FRED C. BABCOCK / CECIL B. WEBB WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA


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 Woodpecker Brown Headed Nuthatches Bachman’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 Tortoise
A great variety of reptiles and amphibians are found although a list has not been compiled