EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK i s �ne of the maj or areas
admi nistered by your National Park Service. The Park
Service has the responsi bi l i ty of preserving thi s uni que area
for future generations, and of fadl i tating your present en­
joyment and understanding af it.
LOCATI ON The Park is l ocated about 30 mi l es south of
Mi ami , and 9 mi l es south and west of Homestead, on state
Route 27. Route 1 from Mi ami or Route 27 from the Tami ami
Trai l brings you to Homestead. A new 40-ml l e paWd road
from the entrance to Fl amingo goes through the Park touch­
ing al l spots interesting to visitors. Boats and boat tours
enter the Park from Evergl ades, to the west.
SEASON The Park with Its exhi bits, trail s, boats, and tours,
is open al l year. Park rangers are on duty ta assist you.
Duri ng the winter season (Dec.-Apri l ) there are dal l y wal ks,
tal ks, and other activities. Duri ng the sum-r -n (May­
Nov.) this program is more l i mited. See notices posted in the
Park, or inqui re of a Park ranger.
ACTIVITIES Evergl ades Nati onal Park Is not a Park having
spectacul ar scenery, though a fight -f I bi s agalmt a sunset
or the pl ay of sunl i ght over the Evergl ades I s bteath-takl ng.
The Park is a ri ch bi ol ogic wonderl and, where visitors who
. take ti me to stop are rewarded by si ghts of alngotors, odd
and beauti ful bi rds, rare plants, and unusual ul -l s. Vi si t
the trai l s, and wayside exhi bits. Go an the tours. Fi shi ng i s
excel l ent. Mi l es of i nl and waterways can be expl ored by
boat. There are faci l i ties for pi cnics and campi ng. and the
Park Is a photographer's h-n. For tors, accommodations I
and faci l i ties, see Inside back cover. .
PRECAUTIONS There i s l ittl e danger In the Park except that
whi ch peopl e create for themselves. Stay on trai l s and roads.
Dress appropriatel y. Be prepared for mosqui toes i n summer.
Check charts before boating and fshi ng. Much of the Park i s
wi l d country. Do not underesti mate i t. Get a guide if you
pi on to expl ore. When in doubt ask a Park ranger.
RULES AND REGULATIONS protect you and your Pork.
Obey them. Do not pick fowers. Fishing is permitted, but not
hunti ng. Keep the Park cl ean; you' l l enjoy it al l the more.
MORE I NFORMATI ON Wri te, phone or visit temporary
Park Headquarters, 205 N. Krome Avenue, Homestead, Fl or­
i da. Mai l address: Box 275, Homestead, Fl orida.
by HERBERT S. ZI M, Ph. D.
wi t h the cooperati on of
The Evergl ades Natural History Associ ati on
I l l ustrated by RUSS SMI LEY

L¹111^ |×1´´ * ^1` 1¹×Y
Evergl ades Nati onal Park is one of 29 Nati onal Parks
bel ongi ng to the Ameri can peopl e and admi ni stered for
thei r beneft and enj oyment by the Nati onal Park Servi ce.
As thi s is your Park, our greatest desi re i s that you enj oy
it to the utmost. To thi s end you shoul d know what you
are seei ng i n thi s vast wi l derness, whi ch on frst si ght ap­
pears to be composed of onl y _ pl ants, water, and sky.
Thi s book, prepared i n col l aboration wi th the Evergl ades
Natural History Associati on, wi l l be of great val ue to you
when maki ng a tri p i nto the Evergl ades. I t wi l l al so remai n
as a remi nder of the many unusual and i nteresti ng fea­
tures i n the southernmost area of the United States mai n-
l and. Warren F. Hami l ton
5oµerìn|enden|, Everg|odes No|ìono| Pork
Thi s frst gui de to a l ocal but uni que and fasci nati ng
regi on has become a real ity because of the fne coopera­
tion of the Evergl ades Natural History Assn. , and the ttoh
of the Evergl ades Nati onol Park, especi al l y Warren F.
Hami l ton, Jack B. Dodd, Wi l l i am B. Robertson, Tom Gil ­
bert and Ernest J. Chri stensen. Expert assi stance came
from R. Tucker Abbo , Robert P. Al l en, George Stevenson,
Al exander Sprunt I ll, Don Hofeister, Hobart Smith, and
Don Poppenhagr. Thanks ar e due t o t he artist and t o t he
photographers credited bel ow. H. S.Z.
@ Copyright ÌÝóÜ by Golden Press, Inc. All rights reserved, including the
right of �uctlon In whole or In port In a: farm. Designed ond pro·
duced by Pf!Í5!5 and Wrlten Pr••· Inc. Print In the U.b.P. by W•tern
Printing and Lithographing Company. Published by Golden Press, Inc.,
Rockefeller Center, New York 20, N. Y. Published elmultaneouely In Canada
by The Musean Book Compony, Ltd., Toronto.
PHOTO CREDITS: William Craighead, p. 16; Everglades National Park,
pp. 13. 15, 17, 18 (bottom), óó

12, 75; Florida State News Bureau, pp. 8,
1-, 19, 20, 25, 73; National  udubon Society by George Porter, p. 71;
Herbert S. Zim, pp. 12, 18 (top), ó, 70, 74.
MAP of the Park and Fl orida Keys . Ñ
tropical envi ronment . . 6
its devel opment through the ages . . 9
NATURAL COMMUNI TI ES of pl ants and ani mal s
in the Park and Fl ori da Keys . . . . 13
ANIMAL LIFE of the Evergl ades and Fl orida Keys 21
Mammal s . . . • . 22
Bi rds • • . • . . . 25
Reptil es and amphi bians
Fi shes . • . . . • 40
Invertebrates, mainl y marine 44
PLANT LIFE of the Evergl ades and Fl ori da Keys . 49
Trees and shrubs 50
Pal ms . • • • • • 56
Flowering pl ants . • • 58
Ai r pl ants and orchi ds 60
Ferns . . . • .
PEOPLE and thi s land
Indians . • .
Hi story . . . •
The Park Stor
i n the Park and Fl orida Keys

i Wve• Mile )
Fit• Iow•t
_ _


0 �lNEWOD5 •


Ü å

Park Boundar
Surfaced Raad

Thi s regi on, l i ke a good stew, is a subtl e bl end of several
i ngredi ents. To understand thi s unique and del i ghtful area,
which actual l y extends from lake Okeechobee south, keep
i n mi nd the fol l owi ng factors:
NEARNESS TO THE TROPICS Key West l i es just about
one degree from the Tropi c of Cancer (23l ° N. lat. )
whi ch marks the begi nni ng of the tropi cs. The Evergl ades
extend north to about 27°. Mi ami is south of Cai ro, Bag­
dad, and Del hi-farther south than any other l arge U. S.
city on the North Ameri can conti nent.
