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FWC reptile surveys, Lower Florida Keys, Monroe Co., FL
Wildlife Biologist Adam Emerick.

FAVORite People of the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges: Wildlife Biologist Adam Emerick.— Adam Emerick carefully handles a Florida Keys mole skink while collecting data during a survey that could provide information vital to its protection status within refuge lands. The Big Pine Key resident moved to the Keys a year and a half ago to work with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, where he serves as a wildlife biologist for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex.

“The islands of the Keys are unique in that many of the animals are found nowhere else in the world due to our geographic isolation,” he says. Emerick will lead a free, two-hour “Reptile Walk in the Woods” in National Key Deer Refuge from 10am on Thursday, March 17th, starting at the Visitor Center in Big Pine Key. The walk is part of the upcoming Outdoor Fest, created by the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex and their Friend’s group FAVOR to help people recognize the refuges as safe havens for the creatures who live in them while also educating them on how to enjoy the areas in wildlife-friendly ways.

The Fest is set for Thursday, March 17th through Sunday, March 20th and is filled with family-friendly, mostly free outdoor adventures and hands-on activities. Visit for more information and to register for the many events offered—some, like Emerick’s “Reptile Walk in the Woods,” have limited availability. Brought to you in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.

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