The unique subtropical ecosystem of the Everglades National Park is popularly explored by the airboat tours. This ecosystem is made up of an amalgamation of many different habitats where many species of endangered and threatened birds and animals thrive, and miles of nature trails, as well as amazing photography opportunities abound. There are more than 40 unique species of mammals that call the park home. Here are some who you can hope to bump into on your trip to the Everglades National Park.
1. Grey Fox
The grey fox has a strong neck, black-tipped tail, and can weigh up to 20 pounds. Sharp, hooked claws allow the grey fox to climb trees to reach food sources or to escape predators. They are solitary hunters that feed on birds, rodents, rabbits and voles and have been known to eat fruit sometimes too.
The raccoon is found in the marshes and forests of the Everglades. It uses its dexterous paws to catch crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. While on land, the raccoon feeds on bird’s egg, insects and mice.
3. River Otter
The river otter is a slender semi-aquatic mammal that is found in the Everglades and other parts of Florida. It hunts during the day or night for turtles, crayfish or other freshwater creatures. It breeds once a year during winter or fall.
4. Florida Marsh Rabbit
Marsh rabbits are the only species of rabbits that are found in the Everglades National Park, in the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains, along beaches, estuaries, shorelines, marshes, swamps, logs, ponds, rivers, lakes and streams. They thrive in marshy, lowlands and are commonly found near permanent sources of water. They are known to be good swimmers, often diving into the marshy wetlands to avoid being captured by predators. They are nocturnal in nature and are most active at dusk or dawn. They are solitary as well, preferring to forage on their own.
5. White-tailed Deer
White-tailed deer are the smallest species of North American deer and are found all the way from the cold regions of Southern Canada to the tropical climates of Florida. They adapt well to almost any habitat and are herbivorous, feeding mainly on plan materials such as stems, young tender leaves, twigs, alfalfa, and sometimes acorns. They have also been known to feed on mushrooms fruit, and agricultural crops like soybean and corn if they can find any. White-tailed deer are the largest source of food for the elusive and endangered Florida Panther. They are found abundantly in the swamp, marshy habitat of the Everglades National Park and the pine rocklands and hardwood hammocks of Big Cypress National Preserve as well.
6. Florida Panther
The elusive Florida panther is an endangered animal that resides in the Everglades swamps. These big cats can weigh up to 160 pounds and feed on the waterfowl, mice, deer, wild boar, and hares.