CLIMATE refects the region's nearness to the tropi cs. This
area does not have the four typi cal seasons of the tem­
perate zone, but has a two-season cl i mate. The warm, wet
season l asts from May to November. Thi s is a time of short,
heavy showers whi ch produce most of the 50 to 60 i nches
of annual rainfal l i n the Evergl ades. Thi s i s al so the hur­
ricane season. The cool , dry season l asts from December
through Apri l , and whi l e the average temperature i s about
70° for January, northern col d fronts occasi onal l y push
south. These may bri ng di sastrous frosts. Pl ant and ani mal
l ife respond to the col d and dryness. The Evergl ades are
less green and the animal s are harder to fnd. The Ever­
gl ades cl i mate i n general is i nfuenced more by tropical
factors than by temperate ones.
Pl ace
Long Key
Key West
Avg. Jan. Avg. July Hi ghest Lowftt Avg.
Temp. Temp. T-p. Temp. Rai nfal l
68° 82° 98° 71° 59 ln.
67 81 98 26 62
67 82 100 28 55
70 84 99 . 37 ""
70 83 100 4 1 38
Trade wi nds moderate local cl i mate.
TRADE WINDS bl owi ng from the southeast are a factor
i n givi ng the regi on a near-tropi cal cl i mate. They (and
hurricanes) bri ng seeds of pl ants and even some smal l
ani mal s from t he West I ndi es. Many pl ants and ani mal s
i n t he Evergl ades and Keys are of West I ndies origi n.
HURRICANES are "bi g wi nds," 75 mi l es an hour or more,
ci rcl i ng a l ow pressure area. They swi ng up from the
tropics duri ng the wet season, growi ng on the energy of
the warm, moist, oceanic ai r. One was esti mated to ex­
pend energy at the rate of 27 bi l l i on horsepower. Hurri ­
canes, though dangerous, al so have a positive efect on
thi s regi on. Torrential rai ns food the Evergl ades and re­
pl eni sh the water suppl y. The ocean sweepi ng i nl and
opens new channel s, and often bri ngs i nsects and other
ani mal s from the Cari bbean enri chi ng the area.
FIRE, usual l y consi dered onl y i n terms of its destructi on,
has a positive si de, too, in thi s area. I n the pi nel ands
(p. 1 6) peri odi c fres cl ear the area of some pl ants and
encourage t he growth of others, t hus hel pi ng t o establ ish
and mai ntai n certai n natural communities.
DRAINAGE in a regi on l ess than ten feet above sea l evel
woul d hardl y seem i mportant, but it is. Tremendous
amounts of water move sl owl y through the Evergl ades,
funnel ed down from the lake Okeechobee area. Both the
east and west coasts of south Fl ori da are sl ightl y el evated
and the great trough of the Evergl ades acts as a broad,
shal l ow, grass-cl ogged ri ver to the sea. The natural drai n­
age of the Evergl ades has been al tered by canal s, mostl y
dug from 1 905-20. less water from lake Okeechobee
now enters Evergl ades National Park. I t may be a prob­
l em to keep the Evergl ades l ush and green.
TERRAIN The actual form of the l and al so determi nes
the character of thi s regi on. limestone is the onl y rock. I n
some pl aces, sl i ghtl y hi gher ri dges make t he envi ronment
a bit diferent. Si nkhol es form ponds whi ch l ater become
fl l ed with muck and soi l . The honeycombed l i mestone i s
saturated wi th water and acts as a great reservoi r, not
onl y for the Evergl ades but al so for Miami and nearby
towns. Thi s water is carri ed down the Keys to Key West
i n a l arge pi pe.
Natural channels and artifci al canals cut the Everglades.
Flori da is part of a large submerged plateau.
Deep bel ow the Evergl ades and Keys are the anci ent
rocks whi ch make up the Appal achi an Mountai ns. Ages
ago, these were worn l evel , and the sea has fowed over
them many ti mes. At each foodi ng, new l ayers of l i me and
sand have formed. These now l ie over the ol d basement
rocks l i ke a geol ogic l ayer cake. The top i s a l ayer of
l i mestone formed not l ong ago duri ng a gl aci al peri od.
Thi s recent rock, the Miami Ool i te, l i es under the Ever­
gl ades. I t i s a l i mestone rock composed of tiny round con­
creti ons. Rai ns and underground waters have di ssol ved
and cut i nto the ool ite, pi tti ng the surface. I n the north­
west part of the Park a sl i ghtl y ol der rock, the Tami ami
sandy- l i mestone, comes to the surface to form pi ny ri dges.
Much of the Keys are the remai ns of an ol d coral reef, the
Key largo li mestone. Thi s formed at about the same ti me
as the Mi ami Ool ite, duri ng a l ong period of retreati ng i ce
i n the north and ri si ng seas i n the south.
The rocks of southern Flor­
ida were farmed wi thi n
the past ÔÛ¡ÛÛÛ years.
THE FLORIDA PLATEAU, now two-thi rds beneath the
sea, devel oped as l ayers of rock, hal f a mi l e to a mi l e
thick, were formed over the ol d rock core.
l i ght chang
in the sea l evel now woul d mean great changes in the
l and area. A rise of a few feet coul d wi pe out the Ever­
gl ades; an equi val ent fal l coul d doubl e thei r size. These
movements of the sea are slow, taki ng thousands of years.
Whi l e there i s evidence that the sea is ri si ng, it is not ri si ng
fast enough to worry even the real estate agents.
OLD SHORELINES i n south Fl orida show how the sea has
advanced and retreated i n the past. A fne exampl e now
stands 25 feet above sea l evel . These earth movements,
whi ch hel ped form south Fl orida duri ng the past mi l l i on
years, sti l l conti nue. The Mi ami Ool ite was formed as a
l i my ooze behi nd the protecti ng coral reef whi ch is now
the F l ori da Keys. Today a new reef has formed. Behi nd it,
in shal l ow water and in Fl ori da Bay, the same ki nd of l i me
ooze is bei ng deposited.
Besides the ri si ng sea, no other maj or natural changes
in south Fl orida have marked the past centuries. The man­
made changes of the past 50 years have afected the
drai nage and the shorel i ne. These, together wi th l and
cl eari ng and bui l di ng, are al teri ng the pattern of nati ve
pl ant and ani mal l ife, but not the regi on itsel f.
FOSSILS of shel l fsh, coral , and other smal l mari ne ani­
mal s hel p tel l the story of the formation of thi s l and. I n
t he ol der rocks, the fossi l s are less l i ke the ani mal s of
today. In the Mi ami Ool ite and Key largo li mestone, the
fossi l s of coral and shel l fsh are very si mi l ar to ani mal s now
l i vi ng i n Fl ori da waters. Fossi l s tel l about the cl i mate as
wel l as the age of rocks. Fossi l s of tropi cal pl ants and
ani mal s found i n col d regi ons show that these areas once
had a warmer cl i mate. Fossi l s of mastodons and mammoths
i n Fl ori da prove that these northern ani mal s moved south
as the great i ce sheet advanced.
