Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Collier County, Florida protects old-growth bald cypress swamp habitats and the creatures that rely on them. In 1912, the National Association of Audubon Societies employed a guard to protect wood storks, egrets, and other birds. In 1954, fourteen organizations led by the National Audubon Society acquired 6,000 acres and in 1968, another 5,000 acres to protect the swamp from development. Corkscrew Swamp protects one of the largest stands of virgin bald cypress. Some reach 130 feet into South Florida skies and may be 700 years old. A 1.7 mile loop boardwalk provides easy access for human visitor. Wild creatures along the boardwalk are used to people and can be observed easily as they go about their daily activities. Barred owls rest by day close to the trunks of giant trees, unperturbed by passers-by. Red-shouldered hawks scream from nearby trees. As swamp wetlands shrink during the winter dry season, alligators dig deeper into the muck, enlarging pools and creating refuge for many species while assuring themselves of food and a home.
'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.