The Everglades animals include many interesting creatures as this area is teeming with fascinating wildlife. Leatherback turtles are common in this wetland region, for example, and during the winter months especially, West Indian manatees are among the area residents. Bobcats, bottlenose dolphins, raccoons, and white-tail deer are just some of the other animals that call the Everglades home, but this is just the start when it comes to species that visitors might expect to see. Within the boundaries of Everglades National Park, approximately 350 bird species have been identified.
The star of the show when it comes to the Everglades animals is arguably the Florida panther. Almost eradicated from the eastern U.S. by hunters and forced to face a loss of habitat, this species of wild cat has somehow managed to hold on. There are only around 100 remaining, however, and due to their elusive nature, they are not commonly spotted on Everglades tours. What sustains these big, tan-colored cats are other mammals, including deer, and they are known to eat reptiles as well. Since Florida panthers roam across large distances, they often find themselves at the edge of major roads. As such, anyone driving in the Everglades region is encouraged to keep an eye out. Signs that alert a possible presence actually line many roads in the southern part of Florida.
Another animal that is commonly associated with the Everglades is the American alligator. You can actually find these animals in many southern states, with other examples including North Carolina and Mississippi. The largest populations, however, are in Florida and Louisiana. As for some characteristics of the American alligator, they typically weigh anywhere from 270 to 800 pounds as adults, and the heaviest can top 1,000 pounds. They eat all kinds of things, including snakes, birds, and deer. You might even see an American alligator eating another alligator on an Everglades tour, and as you might suspect, humans are encouraged to keep a safe distance. As a side note, the Everglades region is also home to the American crocodile. These creatures can actually grow larger than the alligator, and they are highly endangered.
Pythons, or Burmese pythons, aren't native to southern Florida. They have been turning up in good number in places like the Everglades, however. This is directly associated with careless pet owners who release invasive creatures into the wild. Originally from Asia, the species of python that can be found in the Everglades is actually one of the top ten largest snake species on the planet. The average length of a fully grown Burmese python is twelve feet, with the larger ones measuring around nineteen feet. This partly explains why they thrive in the Everglades. With their size and strength, they can take down most anything, including alligators. More often than not, Everglades pythons are found in the water or in trees. Many have been removed, though their prolific nature is making it hard for wildlife officials to keep on top of things.
A variety of other snakes also figure among the numerous animals that can be found in the Everglades. Among them is the eastern indigo snake, which can reach a length of up to nine feet and is the longest native snake species in the U.S. The Florida cottonmouth, the Florida scarlet snake, the yellow rat snake, and the eastern garter snake are just some of the other numerous species. There are four species of venomous snakes in southern Florida. They include the cottonmouth, as well as the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the dusky pigmy rattlesnake, and the coral snake.
Complementing the resident snakes in the Everglades are a variety of lizards and amphibians, so you never know what you might stumble upon while exploring the terrain. As for those who have an interest in fish, Everglades National Park is home to scores of those as well. There are actually hundreds of species in the area, and as such, many a visitor looks to do some fishing on the side.