Deposits of peat, formed from fai rl y recent pl ants, are
now found submerged i n several pl aces. Thi s i s evi dence
that the sea is sl owl y risi ng and coveri ng what was dri er
l and fve or ten thousand years ago.
Fossil shel l s from Mi ami Oolite
THE EVERGLADES is new l and, recentl y formed. It com­
prises over seven mi l l ion acres. Much of the northern part
is muck soi l , which, when drai ned and ferti l ized, produces
val uabl e crops. Southward the soi l is rocki er, but even
here, with speci al treatment, high crop yiel ds can be ob­
tai ned. Fi nal l y, great stretches cannot be used for agri ­
cul ture because of too l ittl e soil and too much water. I n
thi s l and-the "natural Evergl ades" i s the Evergl ades Na­
tional Park.
Approachi ng the Park, l and converted to agri cul tural
use may be seen. I n season, note the fel ds of wi nter to­
matoes and beans. To the north, near lake Okeechobee,
the crops are more diversifed. Corn, beans, squash, egg­
pl ant, cel ery and mel ons are harvested for northern mar­
kets. Huge areas of sugar cane can be seen from Route 27
south and east of Cl ewi ston.
To convert ' Gl ades muckl and i nto farml and, over 500
mi l es of major canal s and many more smal l er ditches have
been dug. Programs of i rri gation, i nsect control
and pl ant
breedi ng have pai d of. Here is intensive, hi gh-producti on
agri cul ture. To this, the "natural Evergl ades" of the Park
with its native communities of pl ant and ani mal l ife, stands
i n strong contrast.
Cypress head near Tamiami Trai l
The Evergl ades and Keys di spl ay, to the discerni ng
eye, a variety of natural communities, each showi ng di s­
tinctions i n i ts pl ant and ani mal l ife. These are produced
by diferences i n the soi l and rock structure and smal l
di ferences i n el evation-perhaps onl y a foot or l ess. The
ocean determi nes the type of shore or beach and, as i t
penetrates i nl and, the sal tiness of the water avai l abl e to
pl ants and ani mal s. Grass and forest fres el i mi nate cer­
tai n pl ants and the newl y burnt-over l and favors others.
All these factors bring variety to the regi on.
BALD CYPRESS COMMUNITIES l i e al ong the north
edge of the park, towards and past lake Okeechobee.
Ami d these toweri ng ti mber trees are nesti ng grounds for
bi rds such as anhi nga and wood stork. Corkscrew Swamp
(an Audubon Refuge) i s a fne exampl e. Few of the great
cypress swamps sti l l remai n i n Fl ori da. I n the Park, pond
cypress (p. 52) is more common ami d sawgrass and
around hammocks.
Egrets feedi ng in an Everglades slough
THE EVERGLADES is cal l ed "a river of grass"-sawgrass
(p. 58) dotted by hammocks and tree i sl ands that extend
mi l e after mi l e. The deeper ponds, sl oughs and drai nage
courses hol d water al l year, and shel ter gar, al l igators,
otters, and many wadi ng bi rds. The Anhinga Trai l pene­
trates such a sl ough. The wi l l ows and pond appl es al ong
i ts border are typical .
The water l evel of the Evergl ades changes seasonal l y.
During the dry winter and spri ng, water is l ow and ani mal
l ife moves i nto t he sl oughs. Fi re danger i s greater then,
and near the sea the sal t water penetrates farther i nl and.
With t he summer and fal l rai ns, the Evergl ades foods.
Tiny pl ants and i nvertebrates teem i n the warm shal l ows.
Fi sh spawn, and there is an abundance of food for bi rds
and l arger ani mal s. The fuctuation of the seasons and the
di rect efects of storms and hurri canes are refected i n the
l ife of the Evergl ades. Drai nage canal s dug to protect
farml and have afected the sea of grass, al so. Al ong the
Tami ami Trai l the Evergl ades can be visited i n ai rboats
whi ch skim over the grass and water.
Mahogany Hammock in Everglades National Park
HAMMOCKS are i sol ated stands of hardwood trees and
associ ated pl ants i n t he Evergl ades and Keys. They form
on sl ightl y el evated ground, on ol d ridges or beaches, or
even on I ndi an mounds. The trees often bear air pl ants
and orchi ds (pp. 60-61 ) when the hammocks are moist.
Drier hammocks are more open and may i ncl ude yucca
and several ki nds of cacti (p. 55). Many more smaller tree
i sl ands dot the sawgrass. These have a more l i mited range
of pl ant and ani mal l i fe.
It is in the hammocks that the greatest vari ety of tropi cal
pl ant and ani mal l ife may be found. Moist hammocks
support rare ferns as wel l as orchi ds and rare tropi cal
pl ants. Duri ng spri ng migrations, warbl ers and other song­
bi rds stop here to rest and feed; some remai n to nest.
Zebra butterfies and other i nsects abound, and here one
fnds tree snai l s (lìgoos) and other speci es. Hammocks are
found on the Keys, al so. Those on North Key largo are
best known. But on the Keys many of the hammocks are
bei ng ruthl essl y cl eared, and the great stands of tropical
hardwoods are becomi ng rare.
PINELAND$ mark much of the South, but pi ne forests on
l imestone are a rarity. Such pi nel and communities are
found in the Evergl ades National Park and on Bi g Pi ne
Key. Cari bbean pi ne (p. 52) is associated wi th zamia,
pal metto, sumach, smi l ax, and many smal l er pl ants. Here
one may see Virgi ni a deer (Key deer on Bi g Pine Key),
pi l eated woodpeckers, and other smal l er mammal s and
songbi rds. The rich Redl ands farmi ng area and much of
Miami were once pi nel ands. Fi res, always a danger i n our
parks, have hel ped to devel op and mai ntai n thi s type of
open pi ne forest by destroyi ng seedl i ngs of other pl ants.
Without fre, hardwoods take over.
Sunset i n Everglades pinel ands
Mangroves near Paurotis Palm Pond
MANGROVES fouri sh on ocean shores and so mark
much of the coast in the Park and Keys. They form dense,
al most i mpenetrabl e thi ckets with hi gh prop roots and
i nterl aced branches. These ofer shelter t o pel icans, cor­
morants, herons, i bis, and other wading birds. Most of the
great bird rookeries are l ocated i n mangroves. With the
mangroves (p. 50) grow buttonwood and a few other sal t­
resistant pl ants. Many of the smal l er i sl ands i n the Keys
are mangrove isl ands. The l and itsel f, perhaps onl y a few
i nches above sea l evel , l ooks l i ke a tropi cal paradise
because of the mangrove cover. Cl oser, i t is much less
attractive, except to birds.
