Description: The Fred C. Babcock/Cecil Webb Wildlife Management Area (BWWMA) is a 102 square mile area (~13 miles x 9 miles)(65,775 acres) located in Charlotte County. A large percentage is open to the public for Bird watching and other out door activities.
Vegetation Communities: Dry Prairie (39%), Pineland (26%), Wet Prairie/Freshwater Marsh (18%), Grasslands (disturbed)(5%), Lakes and Ponds (3%), Shrub and brush (disturbed)(3%) Hardwood Hammock (2%), Barren land (disturbed)(2%), Cypress Swamp (1%), Mixed Pine/Hardwood 31 (<1%) .
The BWWMA and the YPU are the largest remaining tracts of South Florida slash pine habitat in Southwest Florida. These two areas combined comprise 79,018 acres. Both areas are similar in habitat being comprised primarily of pine-palmetto flatwoods with interspersed ponds. The ponds vary from seasonal to permanent. Most of the ponds are seasonal. The YPU has pond cypress and bald cypress (Taxodium ascendens and distichum, respectively) strands that are not present on the BWWMA. Approximately 40% of the area is comprised of freshwater marshes, sloughs and seasonal ponds, 25% is pine flatwoods, 28% dry prairies, 5% hammocks and 2% cypress strands. Freshwater marshes are dominated by saw grass (Cladium jamaicense), pickeral weed (Pontederia cordata), fire flag (Thalia geniculata) and buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). Pine flatwoods are dominated by south Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), wiregrass (Aristida spp.), and slough grass (Scleria reticularis). Dry praries are dominated by wiregrass, saw palmetto, broomsedge (Andropogon spp.), gallberry (Ilex glabra) and blueberry (Vaccinium spp.). Hammocks are dominated by live oak (Quercus virginianus), south Florida slash pine, green briar (Smilax spp.), and poison ivy (Rhus radicans). Cypress strands on the YPU are dominated by pond cypress and bald cypress.
Location: 5 miles south of Punta Gorda on Interstate 75, take exit 158,(Tuckers Grade). At exit ramp turn East, (Left) and drive 0.25 miles to the entrance.
Amenities: No rest rooms. Asphalt roads run alongside the lake for seven miles. All other roads are crushed shell and sand. Roads offer good wildlife viewing. There are several places to walk.
Animal Species: You may not be able to see all these species
Babcock-Webb is well known for the following birds:Red Cockaded WoodpeckerBrown Headed NuthatchesBachman’s Sparrow
Birds that you may encounter year-round include: Anhinga American Bittern Least Bittern Red-winged Blackbird Eastern Bluebird Northern Bobwhite Cardinal Gray Catbird Carolina Chickadee Chuck-will’s Widow American Coot Double-crested Cormorant Shiny Cowbird Sandhill Crane Brown Creeper American Crow Fish Crow Common Ground Dove Eurasian Collared Dove Mourning Dove Ringed Turtle Dove Rock Dove Mallard Duck Mottled Duck Wood Duck Bald Eagle Cattle Egret Great Egret Common Gallinule ( Moorhen) Purple Gallinule Blue-gray Gnatcatcher American Goldfinch Boat-tailed Grackle Common Grackle Pied-billed Grebe Laughing Gull Ring-billed Gull Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk) Cooper’s Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Sharp-shinned Hawk Great Blue Heron Green Heron Little Blue Heron Tricolored Heron White Ibis Glossy Ibis Blue Jay American Kestrel Eastern Kingbird Belted Kingfisher Swallow-tailed Kite Limpkin Eastern Meadowlark Hooded Merganser Red-breasted Northern Mockingbird Common Nighthawk Black-crowned Night-heron Yellow-crowned Night-heron Brown-headed Nuthatch Osprey Barred Owl Great Horned Owl Screech Owl Northern Parula Eastern Phoebe King Rail Virginia Rail American Robin Spotted Sandpiper Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Lesser Scaup Short Billed Dowitcher Northern Shoveler Loggerhead Shrike Common Snipe Sora Bachman’s Sparrow Chipping Sparrow House Sparrow Savannah Sparrow Song Sparrow Roseate Spoonbill European Starling Black-necked Stilt Wood Stork Rough-winged Swallow Tree Swallow Blue-winged Teal Caspian Tern Least Tern Royal Tern Brown Thrasher Swainson’s Thrush Tufted Titmouse Rufous-sided Towhee Wild Turkey Black Vulture Turkey Vulture Black-and-white Warbler Palm Warbler Pine Warbler Prairie Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler Yellow-throated Warbler Whimbrel Whip-poor-will Downy Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker Pileated Woodpecker Red-bellied Woodpecker Red-cockaded Woodpecker Red-headed Woodpecker Carolin Wren House Wren Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Common Yellow-throat
Documented Mammals: White Tailed Teer Feral hog Fox Squirrel Armadillo Rabbits Gray Squirrels Raccoons Opossums Skunks Armadillos Bobcat Otter
Documented Herps: Alligator Gopher TortoiseA great variety of reptiles and amphibians are found although a list has not been compiled