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Though you might not be able to tell the difference between the American crocodile and alligator, they are easy to tell apart once you know what to look for. It is hard to mistake the manatee for any other creature because there’s just nothing else like it in fresh water. These rivers, swamps, and mangroves draw so many different kinds of animals because they offer something for every class of animal: shallows for fish spawning, ideal nesting conditions for birds, and a robust food chain to support large predators. One of the most interesting birds to watch is the wood stork, the only species of stork that breeds in North America. 11 Wild Animals You'll Find in Southwest Florida From bobcats to otters, here's a sampling of the wildlife you might run into in Southwest Florida. American Alligator. when full-grown. Florida’s most recognizable animal, the alligator can grow up to 15 ft in length and weigh around 1,000 lbs. Otters, opossums, manatees, fox squirrels, raccoons, white-tailed deer, key deer and armadillos are among the more commonly seen mammals. Florida’s wetlands provide the ideal habitat for hundreds of different species of birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Mammals If you are in the right place at the right time, Florida has quite a few mammals that are comparatively easy to see. You might also see them at Wekiwa Springs State Park near Orlando. Come to Grape Hammock Fish Camp for the best airboat tour on Lake Kissimmee, and our guides can take you to the best wildlife watching spots in the area. The Everglades National Park isn’t the only place where you can find these exotic animals and others; you can watch alligators, wood storks, bobcats, bald eagles, and more exciting native wildlife right in Central Florida at Lake Kissimmee. Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, See a full list of our Social Media accounts. They are one of the few species of mammals that spends their whole life swimming in water. They are one of the few species of mammals that spends their whole life swimming in water. Stay in a cabin or trailer, fish all day, and don’t miss our famous airboat tours! The Florida manatee is a large, grey, round animal with a paddle-shaped tail and flippers, and it slowly cruises around springs, rivers, and mangroves chewing aquatic plants. Here are some of the more exotic animals you might spy on a trip to Florida’s wetlands. It's thought the fierce-looking lionfish was first introduced to the waters of the western … Florida Black Bear Like Winnie the Pooh, Florida black bears love honey; but also honeybees, fruits, nuts, twigs and small animals. Copyright 1999 - 2020 State of Florida. While humans keep developing formerly wild environments in Florida, the wetlands in the south of the state have become a last refuge for many endangered animals. Pursuant to section 120.74, Florida Statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has published its 2019 Agency Regulatory Plan. Once it feels the prey, it swiftly snaps its bill shut in the blink of an eye. The Florida manatee is a large, grey, round animal with a paddle-shaped tail and flippers, and it slowly cruises around springs, rivers, and mangroves chewing aquatic plants. You will most likely spot them sun-bathing on the shore of a lake or river, but you can also find them swimming in the water if you have a sharp eye. Watch this impressive white-feathered bird with a black head wade in the shallows looking for prey as it lowers its bill into the water, waiting for fish to bump into it. Pursuant to section 120.74, Florida Statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has published its 2019 Agency Regulatory Plan.2019 Agency Regulatory Plan. Lionfish. The American alligator is regarded as a “keystone” species in the Everglades. 1400 Grape Hammock RoadLake Wales, FL 33898. Report fish kills, wildlife emergencies, sightings, etc. 620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL • (850) 488-4676 They are more tolerant to cold weather than other crocodilian reptiles, so you can find them throughout the state of Florida year-round. The crocodile has a much narrower and pointier snout, and only lives in the southern tip of the state near saltwater or brackish environments. Grape Hammock is  family-owned and operated fish camp on the south end of Lake Kissimmee. It is the most economically important hunting mammal in all of North America, and is one of the major prey animals of the Florida panther. Though they can hold their breath for an impressive 20 minutes, they regularly come up to breathe and sometimes swim at the surface of the water, where you can best spot them. The only native deer is the white-tailed deer. 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