:
· Brown pelicans, which are there all year
· White pelicans, who make an appearance from fall to early spring (with the occasional juvenile during summer)
· More than 140 species of birds
· Over 200 fish species
· Atlantic bottlenose dolphins
· West Indian manatees
What to Know Before You Visit
Pelican Island is in the Indian River, and it covers about 5,400 acres of protected waters and land. You can hire a local tour operator to take a boat or kayak tour.
You aren’t allowed to get out of your boat on Pelican Island because the nesting birds there use it as a sanctuary, and doing so would cause too much of a disturbance (and could even cause the birds to stop using the area).
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