Mangroves do not cover al l the shores. Some are rocky
or sandy beaches (p. 1 8). These shores may merge i nto a
coastal prai ri e of salt-tol erant grasses and foweri ng
pl ants. Someti mes isol ated bl ack mangroves and button­
woods are present. Yucca, agave and nati ve cacti may
form thickets. The prai ri e i s more l i kel y to be on marl
soi l, and here ki l l deer, pl overs, stilts, terns, and other
shore birds may nest.
Rocky beach on Plantation Key
ROCKY SHORES, cut and eroded into j agged patterns,
are formed by wave and chemical action on exposed coral
l i mestone. Sea urchi ns, chitons and other shel l fsh l ive in
crevices, and smal l er shore birds are constantl y feedi ng.
Use care; you can easi l y turn an ankl e whi l e expl ori ng
these rough beaches.
SANDY BEACHES occur at Cape Sabl e, where most of
the sand is crushed shel l , and al ong the Keys from I sl a­
morada south. They harbor more and diferent pl ants and
l ess ani mal l ife than the rocky beaches. Coconuts, sea­
grape, buttonwood and seven-year appl e may be present,
and many smal l er, sal t-tol erant pl ants.
Shell beach at Cape Sable
COkAL kEff5 are not found wi thi n the Park but they
border the Keys and provide, cl ose at hand, a community
of plant and ani mal l ife which is l iteral l y "out of thi s
worl d. " Gl ass-bottom buckets, boats and ski n-di vi ng
equi pment open the way to thi s undersea l and. Those who
make the efort to see it never forget the experi ence or
regret the efort. Ei ghty square mi l es of the reef are now L
National Preserve. The reefs aboun wi th i nvertebrates, i n
addition t o l ivi ng coral , and are t he home of many ki nds
of tropical fshes-parrotfsh, angel fsh, morays, trigger­
fsh and the l i ke.
Withi n the Park and the Keys are extensive areas of
submerged l and, mai nl y i n Fl ori da Bay. Mi l e after mi l e
l i es under onl y a few feet of water. I n thi s submerged
l and l ive many ki nds of crustaceans and shel lfsh. Smal l er
fshes spawn here, too, maki ng t hi s a feedi ng ground for
shore and water bi rds. Herons and egrets snap up smal l
fshes. Terns, ospreys, pel icans and gul l s di ve after fshes,
al so. Spoonbi l l s may feed in tidal sl oughs.
Coral reef fshes, Florida Keys
THE KEYS stretch in a l ong, 200-mi l e arc from Miami
south and west t o the Dry Tortugas. Scores of i sl ands, t he
l argest (Key largo) about 35 mi l es l ong, dot Fl ori da Bay
or extend as a l ong chai n separati ng the Gul f of Mexico
from the Atl anti c. The Keys are not a natural pl ant and
ani mal community l i ke those on the previ ous pages. Al l
the community types, except the Evergl ades itself, are
found here, wi th mangroves, hammocks and beaches pre­
domi nati ng. On the Keys the oceanic, tropi cal cl i mate is
accentuated, maki ng this a vacati on area wi thout equal
i n the United States. Here the fshi ng is famous-i n the
bays and i nl ets, on the shal l ow bottoms, al ong the reefs
and i n the deep bl ue of the Gulf Stream. The vari ed pl ant
and ani mal l ife, pl us the unusual scenery, emphasize the
Keys as an extensi on of the Park-and down to Long Key,
the Park boundary does fol low the I nl and Waterway.
Audubon tours into the bay and Park leave from Tav­
ernier. See al so the Nati onal Key Deer Refuge, the aquari­
um and hi storic spots i n Key West and, if possi bl e, Ft.
Jeferson on the Ory Tortugas. Detai l s on p. 77.
The Florida Keys are a chain of i slands.
KEY DEER, a dwarf race of the
whi te-tai l ed deer, i s usual l y 25 to
30 in. hi gh and wei ghs about 50
l bs. These rare deer (once al most
extinct) are found on or near Big
Pine Key. A refuge has been es­
tabl ished for their protecti on.
Ani mal l ife (and pl ant l ife, too) bal ance the seascapes
and vistas to make the Evergl ades and Keys so attractive.
Evergl ades National Park was created pri mari l y to pre­
serve a bi ol ogi c envi ronment. Here are rookeries of wad­
i ng bi rds al ong with scores of others-some, West I ndi an
i n ori gi n. Here al so are mammal s, from l ithe panthers to
fnger-si zed shrews. Al l igators and crocodi l es are found,
and many other unusual repti l es, frogs, and toads. The
waters abound wi th fsh, so sports-fshi ng and ski n-di vi ng
(i n deeper water) are famous. I n the sea, on l and, and
even I n t he trees ar e shel l s ( mol l usks). look f or them and,
whi l e l ooki ng, don't miss t he great array of s mal l ani mal
l ife-butterfies and other insects and smal l mari ne animal s
of fresh and sal t water. The beauty i n col or and form of
the smal l est pl ants and ani mal s makes it wel l worth the
time to seek them out.
l argest of the wil dcats. In the
Evergl ades i t i s quite gray, with
bl ack ears; 6·7 ft. l ong. Now rare
and hard to see, cougars feed on
deer and smal l er ani mal s.
BOBCAT, l ess than hal f the size
of the cougar, i s much more com­
mon. In the 'Glades i t i s darker
and l arger than to the north.
Hunts at ni ght but may be seen at
dusk near Fl ami ngo by visitors.
RACCOON, with its black mask
and ringed tai l , i s a night prowl­
er of mangroves and pi nel ands.
Seen al ong roads and near camps.
Local ly the raccoon is pal e, quite
yel l ow, ond not strongl y marked.
WHITE-TAILED DEER i s the com­
mon Vi rgi ni a deer of the East. I t
is hunted north of the Park and i s
an i mportant game ani mal . Onl y
mal es have antl ers. Feeds on
leaves, twigs, and wi l d fruits.
local form of the fox squi rrel , is
l arger than the groy squi rrel, also
found here. Note the white feet,
dork back, vari abl e col or. Nests
in hol l ow trees.
MARSH RABBIT i s a smal l al l ­
brown rabbit seen al ong the
Tami ami Trai l and i n the Ever­
gl ades. It is smal l er than the cot­
tontai l and l acks the white mark­
ings. Feeds on marsh grasses.
not the southern fur-bearer but
i s a smal l er mammal nesti ng i n
mangrove roots and i n marsh
grasses. This fne swimmer is also
called the Fl ori da water rat.
OPOSSUM i s a pouched mam­
mal, di stantl y related to the kan­
garoo, and the onl y one of its ki nd
i n this country. Common i n drier
woodl ands and hammocks. Has 8-
12 very smal l young i n one l itter.
