Manager Contact Information: Molly DuVall
Phone (239) 252-2960
Preserve Size: 2.45 acres
Date Acquired: The first section (1.77 acres) was acquired on July 30, 2004. An additional .68 acres was acquired on June 18, 2007.
Cost of Acquisition: The total cost for this preserve was $2,234,000 ($1,347,500 for the 1.77-acre parcel and $886,500 for the .68-acre parcel).
Public Access Facilities: There are three parking spots with one additional handicapped parking spot and a bike rack located at the entrance along Addison Court. The mulched trail, which starts at the parking area, loops through the preserve and is shaded for much of the way. Benches located along the trail provide comfortable spots to rest. Along the trail are several interpretive signs that inform the visitor about the habitat and the archeological and historical aspects of the property. Mosquitos can be numerous during the wet season. Please note that there are no restroom facilities or drinking water at the Preserve. The trail is not considered handicapped accessible at present, however, a sidewalk provides access to view the historic whelk terracing.
Plants and Wildlife: This preserve is representative of a tropical hardwood hammock, which is one of the most rare, unique and endangered habitats found in Collier County and is identified in the Conservation Collier ordinance as the highest priority habitat for preservation. Tropical hardwood hammock provides food and cover for many resident and migratory wildlife species that typically use such habitat. Fifty-seven (57) species of birds (including the Cooper's hawk shown to the right) and one hundred and twenty-seven (127) plant species have been recorded at Otter Mound Preserve. Other wildlife observed includes the Florida gopher tortoise, Virginia opossum, armadillo, raccoon, grey squirrel and even the occasional bobcat.
Reasons for Acquisition: Tropical hardwood hammocks are an increasingly rare type of coastal plant community found in South Florida. These forests are characterized by evergreen and semi-deciduous woody plant species that area also found throughout the Caribbean. They occur on the highest coastal elevations where it rarely floods and are, as a result, prime areas for human habitation. Development pressure has resulted in the conversion of many of these forests to urban and agricultural uses. The preserve was primarily acquired due to the presence of tropical hardwood hammock, a priority habitat type in the Conservation Collier Program, but it also has archeological and historical significance. It is located on the site of an ancient Calusa mound (c. 700 A.D. - 1,200 A.D.), though it is not thought to be a burial site. Digging at the site or collection of any artifacts is not permitted. The property was a home site for early settlers in the Caxambas Village who worked in the Marco Island clamming industry.
Management Goals: Management goals for the Otter Mound Preserve are to maintain the property in its natural condition prior to modern development, eliminate or reduce human impacts to indigenous plant and animal life, maintain the trail to provide a safe and pleasant visitor experience, protect the archaeological, historical and cultural Resources, facilitate uses of the site for educational purposes and provide a plan for security and disaster preparedness.