Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Super ghost orchid
The "Super" Ghost Orchid is Blooming
We spotted the first blossom on the “Super” ghost orchid on July 2. The “Super” ghost orchid, one of several ghost orchids on record at the Sanctuary, was discovered in July 2007. Ghost orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii) are rare flowering plants that rely on sensitive, wetland habitats, and are only known to grow in Southwest Florida and Cuba. Our “Super” ghost orchid usually remains in bloom through September. If you plan to come to see it, bring a spotting scope, binoculars, or a long (600 mm) lens on your camera, and be sure to get your tickets in advance!
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The "Super" Ghost Orchid on July 19. Photo: RJ Wiley
Production team prepping
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Featured on NBC Nightly News Broadcast
When National Geographic published stunning, camera-trap imagery of Florida panthers at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary by photographer Carlton Ward, it got the attention of the NBC/Universal production team. The team, including Today Show correspondent Kerry Sanders, visited the Sanctuary in May to interview Carlton, his assistant Malia, and Sanctuary Director Lisa Korte, who spoke to the importance of the Sanctuary as habitat for these apex predators. The segment, which aired on "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt - For Kids" on June 26, also explained how wildlife corridors can help people and panthers coexist. Fast forward to 16 minutes to see the segment about panthers.
 
Sanctuary Director Lisa Korte getting prepped for interview.
litter
Preserving the Serenity of the Boardwalk
Our Clean Water volunteer team of Mike and Michele Bizub continues weekly removal of all the trash they find on and near the boardwalk area. Because they are recording their findings, we are learning about our visitors’ habits, which provides opportunities to improve our educational messaging. Since March, the Bizubs’ trash collection records have revealed some interesting trends… 
 
Litter collected at the Sanctuary.
Roseate Spoonbill in restored area
From the Field Update
Water levels across the Sanctuary finally came above ground at the B-gauge on June 21. At the lowest/dryest point in the dry season, our water level was one foot below the zero mark on the B gauge (on June 1, the first day of Water Year 2022). As water levels rise, aquatic fauna is dispersing and reproducing. Frogs, toads, crayfish, and some species of fish, in particular, take advantage of this time of year when they can produce young in standing water that harbors a very low density of predators. Tadpoles dominate the aquatic fauna biomass in most shallow areas.
 
A Roseate Spoonbill forages in the restored area in early July.
A Great Egret
Improving the Rural Land Stewardship Program
With strong support from Audubon Florida and its Collier chapter, Audubon Western Everglades, the Collier County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on July 13 to adopt an important set of improvements to its award-winning Rural Land Stewardship Program.  The Audubon-influenced amended policies expand preserves by 40,000 acres to target a total of 134,000 acres of the 180,000 acres that are in the program. They also increase farm protections, affordable housing, panther and wading bird habitat restoration, and cap any development at 45,000 acres over 50 years.
A Great Egret.
Painted bunting
Member Event Preview
We are looking forward to hosting our first member-exclusive event of 2021, “Creating Bird-Friendly Communities,” on July 24. Starting with an Early Bird Walk, members will also enjoy an overview of recent happenings along the boardwalk, a preview of the newly planted Bunting Garden located just behind the Blair Visitor Center, and light refreshments in the Gallery Café. While tickets are no longer available for this member-only event, we are planning another one before the end of 2021. We encourage all visitors to check out the new Bunting Garden. Many other birds can benefit from this habitat, while buntings are away for the summer months.
 
Painted Bunting. Photo: Layton Parham/Audubon Photography Awards
in the news graphic
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the News
Outlet: Naples Florida Weekly
Headline: Super Ghost Orchid at Corkscrew Swamp is Blooming
Excerpt: The “Super” ghost orchid at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is now blooming. Ghost orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii) are rare flowering plants that rely on extremely sensitive, wetland habitat, and are only known to live in South Florida and Cuba. “The bald cypress forest at the Sanctuary provides the perfect conditions for the ghost orchid bloom,” said Sanctuary Director Lisa Korte, PhD.
 
Outlet: Fort Myers Florida Weekly
Headline:  Super Ghost Orchid at Corkscrew Swamp is Blooming

Outlet: Coastal Breeze News
Headline: Super Ghost Orchid is Blooming

Outlet: WGCU Public Media
Headline: Environmental Roundup July 2, 2021
Excerpt: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's ghost orchid is in bloom. Learn more on their website.

Outlet: Coastal Breeze News
Headline: “Super” Ghost Orchid Watch is ON at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Excerpt: Around this time each year, the “super” ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii), the largest orchid ever discovered so far, draws international attention when it blooms at the Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. As of June 10, 2021, Audubon staff has spotted two bloom spikes.  

Outlet: SW Florida Spotlight
Headline: CORKSCREW SIGHTINGS: Barred Owl is Both Predator and Prey
Excerpt: Barred owls (Strix varia) are year-round residents of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Florida. They can be found throughout the eastern United States and north into Canada. They prefer mixed forests of large trees, often near water. They are more often heard than seen. Their barking call, “Who cooks for you?,” is easily distinguishable from other owls’ calls.

Outlet: WINK CBS News Ft. Myers
Headline: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary restoration underway with help from Publix donation
Excerpt: Publix has committed to giving the Corkscrew Sanctuary $1.2 million to help restore the wetland. The money will go toward removing the Carolina Willow, a tree that doesn’t belong there. “You can now see the Willow and our hope is in over the next few years will be able to Open that wetland again and our visitors will be able to see that,” Korte said. 

Outlet: Naples Daily News
Headline: Publix commits $1.2 million to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary willow removal
Excerpt: The effort to remove invasive willows and restore wetlands in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is getting a $1.2 million boost from Publix. The Florida-based grocery chain announced the five-year funding for the sanctuary as a “continuation of its commitment to water stewardship” in a news release. Marshall Olson, director of conservation and the sanctuary, said that as of Thursday, about 870 acres have been cleared of woody vegetation. 

The Everglades as Muse
https://www.naplesillustrated.com/the-everglades-as-muse/
Adorable Monique captures mangroves, birds, and other flora and fauna of the Everglades with her vibrant palette and expressive strokes in acrylics. Born in Chicago and raised in Central America, the award-winning artist is now based in Southwest Florida. Her paintings have been exhibited at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and on the cover of the Naples Charity Register.

Outlet: Florida Unplugged
Headline: The Perils Of Corkscrew Swamp
Excerpt: One of Florida’s most protected pristine swamps is drying up, facing a water supply dilemma. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, northeast of Naples, has seen its water flow sharply diminish as development booms all around it. The swamp sits on 13,000 acres of undisturbed woodlands on the edge of the Big Cypress National Preserve. It contains over 700 acres of virgin Bald Cypress trees, the largest remaining concentration in the world.
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Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
375 Sanctuary Rd., Naples, FL 34120 USA
(239) 348-9151 | corkscrew.audubon.org

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