Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

History and ecology of mangroves in the Dry Tortugas

January 1, 2002

Dry Tortugas National Park, which includes Bush, Long, Loggerhead, Garden, and Bird Keys, is a cluster of islands and coral reefs approximately 112.9 km (70 miles) west of Key West, Florida (fig. 1). These islands were explored in 1513 by Ponce de León, who named them for the abundance of sea turtles, “tortugas,” and the lack of fresh water in the area. Historically, the Tortugas shoals have been valued as a military outpost, and the area is now additionally recognized as nesting grounds for diverse seabirds. The Dry Tortugas were declared a national treasure and bird sanctuary as early as 1908 and were incorporated into the National Park Service in 1935. These islands have been the setting for the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) research into mangroves and their relationship to bird life.

Publication Year 2002
Title History and ecology of mangroves in the Dry Tortugas
DOI 10.3133/fs04702
Authors T.W. Doyle, T.C. Michot, Richard H. Day, C.J. Wells
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 047-02
Index ID fs04702
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wetlands Research Center