OTTER is a water-l ovi ng carni ­
vore rel ated Ia weasel s and skunks.
Lives along sl oughs, feedi ng on
fs h and other smal l ani mal s. The
otter i s an i ntel l i gent, pl ayful
beast with fne, heav fur. Mal es
grow up to 5 f. l ong and wei gh
up to 30 l bs. Femal es smal l er.
COTTON RAT i s a southern ro­
dent, common, but not often seen
i n the Park. Lives in meadows,
al ong ditches and in farml and,
feedi ng on al l ki nds of pl ant ma­
terial . They damage sugar cane
and other crops. May have 6 l it­
ters a year.
MANATEE or sea-cow i s O l arge,
(1 0-12 ft.), timid, ungai nl y aquat­
i c mammal found i n Fl orida bays
and i nlets where i t feeds on water
pl ants. Forelegs are fippers. Man­
atees are hel pl ess on l and and
cannot stand prol onged cold.
in Fl ori da waters. Most often seen
as the stars at aquari um shows.
Here they l eap high for food
and have l earned to perform re­
markabl e tricks. Length to 10
f.; wt. 200 l bs. ar mare.
Common Egret feeding in water l i l ies
BIRDS are the star attracti ons of the Evergl ades and
Keys, a regi on famous for its rookeries. Besi des the con­
spi cuous wadi ng bi rds, l and bi rds, water bi rds and bi rds
of prey al so abound. Some ki nds found here are not
seen el sewhere i n thi s country. I dentify those i l l ustrated on
the next pges. Al so l ook for the rarer mangrove cuckoo
and smooth-bi l l ed ani . The Evergl ades National Park
records some 300 species; a check l ist i s avai l abl e at the
Visitors' Center. Al l bi rds are protected i n the Park, and
nearl y al l outsi de. Disturbi ng bi rds by approachi ng rook­
eries i n boats may do more harm than hunti ng. To see
bi rds better, try Park or Audubon Soci ety tours. Watch
pati entl y at roadsi de stati ons i n the Park and at vantage
poi nts al ong the Keys. Bi nocul ars are a hel p.
PAINTED BUNTI NG is a bri l·
l i ant, gay, spar row-l i ke bi rd seen
i n winter. Male pictured below.
Femal e yellow and greeni sh.
re bl ack, duck-l i ke, with
smal l heads, white bi l l s and l obed
feet. They are cl osel y related to
the gal l i nul e (p. 26). Commonly
seen swi mmi ng and feedi ng i n
shal low waters i n wi nter.
26 kD5
BROWN PELICAN is common.
I t is l arge, si l very-brown, wi th a
l ong, fat, pouched bi l l . It dives
for fsh i n coastal waters.
WHITE PELICAN is a l arger wi n·
ter vi si tor wi th bl ack on its wi ngs;
often seen i nl and. Scoops up fsh
i n shal low water.
CORMORANT i s a l arge, duck­
like bi rd, shiny black with an
orange throat pouch. Often seen
perched upri ght aver the water.
to watch, i s a yel l ow-legged, pur·
pie and green marsh bi rd wi th O
stri ki ng yel low-tipped red bi l l .
ANHI NGA or water turkey, i s O
large, sl ender bi rd with O l ong
tai l and a l onger neck, seen along
canal s and sl oughs. I t i s an ex·
cel l ent swimmer. Male i s i l l us.
trated; femal e i s browner.
black with dark bi l l and legs.
Seen mai nl y around fresh water.
Young are white.
GREEN HERON i s smal ler, green
and bl ue, wi th reddi sh neck.
Rai ses its crest when fri ghtened.
legs are yel l ow or orange.
NIGHT HERONS The bl ack­
crowned, most common, has a
bl ack back, whi te bel ow. Yel l ow­
crowned is rarer; bl ue-gray body.
LIMPKIN i s an odd, spotted
marsh bird with a sl i ghtl y turned­
down bil l . Feeds mainl y on snai l s.
Now becomi ng more common.
nondescript marsh bi rd, stocky,
mottled brown with bl ack wi ng
ti ps. When fri ghtened i t "freezes"
with bi l l erect. Found mai nl y
marsh grasses i n wi nter.
Snowy Egret
SNOWY EGRET, one of the smal l ­
er egrets (to 28 i n.), wi th yel l ow
feet, is a very active feeder. Bill
and legs are bl ack. The Cattl e
Egret with yel low bill and l egs
and buff back i s becomi ng in­
creasi ngl y common. I t is about
the same size as the Snowy Egret.
COMMON EGRET i s the medi um­
sized egret (to 43 i n. ) of thi s
area. Note the bl ack l egs and
yel l ow beak. Once on the verge
of exti nction, these bi rds and the
Snowy Egrets have come back
and are now common.
as the Great Bl ue Heron (to 54
i n. ) l i ves mai nl y i n Fl ori da Bay.
Note the yel l ow beak and yel­
lowish legs. Once rare, i t has
recovered under protecti on.
REDDISH EGRET (30 i n.) is most
common on the Keys. It appears
as a white phase or gray with
rusty head and neck. Both have a
bl ack pped, pi nk bi l l . Feathers
ufed and fuzzy.
WHITE I BI S is a handsome al l­
whi te bi rd (25 i n.) with a red face
and turned-down bi l l which marks
al l other i bi ses as wel l . Wing ti ps
are bl ack. Often seen i n fi ght at
Duck Rock. Nests i n l arge rook­
eries with the whi te herons or
near thei r nests.
WOOD STORK, I orge ond ma­
jestic (to 47 i n.), was formerl y
cal led Wood I bis. Note its heav­
i er bi l l , hal f-bl ack wi ngs ond
naked head. Fl ies wi t h neck out­
stretched l i ke i bises. Local ly cal l ed
Fl i ntheods.
FLAMI NGOS are sel dom seen
except i n capti vi ty. Occur i n West
I ndies and Bahamas, but rare i n
Fl ori da. Large (45 i n.) wi th l ong
neck, l ong l egs, and a heavy
"Roman" beak.
the Evergl ades and Keys, i s t he
onl y l arge ( 32 i n.) pi nk bi rd with
a fattened bi l l . Eats by swi ngi ng
bi l l from si de to si de. Young
bi rds are pal er.
GREAT BLUE HERON (54 i n. ) is
l i ke the Great White Heron (p. 28)
except for its dark col or. I t occurs
much more wi del y.
LAUGHING GULL, named for
its raucous cal l , has a black head
(in summer) and bl ack wing tips.
Very common. Size, 1 6 i n.
LOUISIANA HERON ( 26 i n. ) i s
bl ue-gray with a whi te bel l y. Sev­
eral other bl uish, brownish, and
greeni sh herons l i ve i n the regi on.
ROYAL TERN i s a gul l -l i ke bi rd
with O deeply-forked tail and
orange bi l l . Several other terns
are roughl y si mi l ar. Length, 20 i n.
