6 Facts About Florida Everglades National Park

The Everglades is a unique national park. Not only because of its ecology, but also because the Florida Everglades National Park sits in the middle of a highly populated state. This presents unique challenges to maintaining its wild, natural status. By the same token, it’s impenetrable swamp and jungle-like conditions keep visitors out of much of the interior.

6 Facts About Florida Everglades National Park

Like every other national park out there, the Everglades contains wildlife. However, the sheer variety of wild creatures in the Everglades National Park is staggering. The plant variety plays a large part in maintaining a healthy wildlife population. This mini-jungle includes areas of swamp, pinelands, marsh and prairies. Most picture the Florida Everglades National Park as just one giant swamp, but the wide variety of terrain includes mangroves, orchids, mahogany, and huge swaths of wildflowers.

Because the flora varies so widely, the animal life is also spectacular. Much of the Everglades was drained to make the area habitable to humans, and in that process native plant species died off. Among the most famous, 39 species of orchids still live in the park’s boundaries. In addition, over 750 native, seed-bearing plants have been identified in Florida’s Everglades National Park, several of which are threatened or endangered.

Animal Life in The Everglades

The animals that feed here range from the commonplace, such as deer and raccoon, to the exotic like the West Indian Manatee. The park includes alligators, caimans and crocodiles, plus a huge variety of reptiles. Among the more famous reptiles are the boa constrictor, common iguana, and Burmese python.

Nearly 300 species of fish swim the marine coastline and make their home in the marshlands. Bird species also number in the hundreds, with large birds such as cranes and pelicans offering several species each. Eight species of hawks make their home here, and bald eagles are among the several species of eagles that fly through Florida Everglades National Park.

Insects, often forgotten and much maligned, make up 90 percent of life on earth. In the Everglades, their number and variety are astounding. Many are the biting and stinging type, from arachnids (spiders) to various species of centipedes. However, a wide variety of ants and dragonflies also crawl across the prairie, march and pine forests.

Six Fascinating Facts About The Florida Everglades National Park

  1. The Everglades is the only place on the planet where both crocodiles and alligators live.
  2. This park has only two seasons: wet and dry. This two season cycle reinforces how the wildlife live and how plant life proliferates.
  3. The Everglades is known as wet and swampy, but often catches on fire
  4. This park has been invaded by Burmese pythons, which are not native to the area. Pet owners have released Burmese pythons, which are now hunted regularly to reduce their numbers.
  5. The Everglades is a major source of drinking water for much of the state of Florida, as the marsh acts as a natural purification system.
  6. The park is home to thirteen endangered and ten threatened species