Florida Wildlife

One BIG alligator

King of the swamp

Florida wildlife is wonderfully diverse.

As you probably already know, some species can pack enough muscle power, venom, or poison to be deadly.

Your knowledge of these species, their habitats, and habits can help you stay out of harm's way. To this end, the pages linked to this one provide information about selected Florida animals.

You'll want to be reasonably wary in Florida's wild places.

Use your good, common sense, but avoid overestimating the dangers normally posed by Florida wildlife.

We have alligators, for example, and they are unpredictable. I never trust them. Yet, if you watch TV or the movies, you'd think that seven or eight marauding alligators immediately hit the water as soon as some poor dude happens to fall out of his boat.

Or you might get the idea that snakes are dripping off all the trees in the Everglades, just waiting to drop in on some unsuspecting visitor.

Yes, we have all these creatures, and yes you must be aware of them, but the Hollywood version is, in my opinion, way overdone. Makes for an exciting movie, though.

All the species presented on these pages are not all found statewide. At least be aware of those found in the area you're in. Let your knowledge of these creatures help you enjoy your wild Florida experiences. You're probably much safer in the wilds than walking along a typical urban street.

Florida Snakes. -- Those of us who enjoy the wilds of Florida are well served by a fundamental knowledge of Florida snakes--specifically the venomous snakes found here.

Florida Panthers
-- There remain only about 80 to 100 Florida panthers, most of which are located in Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. Highly endangered, this big cat is the official Florida state animal.

Florida Alligators
-- Is there any more prominent symbol of Florida than the Florida alligator? Found throughout the state, alligators are more plentiful than they have been since I can remember.

The American Crocodile in Florida -- It surprises a lot of people to learn there are American crocodiles in Florida. Not regular old alligators...we have lots of those. I'm talking honest-to-goodness, genuine pointy-snouted crocodiles.

Florida Shark Attacks -- Shark attacks. What person who enters the ocean hasn't thought about that? Since Florida adventures often involve water, and since sharks live in water, it makes sense for those of us involved in water activities to know a few things about sharks.

Florida Manatee -- Anyone in the water with manatees should observe some basic rules when attempting to interact with these gentle creatures. What you want to avoid is harassing the manatees because that can harm them.

Florida Night Sounds. -- There's something special about the wilds of Florida at night. As the sun disappears over the western horizon, a variety of night creatures come on duty--frogs, snakes, alligators, and more. Here, the night does indeed have a thousand eyes. Listen to the sounds of Florida wildlife.

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