Since its dedication in 1947, Everglades National Park has been touted as one of the great biological wonders of the world. Taking center stage is the diverse array of animals that call this place home. Thriving amidst a verdant, expansive wetland, the wildlife of the Everglades encompasses the tiniest grass frog to the largest American crocodile. Here life from the Caribbean tropics coexists with more familiar species from temperate North America. Follow the links on the left to learn more about the different forms of life that can be encountered while visiting the River of Grass.
NPS photo by Rodney Cammauf
Suggested Times and Places for Viewing Wildlife
The winter dry season, which lasts from December to April, is the best time for wildlife viewing in the park. Weather conditions are generally pleasant during the winter and standing water levels are low, causing wildlife to congregate at central water locations. Shark Valley, the Anhinga Trail (at Royal Palm), and Eco Pond (one mile past the Flamingo Visitor Center) are good for viewing alligators, wading birds, and other freshwater wildlife. Canoeists can paddle into Snake Bight (near Flamingo) and Chokoloskee Bay (Gulf Coast) before low tide to witness large numbers of water birds feeding in the shallows and on mud flats. A productive freshwater canoeing area is Nine Mile Pond and adjacent borrow pits (11 miles, or 18 km, up the road from Flamingo).
Wildlife Viewing Ethics
Observing wild animals in their natural environment is a privilege. In return for that privilege, it is your responsibility to keep wildlife wild by being respectful of wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Can't visit the park in person but would still like to view some Everglades wildlife? View images from the Anhinga Trail webcam, which overlooks one of the most popular visitor areas in the park. Situated at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, the camera allows viewers to preview wildlife activity from three different vantage points. Viewers may catch a glimpse of birds and alligators on the move.