Exotic Vegetation Management Program
Everglades National Park encompasses about 1.5 million acres of which 1.3 million acres are designated as the only subtropical wilderness in the continental United States. Non-native (exotic) plants are a significant threat to the native plant communities of Everglades National Park. Approximately 1,000 plant species have been recorded in the park. Of these, more than 220 species are non-native. Because of limited funding, only a small number of these exotic plant species can be targeted for treatment. The most commonly targeted exotics are:
Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius)
Estimates from 2010 digital mapping revealed that Brazilian pepper occurs on more than 48,461 acres, melaleuca occurs on more than 4,129 acres, Australian pine occurs on about 794 acres, and Lygodium occurs on more than 2,006 acres. However, these estimates were based on aerial surveys and are believed to greatly underestimate the actual distribution of the species monitored; they do not capture species that cannot be seen from the air. Overall, exotic plant species are estimated to occur on approximately 200,000 to 300,000 acres of the park.
View a map showing the distribution of the most common exotic plants in Everglades National Park.
Did You Know?
Mermaid sightings have been reported by sailors throughout history who often blamed the part-woman, part-fish beings for leading them astray. But folklore experts believe that what those sailors were seeing were not mermaids, but rather air-breathing manatees, or their dugong relatives.