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Roseate spoonbills were nearly hunted to extinction in the late 1800s, as they nest in large mangrove colonies with other wading birds, including the then-highly lucrative egrets. Spoonbill pink feathers were not in very high demand for the hat industry, as they fade quickly, though they were locally popular in fans. Many birds were nonetheless indiscriminately killed by the plume hunters who decimated Florida's wading bird colonies.

Thanks to conservation efforts and protection by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, roseate spoonbill numbers rebounded. They are, however, a Florida state designated threatened species, because of habitat reduction and degradation of their food supply.

In recent years, in response to rising water and temperatures, roseate spoonbills are moving north from South Florida (their primary Florida breeding grounds for decades), to find new sources of food. To help protect these endemic Florida birds, conservation of appropriate feeding and nesting habitats is critical.