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Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge




Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - Established in 1997 Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge is 1,060 acres, of which contains a 38 acre sinkhole. Key Cave refuge consists of hardwood forests and croplands. Along with Key Cave, Collier Cave is also included within the proposed acquisition boundary. It provides potential habitat for Alabama cavefish and gray bats. Both caves are on the northern shore of Pickwick Lake in a
limestone karst area that contains several sinkholes and underground cave systems.

Recreation - Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge provides several activities. Along with Key cave is Collier Cave. Both caves are on the northern shore of Pickwick Lake in a limestone karst area that contains several sinkholes and underground cave systems. Other activities include wildlife observation, hiking, photography and hunting. Entry into cave for research by permit only.

Climate - The climate of Alabama's lowlands can be described as subtropical with nearly 60 inches of rain each year. The highest amount of rain reaches the region as afternoon thunderstorms in July, August and September. Summers are extremely hot and humid with temperatures frequently reaching above 100 degrees F. Summer nights cool slightly and provide a good time to travel through the region.

Winter temperatures are mild, rarely dipping below 40 degrees with the humidity level at its lowest in November and December. Spring and fall are very pleasant times to visit the region. Spring brings mild temperatures and blooming trees and flowers. During the fall temperatures range from 65 to 85 degrees F with low humidity levels. Northern Alabama is generally cooler than the south due to its higher elevations.

Location - The refuge is located approximately 5 miles southwest of Florence in Lauderdale County, AL.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The Shoals Audubon Society has had several field trips to Key Cave NWR and has adopted it for suppoert by placing bird houses and helping with habitat improvment as well. Lark Sparrows are present in spring and early summer, Short-Eared Owls are present some winters. LeConte's Sparrows have been seen there as well. Note - This is not a caving area. Access to the caves is strictly controlled to limit damage to the unbelievably small population of Alabama Cavefish which is arguably the most endangered vertebrate in North America.


More Information

Contact Information:
Key Cave FWR, 2700 Refuge Headquarters Rd. , Decatur, AL, 35603, Phone: 256-353-7243, Fax: 256-340-9728
, r4rw_al.wlr@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Alabama Wildlife Refuges -
North Alabama - North Alabama includes the northern third of the state, from Birmingham, north. This region offers waterfalls, fish-filled rivers and lakes, rapids suited for rafting and caves to explore.

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