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The Disney Widerness Preserve. - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Disney General

The Disney Wilderness Preserve started life as recently as the 1990s. This was Disney' s way of paying back a little for the Disney resort damage.

The Disney corporation bought 8. 500 acres to donate to conservation and in addition they made a generous amount of money avaiable for the restoration and upkeep of the land.

As I write, other organisations have also chipped in with some extra acres; not least the Greater Orlando Aviation authority.

Today, the work is almost complete and close to how it would have looked its original state. They have removed any plants that are not native to this area and taken away the agricultural ditches. They have also used controlled burning in the areas that are appropriate (in other words, where that would naturally occur)

There are now over 4000 acres of perfect wetlands here that are so important to the ecology of Florida and set up a lab to study climate change.

So what else can you expect to see when you visit? Well, they have restored the red cockaded wood pecker to the area and they have not been spotted for many decades. The exciting news is that 4 fledglings have been spotted so they must be settling in well. They nest in the long leaf pine habitat in grooves made by the staff.

They were also amazed to discover some South eastern big eared bats in a decrepit old trailer. The preserve have built the bats a splendid new bat house but the ungrateful wretches have spurned the new home in favour of the old ruined trailer!

Other animals to see are the Florida scrub jay, indigo snakes, sandhill cranes and the Florida panther. Now, in truth, they have only spotted the panther once but nevertheless, it has been, or is there!

By way of the flora and fauna you wil spot a pine forest, saw palmettos and orchids. Aso look out for the fall flowering ixia and Catesby lily.

The centre is open fromm 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. on weekdays only (also closed on most holidays.

This is the address

The Nature Conservancy Disney Wildlife Park
2700 Scrub Jay Trail
Kissimme
Florida
34759

email visitdwp@tnc. org

They recommend that you phone before you set out for a visit as certain weather conditions close the centre (407) 935 34759

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Page added on: 31 December 2011
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