The Everglades in the southern portion of Florida is a vital, natural environment that has existed for thousands of years. A Look at the FloridaEverglades reveals the picture of a, “..slow-moving river of marsh and saw grass..” A diverse collection of creatures live in the Evergladesincluding several types of birds, fish, alligators, frogs, turtles, and a whole host of other animals. In addition, there are many species of plants that depend upon the nourishing atmosphere of the Everglades for their continued existence. The environment of the Everglades supports thousands of life forms, big and small.
The vast area of the Everglades is made up of several different habitats. Some of The Habitats in the Everglades include the Pineland, the marshes of Saw grass, and the Mangrove. The Pineland habitat is a wooded area that is located at the higher levels of the Everglades. Some of the inhabitants that live amongst the thick gathering of trees growing in The Pinelands are the Red-Bellied Woodpecker and the shy Florida Panther.
The marshes of Saw grass within the Florida Everglades contain shallow areas that allow the Sandhill Crane to partake of both the tiny swimming life forms and the various plants surrounding the area. But the Sandhill Cranes must always be on the lookout for the American alligators that also occupy the saw grass. The alligator finds the tall growth of saw grass the ideal habitat for hunting and nesting.
The Mangrove habitat within the Everglades is the swampy environment enjoyed by turtles, a variety of birds, and the Red Mangrove tree that spreads its roots underneath the water. The branches and twisted roots in this watery environment are perfect nesting places for birds such as the Brown Pelican and the Heron.
The list of Endangered Species of the Everglades contains the names of several types of turtles including the Green Sea Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle. These turtles were hunted for food or caught in nets meant for other sea life, causing a drop in their population.
Among the Reptiles of the Everglades the American Alligator is on the list of threatened animals along with the American Crocodile. The number of American Alligators is larger than the American Crocodile, but because they look alike they are both protected reptiles.
The Florida Panther is also an endangered animal living in the Everglades. One of the Threats to the Florida Panther’s Existence is the disappearance of its habitat to land development. Another reason for the decline in the Florida Panther population is the high incidence of disease due to inbreeding. Inbreeding weakens a panther’s immune system and therefore lowers its resistance to disease.
The Bald Eagle, the Roseate Tern, and the Red Cockaded Woodpecker are examples of birds living in the Everglades whose names are on the endangered species list. The Red Cockaded Woodpecker and other birds of the Everglades are classified as endangered due to loss of habitat through land development. When the trees that house these birds are chopped down, the birds lose their homes as well as the food source of insects living inside the trees.
A Selection of Animal and Plant Life of the Everglades : Illustrations accompany descriptions of the many animals and plants that exist in the Everglades.
Man made changes to the Everglades environment began over a century ago. Canals were constructed causing drainage from the Everglades that was very harmful to the balance of plant and animal life. Since then, land development of all kinds has caused a chain reaction of disruption within the ecosystems of the Everglades. But, efforts to Restore the Everglades to a healthy ecosystem are now underway. Steps have been taken in Florida to not only protect the life within the Everglades but to bring it back to its natural condition of health.
For thousands of years the plant and animal life of the Everglades has done its best to survive. Now, with our protection and help, the Everglades will continue to be an amazing spectacle of nature’s beauty for centuries to come.