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Discover Florida Resources

Florida Wildlife and State Parks

Spotlighting: Native Florida Wildlife

The American alligator, sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator or common alligator, is a large crocodilian reptile native to the Southeastern United States. It is one of the two extant species in the genus Alligator and is larger than the only other living alligator species, the Chinese alligator. Wikipedia

The Florida panther is a North American cougar population in South Florida. It lives in pinelands, tropical hardwood hammocks, and mixed freshwater swamp forests. It is known under a number of common names including Costa Rican puma, Florida cougar, and Florida puma. Wikipedia

The North American river otter (Lontra Canadensis), also known as the northern river otter and river otter, is a semiaquatic mammal that only lives on the North American continent, along its waterways and coasts. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Wikipedia 

The Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) is a subspecies of the American black bear that has historically ranged throughout most of Florida and the southern portions of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The large black-furred bears live mainly in forested areas and have seen recent habitat reduction throughout the state due to increased human development, as well as habitat modifications within a bear habitat. Wikipedia 

The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), also known as the North American manatee, is a large, aquatic mammal native to warm coastal areas of the Caribbean, from the eastern US to northern Brazil. Living alone or in herds, it feeds on underwater plants and uses its whiskers to navigate. It is divided into two endangered subspecies, the Florida manatee (T. m. latirostris) in the US and the Antillean manatee (T. m. manatus) in the Caribbean, both of which face pressure from habitat loss, pollution, and other human activity. The West Indian manatee is the largest of the sirenians (order Sirenia), a group of large aquatic mammals that includes the dugong, other manatees, and the extinct Steller's sea cow.

Cormorants and shags are medium-to-large birds, with body weight in the range of 0.35–5 kilograms (0.77–11.02 lb) and a wing span of 60–100 centimeters (24–39 in). The majority of species have dark feathers. The bill is long, thin, and hooked. Their feet have webbing between all four toes. All species are fish-eaters, catching the prey by diving from the surface. They are excellent divers, and under water, they propel themselves with their feet with help from their wings; some cormorant species have been found to dive as deep as 45 meters (150 ft). They have relatively short wings due to their need for economical movement underwater, and consequently have the highest flight costs of any flying bird. Wikipedia 

The great egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egretlarge egret, or (in the Old World) great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe, recently also spreading to more northern areas of Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, it builds tree nests in colonies close to water. Wikipedia 

The burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), also called the Shoco, is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. Burrowing owls can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open, dry area with low vegetation. They nest and roost in burrows, such as those excavated by prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.). Unlike most owls, burrowing owls are often active during the day, although they tend to avoid the midday heat. Like many other kinds of owls, though, burrowing owls do most of their hunting during dusk and dawn, when they can use their night vision and hearing to their advantage. Living in open grasslands as opposed to forests, the burrowing owl has developed longer legs that enable it to sprint, as well as fly, when hunting.  Wikipedia