Nature

Basins in Florida Bay

Sea level directly affects the size and shape of basins in Florida Bay.

NPS photo by Lori Oberhofer

Climate Change

Nearly flat and perched on the edge of a rising ocean, Everglades National Park is already feeling the effects of a warming climate. Sea level rise has brought significant changes that are already being observed on the landscape, and more are sure to be seen in the years ahead. The future of the park is clearly tied to the present.

 
Florida panther

The Florida panther is one of many threatened and endangered species.

NPS photo

Threatened & Endangered Species

View the inventory of federally listed threatened and endangered species in Everglades National Park. The list includes federal candidate species, proposed species, and formally listed species under the Endangered Species Act. The list includes only those species that are presently or formerly known to occur within Everglades National Park and does not include state-listed species.

 
Boaters viewing dolphins and wading birds

Boaters viewing dolphins and wading birds in Florida Bay.

NPS photo by Rodney Cammauf

Animals

Unlike early national parks established to protect majestic scenery, Everglades National Park was established to preserve a portion of the vast Everglades ecosystem as wildlife habitat. The park is home to a vast array of animals that have adapted to a subtropical environment in which temperate climatic conditions, characteristic of latitudes to the north, merge with tropical Caribbean conditions.

 
Pine rocklands habitat

Everglades National Park preserves the largest remaining stand of pine forest in south Florida.

NPS photo by Lori Oberhofer

Plants

Everglades National Park serves as important habitat for numerous endemic and legally protected plant species. As with animal life, the plant life of the Everglades is largely determined by the subtropical merge of temperate North American and tropical Caribbean climatic conditions.

 
Alligator in Nine Mile Pond

The diverse habitats of the Everglades are constantly changing.

NPS photo

Environmental Factors

Geology, hydrology, air quality, water quality, fire regime, weather, and climate are but a few of the many natural factors that help shape the development of landscapes in the Everglades. The actions of humans also have a strong influence. The introduction of nonnative species, disruptive water-management activities, the disturbance of natural processes, climate change, and air, water, light, and noise pollution have all worked to undermine the integrity of the historic ecosystem.

 
Slough slogging

Adventurous visitors on a ranger-led slough slog through a cypress dome.

NPS photo

Natural Features and Ecosystems

The mosaic of habitats contained within the Greater Everglades supports an assemblage of plant and animal species not found elsewhere on planet Earth. Although nine distinct habitats have been identified in the park, they transition into one another and the landscape remains dynamic. Ecosystems remain in a constant state of flux, subject to the natural elements of south Florida and to human pressures.

 
Backcountry wilderness in Everglades National Park

Visitors intending to explore the wilderness waterways of the park need to have excellent navigational skills.

NPS photo

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness

Time spent in wilderness offers important recreational, cultural, emotional, and spiritual experiences.The wilderness also serves as a vital recharge area for south Florida's drinking-water supply, an important line of defense against the devastating winds of tropical storms and hurricanes, and an indispensable nursery ground for marine species of recreational and commercial importance.

Did You Know?