The Florida Everglades are unlike any other place in the world. From unique habitats to endangered species, there are so many reasons to explore all the beauty that makes up this Florida treasure. Read on to discover five facts that make the Everglades one-ok-a-kind, plus tips on how to visit and see for yourself!
1. There are nine different habitats in the Everglades. They are Hardwood Hammock, Pinelands, Mangrove, Coastal Lowlands, Freshwater Slough, Freshwater Marl Prairie, Cypress and Marine & Estuarine. These habitats are home to more than 40 mammal species, 300 fish species, 50 reptilian species, and 360 avian species!
Learn More: Habitats of the Everglades
2. The Everglades are the only place in the world that alligators and crocodiles coexist! crocodiles prefer saltwater, while alligators live in freshwater environments like ponds and lakes.The Everglades have both! There are about 200,000 alligators that call the Everglades home, while there are only about 3,000 crocodiles.
Learn More: Differences Between Alligators and Crocodiles
3. It is one of the largest wetlands in the world spanning 1.5 million acres! While the Florida Everglades are technically wetlands, it is often referred to as the slowest and widest river in the U.S. The constant stream of freshwater actually provides drinking water for over 8 million Floridians!
Learn More: Everglades as a Drinking Water Source
4. There are more than 70 threatened or endangered species and plants living in the Everglades. These include the Florida Panther, American Crocodile, American Alligator, West Indian Manatee, Wood Stork, and Snail Kite.
5. The Everglades are over 5,000 years old! The original Everglades spanned from the Orlando area all the way to Florida Bay. But over the years, much of the Everglades has been drained for agriculture and urban development and is now about half the size.
Tips to Plan Your Visit:
- There is an admission fee to enter the park ($30 per vehicle). For local residents, there are also annual pass options.
- The Everglades National Park has three separate entrances that are NOT connected, so plan ahead.
- There are daily ranger led activities and tours. Consult the schedule before planning your trip.
- Go by foot and walk the Anhinga Trail to spot wildlife including turtles, herons and alligators.
- Hit the water for a guided boat tour to spot crocodiles, manatees and dolphins.
- For history buffs, take a tour that includes an old nuclear base.
- And for thrill seekers, get off the grid and take a canoe to an Everglades Chickee Hut to spend the night.