The Florida Everglades is extraordinary and it’s easy to see why people come from all over the world to take a journey through the wetlands. With unique vegetation and exciting wildlife, the Everglades is amazing to see in person. But with as much attention as the ecosystem has been getting lately, there’s still much to learn about its contribution to South Florida and beyond. Here are five interesting facts about the Everglades that may surprise you.
No. 1: It’s a river
Believe it or not, the Everglades is actually a river that’s constantly moving. Water trickles from north to south from Lake Okeechobee, forming a slow moving river that’s sixty miles wide and a hundred miles long. But the “River of Grass” is much smaller than it was in years past – as much as fifty percent of the wetland habitat has been destroyed by construction and related drainage projects.
No. 2: It’s the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist
Both crocodiles and gators live in the Everglades. Crocs are mostly found in small numbers in coastal areas of the ‘glades, while alligators are prefer to stay inland, near freshwater. Nevertheless, the Everglades ecosystem provides a natural habitat for both, and it’s the only place in the world where these reptiles co-exist in the wild.
No. 3: Fire is common in the Everglades – and important
When most people think of the Everglades, they imagine swampland and wet, murky waters. While that’s true, there’s also a very distinctive dry season where weather patterns create drought like conditions that are perfect for fire. What many people don’t realize is that fire is actually an essential part of maintenance, clearing the way for a complex system of interdependent ecosystems to thrive.
No. 4: It provides drinking water for 7 million Floridians
As the largest subtropical wetland in North America, the health of the Everglades is a big deal. But aside from providing shelter and protection for scores of wildlife, the Everglades is an important asset to humans as well and one out of every three Floridians rely on the Everglades for drinking water.
No. 5: There are 9 habitats providing a home to 16 endangered or threatened species
The Florida Everglades is complex for sure, but it’s this complexity that makes it so spectacular. The Florida panther and the crocodile are just two of the endangered animals the Everglades ecosystem protects. But with nine distinct habitats, the Everglades is also home to over 16 species of birds, a variety of mammals, reptiles, plants and scores of unique flora.America’s wetland is spectacular for sure, and a fantastic learning environment for adventurous families, photographers and nature enthusiasts. If you’re interested in learning more and a journey through the Everglades sounds like fun, a narrated tour may be the answer. Visit Everglades Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale for hour-long airboat tours, live alligator presentations and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet and greet with Florida’s finest. This entry was posted in Everglades Holiday Park Blog,