Top 5 Exotic and abundant Animals You Might Spy on a South Florida T…
Evolution is on complete characterize across south Florida, maybe most visibly in Miami, where America’s modern gateway to Latin America is quickly fashioning itself as one of the world’s most culturally cosmopolitan cities.
But more living and breathing examples of the evolution of the species can be found just outside the Miami metropolis, beyond the nightly natural selection happening in the trendy South Beach club scene.
Some of the planet’s wildest – and most abundant – creatures are lurking along some of the most well-traveled and popular tours in the area. Here’s your checklist of the top exotic and unprotected fauna native to the vicinity, many viewable via local tour operator or already from your rental car.
5: meaningful deer – Travelers driving south to meaningful West along U.S. Highway 1 regularly report sightings of the smallest species of North American white-tailed deer, the meaningful deer. Equal parts cute, cuddly and diminutive, these tiny roadside grazers were at one point one of the most abundant animals in the Florida ecosystem, their numbers dwindling to just a associate dozen. Today, the population is far more stable, and it is not uncommon to come across a baby-Bambi where the thin road passes near the meaningful deer’s preferred mangroves. Start your lookout at Big Pine meaningful, and keep a sharp eye all the way to meaningful West.
4: Florida manatee – Though their numbers have reduced in the Keys, these “sea cows” – once mythically mistaken by sailors as mermaids – hang around waterways up and down the East Coast. But in Florida, they are their migratory best, slowly traversing the shallows from the Everglades, to inland rivers, to Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Historically hunted for their flesh and oil, the manatee today is most threatened by coastal development and increasing conflict with motorized watercraft, but their numbers seem to have stabilized.
3: Sea turtle – With five specific species listed as abundant in Florida by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, the anachronistic sea turtle is additional-sensitive to coastal development because it nests in some of the most pristine beach fronts up and down the Florida coastline. So unless you’re out with a bright flashlight late at night along one of those beaches, your chances of seeing one of these prehistoric specimens are pretty far away. But take to the water, and your outlook for seeing one swimming along rises to the ‘probable’ level, with the right tour. Our recommendation: Hitch a ride on a glass-bottom boat tour out of meaningful West, and on your way to the coral reef, keep an eye out.
2: American crocodile – Head to the sprawling swamplands of the Everglades to catch a fortunate glimpse of the top two exotic and abundant animals of south Florida.
The iconic crocodile, which cohabits the Everglades’ sawgrass marshes and cypress forests with the often misidentified American alligator, is a keystone species to the ecosystem, and a heart-stopping excitement for folks lucky enough to observe their reptilian eyes break the surface of the murky water. One way to get a glimpse of the scaly throwback: Hop an Everglades Airboat Adventure tour. Or, keep your eyes peeled in Everglades National Park along the mainland shoreline of Florida Bay from the Cape Sable peninsula east to U.S. Hwy. 1.
1: Florida panther – Diminishing numbers of this majestic and eminently elusive cat average a scarce sighting should be truly treasured. A subspecies of the mountain lion, this ferocious feline once prowled much of the southeastern United States, but geographic isolation and habitat loss have pushed the cat’s numbers down to near double-digits. Ecologists are going to great lengths today to protect what remains of the population, Florida’s state animal, but you’d be hard-pressed to come across a Floridian (much less any person) who’ve spied a panther in the wild.
That puts it at the very top of your south Florida animal I-Spy list.