Florida Scrub-Jay Festival
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
The 6th annual Florida Scrub-Jay Festival will be at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on February 28, 2015. The refuge harbors one of the largest populations of scrub-jays in the state.
The Florida Scrub-Jay Festival celebrates the only bird species unique to Florida as well as the scrub-jay’s unique and interesting habitat. The Florida scrub-jay currently is federally listed as a threatened species. Scrub-jays are bold, curious, charismatic and true Florida natives.
Scrub-jay populations are thought to have declined by as much as 90 percent since the late 1800s due to habitat loss. More recently, scrub-jays have continued to decline even on protected lands due to inadequate habitat management. Historically, periodic wildfires maintained the shrubby, open habitat that scrub-jays need to survive. Now scrub-jays and other plants and animals rely on agencies like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to use prescribed fire and other methods to maintain the shrubby habitat they need.
The 2015 Florida Scrub-Jay Festival is free and will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The festival will include guided walks, rides around the refuge, kids’ activities, entertainment, and a Scrub-Jay Q&A with a panel of experts.
As the date approaches, you will find more information at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge website.
The Florida Scrub-Jay Festival moves around the state from year to year. The Florida Scrub-Jay Festival is a collaborative effort of multiple conservation partners, including the FWC.