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Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Everglades National Park

Location: Collier, Miami-Dade, Monroe counties, FL   Map

Area: 2,354 sq mi (6,073 sq km)

Water depth: 6 in (15 cm) to 3 ft (0.9 m)

Established: 1947

 

Everglades National Park is situated across Collier, Miami-Dade, Monroe counties of Florida, United States. It covers an area of 2,354 sq mi (6,073 sq km). Everglades National Park is designated as the UNESCO World Heritage site. It occupies 20% of the state of Florida, making it the third largest protected biosphere reserve in the United States after Death Valley and Yellowstone National Park. About 86% of Everglades are declared "wilderness area". This huge area is served by a fairly small staff, serving only the main Everglades Visitor Center. Every year nature reserve is visited by about one million people.

 

Everglades National Park is covered by numerous hiking trails. The most famous of which is Anhinga Trail. Visitors can see up close rare species of wild birds and animals such as large blue herons and crested cormorants, as well as American alligators. Keep in mind that Everglades were saw significant influx of foreign species that colonized this area. While some species are fairly harmless and didn't significantly alter biodiversity of Florida, other species had profound changes to native fauna. Various snake species brought from Asia became a threat not only to small mammals, but even humans. This include python snake can constricts its prey as well as poisonous snakes  that can deliver deadly venom through bites.

   

Everglades National Park contain more than 2,000 different species of plants. Mangrove coastal forests, freshwater swamps, prairies, cypress dome and pine woodlands are markedly different from each other in the composition of plants, animals and birds. There about 36 species that are designated as endangered or under a threat of extinction. This includes American crocodile, 4 species of sea turtles, Florida Panthers and many others. Various invasive species further wreck havoc of local population of Everglades animals.

 

 

Everglades National Park, protecting more than 1.5 million acres, is the 3rd largest national park in the lower 48 states, behind Yellowstone National Park (2nd) and Death Valley National Park (1st). During the dry season most facilities are open and a full range of tours and programs are available to enjoy. During the wet season of June to October, facilities may have restricted hours or close altogether, and recreational opportunities may be at a minimum.

The park has four visitor centers:
1 Ernest Coe Visitor Center, Homestead, ☎ +1 305-242-7700. Nov-Apr: 8AM-5PM; May-Oct: 9AM-5PM. Open year round, this center offers educational displays, orientation films, informational brochures and a series of walking trails a short drive away. A bookstore with film, postcards, and insect repellent. Restrooms.
2 Flamingo Visitor Center, Flamingo, ☎ +1 239-695-2945. Generally open from 8:30AM-5PM from mid-November to mid-April, Summer hours are intermittent and subject to change. Educational displays, informational brochures, backcountry permits and restrooms. Public boat ramps are also nearby. Several hiking and canoeing trails begin nearby. There is a campground that is open (call +1 305 501-2852 for information), but in 2018, other lodging is not available due to damage sustained by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005.
3 Shark Valley Visitor Center, Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) (25 miles west of the Florida Turnpike exit for S.W. 8th Street), ☎ +1 305-221-8776. Daily 8:45AM–5:15PM in winter, 9:15AM–5:15PM in summer. Hours subject to change. In the heart of the "River of Grass", with educational displays, informational brochures, and guided tram tours. Bicycles may be rented at the center. Books, postcards, film, insect repellent, and other items are available for sale. Vending machines dispense snacks and soft drinks. Restrooms.
4 Gulf Coast Visitor Center, Everglades City, ☎ +1 239-695-3311. Daily, 8AM-4:30PM in winter; 9AM-4:30PM in summer. The gateway for exploring the Ten Thousand Islands, a maze of mangrove islands and waterways that extends to Flamingo and Florida Bay. Offers educational displays, orientation films, informational brochures, boat tours and canoe rentals. Backcountry permits available. Restaurants, stores, lodging and campgrounds are nearby. Restrooms.

 

 

 

 

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