Frequently Asked Questions
1. When does the park close? Everglades National Park Main Entrance in Homestead is open 24/7, 365. The entrance station is not staffed 24 hours a day, but visitors can enter or exit at any time. Visitors will NOT get locked in the park overnight.
3. What is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Where they live: Alligators live in freshwater habitats mainly, while Crocodiles live in salt or brackish water habitats. Everglades National Park is the only place in the world you may spot gators and crocs in the same body of water; perhaps Paurotis or Nine Mile Pond.
Color: Alligators are black to dark grey in color while crocodiles are a green-grey color.
Snout: Classic difference but hard to see unless you are up close. Alligators snout is more like a shovel -wide and blunt (used like a shovel too), Crocodile snout in pointed with more teeth sticking out (better for catching fish).
4. Are crocodiles more aggressive? Maybe, they are more likely to have a flight or fight response.
They generally encounter humans less frequently than alligators but have been known to be a bit more aggressive. As far as our visitors are concerned, we should behave in the same way (stay back 20', don't feed or touch, if it moves = you are too close)
5. How large do alligators and crocodiles get? Alligators average maximum size is around 12', these are the old ones, not many of this size in the park.
Most large gators we will see are between 7' to 10'. Crocodiles grow a bit larger than alligators, maximum size around 13'.
6. Has anyone in the park ever been hurt by an alligator? There are no documented accounts of any alligator attacks inside the park in the past decade. Gators that live near urban areas are typically more aggressive and dangerous as they have been fed by people in the past and are more likely to approach humans. Inside the park gators are not fed (let's hope not) and so do not associate humans with food, let's keep it that way!
7. Where can I take my pet in the park? Pets are allowed (6-foot (2 m) leash) in parking lots and campgrounds, but not on trails or in wilderness areas. Currently pets are only permitted in the following areas:
8. Why are there no airboats here? Most of the nearly 2400 square miles of Everglades National Park is managed as a wilderness area and Airboats are prohibited in these parts of the park (including Florida Bay).
9. Can you fish in the park? Where? Do you need a license? How much is it? Where do I get it?
Yes, there is fishing in the park. A Florida fishing license is required, and can be purchased at the Flamingo Marina, in town at bait and tackle shops, or Wal-Mart. They can also be purchased online from www.myfwc.com or by calling 888-FISH-FLO (305-347-4356).
Nine Mile Pond and north is considered freshwater and you will need a freshwater license, south of nine mile a saltwater license is needed.
Everglades National Park fishing regulations, which are in some cases different from Florida's regulation, and Pole and Troll zone handout. Visitors can get a tide table from the entrance station if they want one.
Did You Know?
Female alligators will vehemently protect their nests and their young until they reach one to two years of age. Keep your eyes out for baby alligators in the Everglades - they're about a foot long with yellow stripes.