FRIGATE BIRD or man-o' -war
´bird 40 i n. ) sai l s with scarcel y O
wi ng movement, then dives ta
snatch food from gul l s. Male is
bl ack; femal e is white bel ow; tai l s
are deeply-forked.
in. ) is seen on the wi ng over the
'Gl ades i n summer. Bl ack and
whi te, with deepl y-forked taiL
STI LT (15 i n. ) is one of many
thin-l egged shore birds. White
below, bl ack above, bill slightly
upturned. Found i n marshes.
BALD EAGLE, once common
al ong shores, has a whi te head
and tail when mature. Young
l ack white. Larger than the osprey
(32-36 i n. ) and with a dck un­
derside. Feeds mai n ly on
OSPREY or fshhawk (24 i n.) hov­
ers i n the wind and di ves for fsh.
Compare wi th bal d eagl e (be­
low). Osprey has a whi te bel l y.
al ong al l marshl ands, has white
bands on its dark taiL Length to
23 i n., reddish shoul ders.
si mi l ar to red-eyed except for l i ne
of bl ack on i ts throat. Breeds i n
mangroves and hammocks.
is common al ong the water. Note
its long tail and gl ossy pl umage.
Femal e is smal l er and brown.
GRAY KI NGBIRD of the shores
and Keys has a l arger bi l l than
other eastern ki ngbi rds, and a
notched taiL W. L species. 9 i n.
i n.), l arge, bl ack and crested, i s
seen mai nl y i n cypress and pi ne,
and on hardwood hammocks.
i n. ), a l arge dark bi rd with a
white crown, is found mai nl y on
the Keys in summer. Feeds on wi l d
fruits. Lays 2 whi te eggs i n crude
nests i n mangrove and other trees.
SNAKES and other reptil es
i ncl uding several uni que
ki nds of l izards, are found i n the Evergl ades and the Keys.
Most snake stories are exaggerated. These unusual ani­
mal s are no more common or dangerous here than in other
southern areas. Snakes are protected i n the Park. Most
kinds are harml ess. leave al l of them al one. Dangerous
speci es are i l l ustrated on p. 35. Snakes feed on rodents,
insects, frogs, l i zards, and smal l fsh.
GREEN SNAKE of thi s area i s
the rough species, marked by a
ri dge on each of its scal es. Avg.
l ength about 30 i n. Thi s is a doci l e,
insecl·eati ng snake of grassl ands
and open woods.
snake, is common i n dri er areas of
the ' Gl ades and Keys. I t feeds
mai nl y on l i zards, other snakes, in­
sects, rodents and bi rds. Note the
white chi n. Average l ength, 4 ft.
INDIGO SNAKE, the l argest
snake found i n the Park, grows to
8 ft. However, i t i s harml ess, feed­
ing mai nl y on rodents. A heavier
snake than the bl ack racer. Often
used by snake charmers.
i n the Pork, is very si mi l ar to the
yel low rat snake, common all
through the South. But i t i s more
orange i n col or, with dark stripes
vague or lacki ng. Found in
' Gl ades or sal t marshes, someti mes
i n trees. Feeds mai nly on rodents.
COACHWHI P i s a l ong (to 7 ft.)
sl ender snake of southern fel ds
and prairi es. Color i s vari abl e,
but darker at the head ond lighter
towards the tail. Feeds on rodents,
li zards and birds. Female lays
about a dozen eggs in summer
Young are spotted.
mon i n south Fl ori da. On young
snakes the dark blotches on the
back often have l i ght oval spots.
Older snakes are duller and the
marki ngs darker. Compare with
water moccasi n (p. 35) whi ch has
facial pits on its wi der head.
like above, has a fattened tai l
and a row of l i ght bel l y spots.
May be found near sal t water.
Water snakes feed on frogs, loads
and smal l fshes. In turn, they
are food of wadi ng bi rds, turtles,
l arger snakes, and mammals.
i s one exampl e of the many small·
er snakes of the regi on. It is 16 to
20 i n., striped, with a yel l owi sh
bel l y marked by a central row of
black spots. Thi s i s a snake of
l akes and waterways, often seen
i n beds of water hyacinths.
PIGMY RAnLER, also called
ground rattler, is a small species
rarely over 2 ft. long. I t is
gray-brown, marked with darker
blotches. Despite its small size
it bi tes, and its bite i s serious.
These rattlers prefer drier ground,
but are often near water.
mouth) should not be confused
with harmless water snakes (p.
34). I t is thi ck bodied and has no
rattle. The head i s pi tted, wi de
at the base. These water·lovi ng
snakes feed on frogs, snakes, fsh
and small mammals.
CORAL SNAKE small (avg. 2 ft. )
and attractive, is ti mi d, and does
not bi te readily. Its bite, however,
is very poisonous. Note its black
nose and ri ngs of yellow, black
and red whi ch completely enci rcle
the body. Several harmless snakes
look similar.
our largest rattler and hence qui te
dangerous. Average length, 5 f.
Note di amond pattern on back,
tri angular head, with no plates on
top, and the tell-tale rattle. Found
i n hammocks and open country.
Feeds mai nly. on rodents.
SNAKE BITE i s more easily prevented than treated. Wear heavy shoes
and use care when walki ng. All snakes bite. The bite of non-poi sonous
species may show a U-shaped pattern of tooth marks. Treat with an
antiseptic. Bi tes of poisonous snakes often show two large fang punc­
tures, and perhaps other teeth marks as well. Learn frst ai d before
you go. Carry a snake bite kit. Keep the patient quiet; apply a tourni ­
quet; cut and suck the wound. Notify a Park ranger or get the victim
to a doctor i mmediately.
TURTLES-over a dozen
ki nds-l ive i n thi s regi on.
I l l ustrated bel ow are two
l and speci es, two fresh­
water species, and, fnal l y,
two mari ne species. Fresh­
water s pecies are the most
common. Most turt l es are
harml ess; a few snap vi­
ci ousl y. Dependi ng on the
species, turtl es feed on in­
sects, fsh, fruits and ber­
ries, and on mari ne pl ants.
Turtle steaks and turtl e
chowder from mari ne tur­
tl es are featured in Key
LIZARDS in thi s area are
common, swift, and attrac­
tive. None are poi sonous.
Practical l y al l feed on i n­
sects and other smal l ani ­
mal s. A few rare speci es of
West I ndi an origi n are
found on the Keys. Here,
fve ofthe more common
species are i l l ustrated. The
anole, or Ameri can chame­
l eon, is someti mes sol d at
ci rcuses. It does change its
col or sl owl y, but may not
eat wel l in captivity and
hence does not make a
good pet.
