Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area Founded with Seven Acres Donated by Paul Gray

Source: Audobon.org

In March of 2024, the “Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area” became the newest unit in the National Wildlife Refuge system. As the 4-million-acre conservation area is protected with acquisitions, easements, and landowner incentive programs, it will protect wildlife corridors, enhance access to outdoor recreation, and bolster climate resilience.

To kickstart the conservation process, Paul Gray, PhD, rancher and Everglades science coordinator at Audubon Florida, donated seven acres of land to the Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area.

We chatted with Dr. Gray to learn more about his hopes for conservation in the region.

Q. When did you first become involved in ranching in Florida?

A. I came to the University of Florida in 1988 to do my dissertation on Florida’s Mottled Duck, our endemic version of the Mallard. I worked extensively on ranches because that is where most Mottled Ducks live and I developed an in-depth appreciation for what resources ranches have.