Right on cue, the rainy season returned in early June with the arrival of a large tropical system that brought more than five inches of rainfall to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Since June 1, water levels went from below ground throughout most of the Sanctuary to several feet of standing water in the deepest spots (nearly three feet of standing water at the Lettuce Lakes).
Inundation of our wetlands is allowing aquatic (e.g., fish, crayfish) and semi-aquatic (e.g., amphibians) animals to disperse and reproduce. The densities of these animals are low right now but will be increasing in the coming months. As prey densities increase through the summer and fall months, we expect to see wading birds return in greater numbers to prepare for nesting season. Mammals appear to be increasingly using the boardwalk as an easier (dry) pathway through the swamp, with bears, raccoons, and other animals leaving wet and muddy footprints for visitors to find.