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Animals in the Everglades

 

Animals in the Everglades National Park can be plentiful and easily seen, like the alligator and all kinds of herons and egrets. In fact, if you love birding, there's almost no place better than the 'Glades in the winter.

Others, however, are so rare that they are endangered, like the Florida panther and black bear.  These animals are shy and elusive, so if you manage to catch a glimpse, you are fortunate indeed! Animals in the Everglades -- Alligator

Let's find out more about what kind of animals you can see in the Florida Everglades.

Reptiles in the 'Glades

Alligators are by far the most popular and plentiful of the reptiles that roam around the 'Glades.  In fact, if you go in using the Shark Valley entrance, you can't help but see them!   They lay in the road, cruise the canals and bask in the sun and grass. 

If you don't watch where you are going you could literally trip over the gators at times.  Do watch where you walk, though -- they may look lazy and even tame, but they are wild animals and can easily turn on you.

An elusive reptile is the American crocodile.  One of the unusual aspects of the 'Glades is that it is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist together in the wild.  Your best chance of seeing them is in the swamps in the most southern reaches of the Everglades -- you'll have to use the Flamingo entrance.

OK, everyone has heard about that python in the Everglades.  That was a pet that someone let go; pythons are not indigenous to the Everglades. There are snakes, however.  The water moccasin, rattlesnake and coral snake can all be found.  The coral and rattlesnake are mostly found in the hammock areas, while the moccasin favor swampy areas.

Osprey Eating Lunch!Non-venomous snakes are also seen, as are all manner of lizards.

Birding in Everglades National Park

There are tons and tons of birds in the park, although not as many as there used to be.  Killing birds for their plumage in the early 1900's decimated many of the bird species.

Some of the birds that you can pretty much count on seeing are cormorants, herons, egrets and ibises. And many of the various sub-species as well.

Ospreys are common in the skies, and they build large nests that are often easily visible.

Around the edges of Everglades National Park, where it meets Florida Bay or the Gulf of Mexico, you're likely to see plenty of pelicans as well. Roseate Spoonbills

Some of the rarer birds that you may or may not see include roseate spoonbills, snail kites, Cape Sable seaside sparrows and wood storks. Roseate spoonbills are easily recognized by their glorious pink plumage and very distinctive-looking bill.

Other Animals in the Everglades

There are mammals in the 'Glades, but most are rarely seen, like the Florida panther and the Florida black bear.  It is a once-in-a-lifetime event to see one of these in the wild!

Other animals in the Everglades include raccoons, which can be common around camping areas.  Otters and West Indian manatees can be seen at times, although mostly around the edges of the park (especially the manatee).

White-tailed deer, squirrels, marsh rabbits and mice can also be seen from time to time.

A couple of non-native animals that are occasionally seen include wild pigs and coyotes. As an aside, wild pigs can be rather unfriedly at times, so they are an animal to admire from afar.

Fish include bass, gar, oscars, redfish, mullet and snook. In Florida Bay you may also see tarpon, grouper and various kinds of snappers.

A Final Note

Many of the animals in the Everglades are either threatened or endangered.  The Everglades National Park is a unique ecosystem where each animal fills its own niche.  When one animal disappears, the park as a whole suffers.

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