"The Everglades "River of Grass"" Everglades National Park by worldtrekker
Everglades National Park Travel Guide: 370 reviews and 910 photos
My trip to the Everglades was an eye opening learning experience. I never realized before that the actual survival of this national park was in jeopardy! With the rapid population growth in Florida and the demands it puts on the water supply, this park and it's flora and fauna may soon become just a memory. Industry and agriculture also create problems. Florida is now the 4th most populated state with 900+ new residents arriving EVERY day! With that kind of competition for resources it's no wonder this ecosystem is severely threatened. The Everglades is only about a quarter the size of what it once was. Hopefully a solution will be found to protect the future of this amazing place.
When we first arrived at the Shark Valley Visitor Center I couldn't believe my eyes! I'd heard that this was one of the best places in the park to see wildlife, but I didn't expect it to be so easy! Before we had even parked we saw an alligator swimming in the canal and several different types of wading birds. On our walk up the trail from the visitor center, it was one gator after another and birds constantly coming and going. I was also surprised how close you are to the animals here. Normally, they would flee way before you could get this close! I only had a 300mm lens with me for my camera, but I still got some decent shots. I'd estimate that I saw at least a hundred alligators here in Shark Valley. There were also a ton to be seen from the car driving along Hwy 41 in the Big Cypress National Preserve. There's a canal that runs alongside the highway and being that it was the dry season, this is where they like to hang out.
Mammals aren't as easily seen in the Everglades as are the birds and alligators, but they are here. This white tailed deer was spooked out of its hiding place as I walked along the trail.
The Florida panther and the manatee are two endangered mammals which inhabit the park. The Florida panther is in really bad shape with only between 30 - 50 surviving today. They have many health problems related to poor habitat conditions and genetic defects. With such a low population there's been a lot of inbreeding.
The slow moving and nonagressive manatee is also at risk. They are mainly threatened by human activities, especially boating and waterskiing. Blades from motor boats have sliced into these animals, sometimes killing them. People have also chased manatees and poked and prodded them while swimming or snorkeling. This causes them stress and they will likely leave the area even if it is their preferred habitat.
Another mammal which lives here is the river otter. These aren't endangered but are seldom seen. The best time to see them is towards the end of the dry season when the least amount of water is left and they seek out the waterholes. In March or April they are often spotted in Shark Valley. These animals are very entertaining to watch but unfortunately I've never had the chance to see one in the wild.
Bobcats are also common and a worker at the visitor center said she sees them now and again.
- Pros:Refuge for endangered species, wildlife viewing, recreational opportunities
- Cons:Rapid population growth nearby, dwindling resources, mosquitos
- In a nutshell:An ecosystem in jeopardy
Canoeing in the Everglades is a rewarding experience. Sure, it's a little more work than cruising through on a boat, but... more travel advice
When we planned our trip down to the Everglades we wanted to make canoeing a part of it. I was informed at the Shark... more travel advice
worldtrekker's Related Pages
Everglades National Park Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Basaic Everglades National Park Page"
- "Okefenokee's River of Grass"
- "Among the lushest national parks in the system"
- "everglades national park"
- "Everglades National Park by Kimberlyann"
- "The Everglades "River of Grass""
- "Everglades National Park"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Everglades National Park
- Hotels in Everglades National Park
- Transportation in Everglades National Park
- Nightlife in Everglades National Park
- Restaurants in Everglades National Park
- Shopping in Everglades National Park
- Warnings and Dangers in Everglades National Park
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Everglades National Park
- 17 Reviews
- 39 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 14 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (9)
Have you been to Everglades National Park?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Everglades National Park
- Posted in Travel San Francisco Forum "Re: Block ice... in or near..."
- Wrote a Review Food and supplies unavailable in the park in Everglades National Park What to Pack
- updated a Everglades National Park Travelogue "Birds"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Beware of what's crossing your path!"
- Commented on one of mrclay2000's Everglades National Park travel pages
Photos in Everglades National ParkSee All Photos (39)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Estado de Baja California Sur Intro, 56 reviews, 75 photos, 2 travelogues
- Yellowstone National Park Intro, 48 reviews, 58 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Denali National Park and Preserve Intro, 38 reviews, 60 photos, 3 travelogues
- Oregon Intro, 38 reviews, 51 photos, 1 travelogue
- Hyder Intro, 24 reviews, 50 photos, 3 travelogues
- State of Queensland Intro, 13 reviews, 58 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Seward Intro, 24 reviews, 38 photos, 1 travelogue
- Everglades National Park Intro, 17 reviews, 39 photos, 3 travelogues
- Moab Intro, 28 reviews, 27 photos
- Bolzano Intro, 27 reviews, 28 photos