Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge (LWRNWR) is the first Refuge designated primarily for the preservation of endangered plants. Thirty-one rare plants can be found within the project boundary, 22 of them federally listed as endangered or threatened, and nine candidates for such listing. Four federally listed vertebrates as well as 40 rare invertebrate species are also present. The sand hills of Central Florida are home to a unique collection of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else. The Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem, the oldest in the southeast, has been disappearing faster than any other in the United States. Citrus farms, ranching, and residential development have claimed 85 percent of this ancient ridge. The habitat has become highly fragmented. Fourteen tracts were identified for acquisition by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and four were acquired. Acquiring the Lake Wales Ridge was a high priority for the State of Florida, The Nature Conservancy, and several local governments due to the urgency of this rapidly declining landscape.
There is no public access.
Polk and Highlands Counties P.O. Box 6504 Titusville, FL 32796
FWS - Fish and Wildlife Service