Wildlife in Florida

Wildlife in Florida

Florida has a diverse and tropical ecosystem with interesting animal and plant life. With year-long warm temperatures wildlife in Florida is wild. Here are some animals you can expect to see in Florida.

Otters

Otters can be found in every area of Florida, except the Keys. At Dade City’s Wild Things Zoo you can swim with otters and get an up close experience with these fun-loving water creatures.

Wildlife in Florida

Bears

Bears are not the first thing that pops into your mind while dreaming about the Florida coastline, but make not mistake bears do inhabit Florida. Mainly they hang around State and National Parks in Florida where they can roam freely. The most places you will find the black bears are Ocala National Forest, Big Cypress National Preserve, Apalachicola National Forest, Osceola National Forest and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. So you can rest assured a bear will not run along the beach anytime soon.

Bobcats

The bobcat is a native animal that roams all throughout Florida. Bobcats are carnivores who enjoy snacking on rodents. I wouldn’t complain too much about having a bobcat lurk around my neighborhood, because the amount of mice in my house would be drastically lower.

Bobcats in Florida

Squirrels

There are three types of squirrels in Florida. There is the eastern gray, fox, and the southern flying. Squirrels will munch on fruit, nuts, and eggs in the surround area. Check your yard or attic for the eastern gray squirrel. If they aren’t there you can spot them at Cape Coral or Pine Island. The fox squirrel can be seen in the open woods, near cypress trees, or among the mangroves. Lastly the southern flying squirrel is found all throughout Southern Florida.

Alligators

The Everglades is a unique location because it is the only place where both Crocodiles and Alligators coexist. Trying to spot an alligator or crocodile can be tricky because often times they hide underwater with only their eyes visible. They enjoy swamps and marshes area and often inhabit wetlands.

Florida Panthers

The Florida Panther is a subspecies of the a cougar. Florida Panthers are an endangered species in Florida, but organizations such as ‘Big Cat Rescue‘ help to rehabilitate the species and provide them a safe habitat. Floridan’s take saving the Florida Panther seriously. Don’t be surprised if you see a ‘Save the Florida Panther’ license plate while driving around.

Birds

While pesky seagulls might be the first bird you think of when you imagine birds in Florida but there are over 500 species of birds flying around the state. Most are less bothersome than seagulls. Some of these birds include; pelicans, herons, great egrets, sandhill crane, and the painting bunting. The painting bunting’s bright rainbow colors are what make it different from any other bird in Florida. You will know when you spot one.

Weedon Island Pelican
Pelican at Fort De Soto, Florida

Manatees

These ‘sea cows’ are one of the most beloved animals among the wildlife in Florida. They are slow grazing herbivores found in only warmer waters.Manatees can be seen the most in the winter when they migrate to the sunshine in Florida. There are plenty of places in Florida for manatee sightings.

manatees in Florida

Florida’s biodiverse wildlife is part of what makes this state special destination.

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