• Pa-Hay-okee Overlook

    Everglades

    National Park Florida

Nonnative Species

Partially cut and cleared melaleuca stand

This dense stand of nonnative melaleuca trees was cleared to create suitable conditions for reestablishment of indigenous plants.

NPS photo

Invasive exotic (nonnative) species are seriously threatening the integrity of south Florida's native communities. With exotic fishes devouring native fish species and melaleuca trees shading out indigenous plants, the Florida Everglades is suffering from a barrage of pressures brought on by nonnative species. Far from their native homelands, these invaders have a competitive advantage over native species. Because nonnative species typically lack natural predators, they can outcompete native species. They can multiply unchecked, using up valuable resources such as sunlight, water, and nutrients. Native species suffer from this intense competition.

 
A bucketful of baby pythons

A bucketful of baby Burmese pythons collected from a nest in 2009.

NPS photo

In addition to the environmental havoc they wreak, invasive exotic species have major economic impacts. This economic effect is magnified in Florida where the climate and landscape are favorable to the establishment of invasives. Despite best efforts, many of these alien invaders are here to stay. Their spread, however, may be controlled by putting a stop to the release of non-native plants and animals into the wild and by aggressively managing species that are encroaching on natural areas.

Learn more about:

To address the issue of invasive exotic plant and animal species, the South Florida Natural Resources Center of Everglades National Park created the following resource management programs and uses them for guidance:

 
 
 

In early 2008, Everglades National Park partnered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to launch Florida Invaders in south Florida. This eight-page publication highlights impacts associated with nonnative species and gives readers a chance to get involved and help stop the invasion.

Visit the Florida Invaders website and download the publication.


Did You Know?

Scenic View of Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness

Everglades National Park protects the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River. The wilderness area is named for Marjory Stoneman Douglas who was instrumental in creating the park, and who coined the phrase "River of Grass."