Loggerhead Turtle
the Evergl ades Nati onal Park, the onl y pl ace in the U. S.
where they occur together. Al l igators prefer the fresh­
water sl oughs, feedi ng on fshes, turtl es, bi rds and other
smal l ani mal s. Note their darker col or, broader head, and
teeth whi ch are mostl y covered when t he mouth i s cl osed.
large al l i gators are now rare, and al l are protected.
Crocodi l es are much rarer than al l igators in thi s re­
gi on. They l ive in the sal t marshes and mangroves of the
Park and Keys, sometimes goi ng out i nto Florida Bay.
They are thi nner, with a narrower, poi nted snout. Some
teeth are exposed when their mouth is cl osed. Crocodi l es
are more dangerous than al l i gators, but are too rare in
thi s country to be the probl em they are in Asia and Africa.
Both crocodi l es and al l igators l ay several dozen eggs
which are hatched mai nl y by the heat of the sun.
Crocodile -
GREEN TREE FROG is a bright­
green member of the tree frog
famil y. I t has a light stri pe al ong
the si de, ond rel atively l ong l egs.
Undersides are white. Some may
have yell ow spots on the back.
Found i n swamps and near ponds,
perched on debri s or leaves of
aquati c pl ants.
GIANT TREE FROG i s the l argest
of the tree frogs, 3 to 5 in. l ong,
with l arge di scs at the ends of
fngers and toes. Thi s unusual
frog is common on the Keys gath­
ering near l i ghts at night to catch
insects. I t may occur in the Park.
unusual , small , smooth-ski nned
frog with a narrow, poi nted head
and a fold of ski n across the
back of its neck. I t often has a
l i ght li ne down the si des. Female
l ighter and larger than mal e.
mai n Fl ori da source of frog l egs.
I t is large (to 6 i n.), ol ive green
and tan, yel l owish bel ow. Hunted
at ni ght by froggers in ai r-boats
i n l akes, ponds, and wet prai ri es
outsi de the Park.
SIREN, an odd sal amander of
ponds, ditches and canal s, has
smal l front l egs onl y and con­
spi cuous external gi l l s. Jody dark
gray, greeni sh or bl ack, some­
times mottl ed, with yellow spots
on sides. Length, 2-3 f.
fsh) i s t he region' s gamest
fresh-water fsh. Weighi ng Ia
15 l bs. and more, i t i s hooked
i n l akes, canals and slow
streams. Its l arge mouth ex­
tends beyond the eyes.
FISHES, to thousands of sportsmen, are the only ani mal s
worthy of attenti on i n the Evergl ades and Keys. And, i n
al l fai rness, thi s ì san international l y famous fshi ng area.
Most of over 1 ,000 speci es of Fl orida fshes are found i n
Fl ori da Bay and the nearby Gul f and ocean. The fshes of
the coral reefs are magnifcent, and the undersea life i n
t he Keys is so exci ti ng and breath-taki ng that i t i s trul y
another worl d.
GAMBUSIA ar mosqui to-fsh,
named for its food, is an exampl e
of dozens of smal l fshes whi ch
are i mportant l i nks i n the Ever­
gl ades chai n af l i fe. This 2-i n.
fsh l i ves mai nl y i n fresh water.
LONGNOSE GAR is an anci ent
fsh, common i n sl oughs. I t is l ong,
cyl i ndrical , with a l ong, narrow
jaw and l arge, heavy scal es. Gars
have a l ung-l i ke swi m bl adder
ai di ng thei r gi lls.
KI NG MACKEREL, or ki ngfsh, is
a l arge, unspotted mackerel and
a strong fghter. It averages 6 l bs.
and may weigh ten ti mes that.
Found i n deeper water, often i n
l arge school s. Excel l ent eati ng.
SAI LFI SH i s another pri zed game
fsh wei ghi ng 1 00 l bs. or more. I t
prefers the i nner edge of t he Gul f
Stream where, si ngly or i n school s,
i t feeds on smal l er fshes. Abun­
dant i n the summer.
BLUE MARLI N l ives mai nl y i n
t he Gul f Stream where i t grows
to 1 ,200 l bs., but averages much
l ess. I t i s a speedy fsh wi th a
deeply forked tai l and a heavy
"bi l l ." Feeds on surface fshes.
JACK, or creval l e, i s a warm­
water game fsh. Thi s compressed
fsh with ol ive back, yel l ow bel ly,
and a forked tail on a thin stal k
'.fers i nl ets and cuts. I t feeds
on other fshes.
BONEFISH move in and out of
Keys shall ows where they are top
game fsh. Wt., to S l bs. or mare.
Bony, so rarely eaten.
MULLET, fne eati ng; is caught
commercially. A plant eater, it
does not take bai t but is a fne
bait for l arge game fsh.
TARPON, averagi ng about 30
l bs., are hooked i n the Keys and
Bay i n spri ng. Thi s fne sports
fsh i s rarel y used as food. The
� scal es, unusual ly l arge, cl earl y
show growth
BUTTERFL YFISH feeds on pl ants
and smal l ani mal s i n the reefs.
Length, to 8 in. Note bl ack bar
through eye and spot near tail.
TRIGGERFISH i s so coi l ed be·
cause of the odd l ocki ng action of
its back fn. A tough, l eathery fsh
of coral bottoms. Wt. , to 5 l bs.
� i n the Keys. Note fecks of yel l ow
on sides and at base of tai l . Bl ack
angel fsh l acks thi s yel l ow. Several
other smal l - and medi um·sized
angel fsh are found.
fshes on this page l ive in coral
reefs. This one (6 i n. ) i s common
in smal l school s al ong the Keys.
PARROTFISH The rai nbow parrot
and several others l ive i n Key
reefs. Attractive, but tough and
poor eati ng. Wt., to 20 l bs.
ZEBRA, a uni que butterfy,
l i ves in hammocks and woods.
No other native species has
thi s shape.
The worl d over, the smal l er, si mpl er ani mal s wi thout
backbones are the most common-and perhaps the most
i mportant. This is especi al l y true in the Evergl ades, for
warm cl i mate favors such ani mal s. Some, l i ke the mos­
quitoes, wi l l pl ague vi sitors. Most have no di rect efect on
man one way or another. They fe·ed on smal l er l ife and
are, i n turn, the food of l arger. The i nterested visitor to the
Park and the Keys can fnd many rare ki nds of butterfi es
and other i nsects. Here al so are scorpi ons, mi l l i pedes, tree
snai l s, and l and crabs. In Fl ori da Bay and the Keys,
mari ne i nvertebrate l ife is especi al l y ri ch. Best known are
the mol l usks or shel l ed ani mal s, the starfshes, sea urchi ns
and coral s. Many can be col l ected on the Keys. look for
sea fans, sea worms, and j el l yfshes. A few ki nds are dan­
gerous because they can sti ng; more are beautiful and
exciting; al l are i nteresti ng.
native species; found i n open
areas, often i n great numbers.
smal l er than the Queen Conch
(3-4 i n. ) , usual l y orange-brown
with spines on the l ast whorl . A
south Fl ori da species.
