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10 Facts About The Everglades

Mar 27, 2019 03:08PM
The Everglades is both a national park and a United Nations’ World Heritage Site. Here are some of the reasons why it’s a focus of conservationists:

  1. It’s huge! The Everglades is a 1.5 million-acre wetlands, the largest subtropical wetland ecosystem and mangrove ecosystem in North America, and the largest wilderness in the southeastern United States.
  2. Breeding birds. The Everglades contains the most expansive sawgrass prairie habitat on the continent, where numerous tropical species of wading birds breed.
  3. It flows. The Everglades is a very slow-moving river that flows 100 miles from Okeechobee Lake toward the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, hence its nickname, “River of Grass”.
  4. It’s half its original size. The Everglades has shrunk 50% due to humans who have drained or impounded the River of Grass and its adjacent wetlands.
  5. Both alligators and crocodiles live there. The Everglades is the only place in the world where crocs, which live on the coast in brackish water, and alligators, which live in freshwater, both reside.
  6. Alligators are only native to the southeastern United States and to China. The Everglades is the southernmost end of their range in the U.S.. The American alligator is larger than the Chinese subspecies.
  7. Its six habitats harbor endangered species of birds and animals. The black skimmer and burrowing owl are among the 366 species of birds that inhabit the Everglades, as well as the endangered Florida panther.
  8. Seven million Floridians depend on it for drinking water.
  9.  Wildfires are common. It may be a wetland, but during the dry season, wildfires ignited by lightning help to naturally rejuvenate habitat.
  10.  Nutrient pollution threatens its health and the well-being of Florida residents. Nitrogen-rich run-off causes toxic algae blooms (red tides), suffocating flora and fauna and causing respiratory disease in people.

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