The southwest coast of Florida, from Naples to Florida Bay and Key Largo, remains one of the great, stark wildernesses of the eastern United States. Here is the interface between the Everglades and the ocean, where red river water meets the turbid and cloudy waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This sprawling and remote estuary encompasses the largest mangrove forest in the mainland United States. A patchwork of federal and state lands stems development leaping east from Naples and Marco Island. Among the protected uplands are a network of very interesting islands, constructed by the Calusa Indians 500 to 2000 years ago primarily from oyster shells. Some islands rise in places to over 30 feet and support subtropical hardwood forests of gumbo limbo, open shell barrens, numerous rare plants, and tenuous, small populations of Florida box turtle. Over the course of nine years, we've surveyed for Florida box turtles (Terrapene bauri) on islands along the southwest coast of Florida.