Nonnative Plants Threaten Native Plants in the Everglades

Nonnative Plants Threaten Native Plants in the Everglades - Everglades Holiday Park

The Everglades is home to various ecosystems, providing optimal growing conditions for thousands of different trees, plants, and flowers. This vegetation has played a key role for thousands of years, providing not only food, but also shelter for the animals that inhabit the Everglades. Plants native to the Everglades contribute to the food chain, help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, provide fiber, and sustain life throughout this 1.5-million-acre wilderness.

Though it may seem harmful at first, exotic plants invading the Everglades can cause very harmful effects to the ecosystems within. After direct habitat destruction, invasions of nonnative plants are the second greatest threat to native species. When plants are brought to the Everglades, they are brought out of their historical natural range, but will continue to try to direct the natural life of its surrounding organisms. Nonnative plants can radically alter the natural soil chemistry, amount of light, and temperature of the area it invades. Not to mention, chemicals in the plant can destroy the growth of other plants native to the Everglades, which have been serving a vital role for years. Nonnative plants can also smother large areas, disrupt natural water flow, and serve as a platform for fire to travel through the Everglades. Once these exotic plants invade the Everglades, their seeds spread and continue to create problems which harm the ecosystems and effect the marine and wildlife.

The importance of plants native to the Everglades is a crucial aspect that Everglades airboat tours always take into consideration. The benefit of Everglades National Park airboat tours is that they glide over the terrain, making sure to not harm plants native to the Everglades. Everglades Holiday Park works to preserve the plants that are native to the area; to keep them alive, thriving, and beautifully working for our planet and atmosphere.

Everglades National Park takes the threat of nonnative plants in the Everglades very seriously. Learn more about the importance of plants native to the Everglades and how you can help combat this issue on your tour of Everglades Holiday Park.

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Unique Facts About the Everglades

Unique Facts About the Everglades - Everglades Holiday Park

Spanning over 1.5 million acres of south Florida, Everglades National Park is a giant subtropical safe haven for a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The Everglades consists of multiple ecosystems that sustain a thriving, diverse wildlife in South Florida.

Before you head over to enjoy an Everglades airboat tour, check out a few facts about the Everglades:

  • Everglades National Park was established in 1947 to preserve the biological diversity and resources of the South Florida wetlands.
  • The Everglades is home to the Florida Panther, one of the most endangered species on earth. There are currently less than 100 remaining.
  • There are at least nine different ecosystems that work together to sustain life in the Everglades. These include coastal mangroves, pine flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, and freshwater marl prairies.
  • These ecosystems compose the most important breeding grounds for tropical wading birds on the continent.
  • In 1946, oil was discovered in the Shark Valley Region of the Everglades, but due to low quality and lack of technological capabilities, drilling never took place.
  • The Everglades is the only place in the world where the American alligator and the American Crocodile coexist. Crocodiles are typically spotted in the sandier coastal areas, whereas alligators are more typically found inland, but both can be seen during a local Everglades airboat tour.
  • Thick sawgrass covers much of the Everglades terrain; and while it may look soft, the razors can cut through your clothing.
  • The Everglades National Park is the 3rd largest national park behind Yellowstone and Death Valley.
  • The Everglades is the largest subtropical wetland ecosystem in North America and the largest mangrove ecosystem in Western Hemisphere.
  • The Everglades is often referred to as a “swamp”, but in reality it is a giant, slow moving river.
  • Nearly 8 million Floridians rely on the Everglades for their daily water supply.
  • Covering over 1.5 million acres, the Everglades is currently at half of its original size.
  • Mosquitos are not considered a nuisance to the Everglades; they are essential to the food chain. Mosquito larvae provides food for the fish that are food for the birds of the Everglades.

To learn more facts about the Everglades, journey across the river of grass on an Everglades Holiday Park airboat tour.

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The Gator Boys Live to Rescue

The Gator Boys Live to Rescue - Everglades Holiday Park

With jaws that contain nearly 3,500 pounds of crushing power, reaching up to 15 feet long and weighing almost 1,000 pounds, alligators are not an animal anyone wants to come into contact with.

For thousands of years, these reptiles ruled the land as one of the most ferocious predators in Florida, and they continue to battle with man over territorial rights. Unfortunately for Floridians, alligator sightings are quite common, especially in vicinities close to the Everglades. It is no surprise when residents find an alligator in their backyard or on canal banks near their home, since alligators frequently wander away from their inhabited terrain. When Floridians find themselves in close quarters with these dangerous local natives, they call Paul Bedard and Jimmy Riffle, the Gator Boys Alligator rescue team to come save the day.

