This a Field Guide of Animals that have been site verified.
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity and cultural resources through research and monitoring to guide science-based stewardship and education strategies.
GTM Research Reserve protects 73,352 acres south of the City of Jacksonville (Duval County) in St. Johns County and Flagler County on the northeast coast of Florida, one of the fastest growing regions in the state. The populations of St. Johns County and the adjacent Flagler, Putnam and Volusia counties have grown 20 percent since 1990 and are projected to grow an additional 20 percent by 2010. More than 1.3 million people live within 50 miles of GTM Research Reserve, including the cities of Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Palatka, Daytona and New Smyrna.
These protected areas provide habitat for a wide variety of fish and wildlife. A species list recently compiled for Guana River Marsh Aquatic Preserve indicated the presence of at least 44 mammal, 358 bird, 41 reptile, 21 amphibian, 303 fish and 580 plant species. It contains habitats essential to 48 protected animals and 8 protected plants.
GTM Research Reserve is also important for the economy because these include 16 species that are fished or harvested commercially and 18 species that are fished recreationally.
GTM Research Reserve is geographically separated into a northern and southern component, separated by the City of St. Augustine. The northern component (referred to locally as Guana) is associated with the Tolomato and Guana River estuaries and the southern component is associated with the Matanzas River.