The Gator Boys are masters at handling South Florida wildlife, with expert skills ranging from snake wrangling to alligator wrestling. The team is very familiar with the animals of South Florida, growing up with experience in face-to-face encounters with alligators. While these animals present a serious safety hazard to South Florida residents and their pets, competitive hunters and trappers are a threat to their lives, hunting alligators for personal profit.

Gator Boys Alligator rescue not only saves Floridians from dangerous encounters, but also helps to protect South Florida’s gators and crocodiles from being hunted. Once they rescue nuisance gators, the Gator Boys provide them with a safe place to eat and live, and eventually return them to a more suitable, safe, and healthy environment; many of which can be seen during an Everglades airboat tour.

Much of the action takes place at Everglades Holiday Park, where the Gator Boys bring visitors up close to these powerful creatures, but the Gator Boys Alligator rescue has had to deal with massive gators invading resident’s backyards, swimming pools, garages, and even their bedrooms. For years, the Everglades Gator Boys have been risking serious injury for the sake of protecting both the people and the wildlife of South Florida. Be sure to check out a Gator Boy show and see gators in their natural habitat during an Everglades airboat tour.

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Dangers of Self-Guided Airboat Rides in the Everglades

Dangers of Self-Guided Airboat Rides in the Everglades - Everglades Holiday Park

The thousands of Floridians who spend their weekends navigating the waters of the Everglades know that an airboat can be a blessing or a curse; depending on who’s operating it. If you are considering taking a self-guided airboat ride in the Everglades, think again. Although Everglades National Park is a beautiful, lush, unparalleled landscape, it can be quite dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.

At Everglades Holiday Park, we recommend that you leave the work to our professional airboat captains. Here’s why it is dangerous to go on self-guided airboat rides in the Everglades:

The Airboat – Airboat operation requires trained professionals who have experience in operating the vessel. The stopping and reversing directions are dependent upon good pilot skills, since airboats do not have brakes. If, for some reason, your airboat malfunctions or gets stuck, our captains know exactly how to handle the situation to ensure a safe trip for all visitors.

The Terrain – The Everglades is a 1.5-million-acre ecosystem with a diversity of habitats and terrain. There are hardwood hammocks, thick mangroves, freshwater sloughs, and coastal lowlands. It is easy for an amateur to run into the wrong area, get themselves stuck, lost, or badly injured.

The Wildlife – A main reason that so many people take airboat rides in the Everglades is for the opportunity to come face to face with some of Florida’s most exotic wildlife. The Everglades has wildlife in their natural habitat, in every direction. It takes a professional, with years of experience, to know how to properly navigate towards the wildlife and not harm or upset them. Not to mention, it is illegal to disturb the wildlife, and it comes with a heavy fine. There are poisonous flowers and trees, venomous snakes, and of course, massive alligators. Visitors at Everglades Holiday Park will have the opportunity to cruise right next to huge alligators, but our captains know how to keep a safe distance.

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What is an Airboat Ride and How Does It Work?

What is an Airboat Ride and How Does It Work? - Everglades Holiday Park

Airboats have quickly become the most popular way for nature enthusiasts and thrill seekers to cruise around the Everglades and explore the ecosystems. Airboats are flat bottomed vessels that are propelled by giant fans instead of motors. When the propeller is working, it pushes air behind the boat, which pushes the boat forward. There are no operating parts beneath the waterline, which is what sets the airboat apart from other boats. Due to the lack of a motor, the boat can quickly glide across the surface of the water; something that no other boats can do. Airboats are perfect for low water and swamplands. They are the fastest, most efficient way to get around the 1.5 million acres of various terrains in the Florida Everglades.

When you take an airboat tour with Everglades Holiday Park, you will fly across the surface of the water to quickly explore different habitats within the subtropical wilderness. Journey deep into the Everglades on a narrated airboat tour that departs every 20 minutes and lasts for 60 minutes. These tours are exciting and safe for people of all ages, including young children. You will travel through tunnels of mangroves and animal sanctuaries, and your captain will stop to show you endangered species and exotic wildlife. You are likely to run into alligators, eagles, ducks, turkeys, and big fish. Get your adventure started by booking an airboat tour with the professionals at Everglades Holiday Park.

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