QUEEN CONCH i s not only beau­
ti ful but the ani mal is excel l ent
eati ng. Try conch chowder, 0 typi­
cal dish of the Fl ori da Keys.
Length, 6- 1 2 i n.
TURKEY WI NG is a bivalve-a
cl am-l i ke ani mal 2-3 in. long with
i rregul ar bands of brown. Shel l s
are found on most beaches.
ANGEL WING is a l arge, fragi l e
shel l of a bivalve whi ch l i ves deep
i n the mud. Good shel l speci mens
are rare, though the ani mal s
themselves are common i n wormer
waters. Length, 4-8 i n.
of several found on rocky shores.
These ani mal s have 8 valves i n
tough, l eathery s ki n. 2-3 i n.
West Indies Chiton
Queen Conch
Florida Cerith
TULIP SHELL i s a sea snai l whi ch
feeds on other shel l fsh. Common
i n shal low waters; 4-6 i n. Color,
brownish-ol ive, marki ngs vari abl e.
A close relative of the horse conch,
a very large shel l .
FLORIDA CERITH is a small shell,
1- J l/ in. long, and pointed. I t
i s found, sometimes by t he hun­
dreds, on most beaches. The ani­
mal feeds an smal l pl ants.
ALPHABET CONE i s named for
its script-l i ke marki ngs. Thi s and
the Fl orida cone (small er and yel ­
low), are found i n shallow water
on the Keys.
BLEEDI NG TOOTH may be picked
up on any rocky beach. I t i s often
at the hi gh-ti de level . Note the
zi gzag pattern on the back, and
the red spot at the openi ng.
PEN SHELL i s a fai rl y thi n, nar­
row shel l wi th rows of short
spines. Washed onto beaches or
found l i vi ng in sond bars and
coral mud fats.
Portuguese Man 0
WAR is
an unusual cal ani al j el lyfsh. Un­
der i t s l arge cal arful faat are
l ong tentacl es whi ch cause pai n­
ful and dangerous sti ngs. I nterest­
ing to watch-at a di stance.
SEA FANS are colonies of fat­
tened, fan-l i ke rel atives of coral ,
found i n warm-water reefs. Col ors:
purpl es, pi nks, and browns. Some­
times dried and sold as curios.
SPINY LOBSTER i s not in the
same fami l y as the Northern l ob­
ster. It l acks l arge cl aws and has
more spi nes. I t i s excel l ent eati ng.
A shal l ow-water species.
STONE CRAB is a l arge, heavy,
sl ow, purpl i sh crab of sandy bot­
tor.s. Prized as faod, i t is caught
i n traps and served as a l ocal
del icac.
SEA URCHI NS, relatives of the
starfsh, l ive on the rocky shores
of the Keys. Common just below
the low-tide level. A l ong-spi ned
species l ives i n deeper waters.
BLUE CRAB is the edi ble swim­
ming crab of the Atlantic coast.
Found on sandy bottoms i n i nlets
and channels.
TREE SNAILS are found i n the
Everglades and Keys, but i t takes
a trained eye to see them. Many
varieties, all delicately co
HERMIT CRAB has no shell of
its own, but uses mollusk shells
for a home. Some, i n the Keys,
live on land and even in trees.
POMACEA SNAIL, common in
marshes and sloughs of So. Fla.,
i s the sole food of the Everglade
kite, a rare bi rd of the region.
CORALS are ani mals related to
jellyfsh. They build up li me de­
posits to form reefs and i slands.
Large reefs extend along the Keys
(al so an old reef) . Staghorn coral
i s illustrated above.
Pl ant l ife is t he great
mi ddl eman in southern
Fl ori da. I t uses the l and, the
water and the cl i mate to
make an envi ronment sui t­
abl e for a ri ch variety of
wi l dl ife - and for vi sitors,
too. In thi s rol e, pl ants re­
act to subtl e diferences
whi ch mi ght easil y escape
SPI DER LI LIES with narrow,
leaves and thin, white-petal ed
fowers dot wet ground.
notice. Very sl i ght i ncreases i n el evati on, l ess than a foot,
wi l l make the l and suitabl e to pl ants whi ch wi l l not grow
a hundred yards away. Sl i ght diferences i n the amount
of sal t i n the water and soi l afects pl ant l i fe al so. These
physical variati ons have created a series of envi ronments
(pp. 1 3-20) in whi ch certai n types of pl ants and ani mal s
tend to co-exist.
As for the pl ants themselves, the number of species
is very hi gh. In this area there are about 1 25 species of
woody pl ants and many more ki nds of herbs. There are
undoubtedl y more ki nds of pl ants than vertebrate ani ­
mal s whose U. S. range is l i mited to this near-tropi c regi on.
These pl ants range from gumbo-l i mbo, mahogany and
tamari nd down through shrubs and foweri ng pl ants to
ferns and mosses.
Of al l the pl ants, vi sitors shoul d note the fami l i ar poi son
i vy (common i n hammocks) and the l ess common but equal ­
l y potent poi sonwood (p. 55) . Fi nal l y, there i s the very rare
manchi neel , reputedl y one of the most poi sonous trees i n
the worl d. Pi cki ng of any pl ants is prohi bited i n the Park.
Outsi de, native orchi ds and roadsi de pl ants are protected
by state l aw.
TREES AND SHRUBS of thi s area are diverse. They
i ncl ude red mapl e, sweet gum and a few other species
which extend down from northern states. They i ncl ude
species wi del y di stributed i n the South, such as cypress
and magnol i as. They al so i ncl ude West I ndi an speci es
and others not found north of lake Okeechobee. Most
cypress and mahogany have been cut down. There are
no l arge commercial forests l eft. Some of the remai ni ng
rare trees on the Keys are threatened by l and cl eari ng.
A few species are al ready exti nct.
MANGROVE i s a name appl i ed
to three di ferent trees.
RED MANGROVE, a tree of bay
shores, has spreadi ng branches
and high arched prop roots. The
simple l eathery l eaves are dotted
with bl ack below. Flowers mature
i nto l ong woody seedl i ngs before
they foi l . Thi s is the commonest
massive tree. Simpl e leaves are
downy bel ow, 2-4 i n. l ong. Bark
i s dark brown and scal y. Flowers
are white, very fragrant, and a
source of honey. The aeri al roots
are simpl e and grow vertical ly.
WHI TE MANGROVE i s a button­
wood (p. 53), with leaves opposite
and rounded. Thi n fower spikes.
A tal l tree with brown faky bark.
Has no aeri al roots.
GUMBO-LIMBO, a quick growing
tropical tree, i s easy to spot  �: ��,���-����l��
its massive trunk and smooth, �a-
pery, reddish-brown bark. Leaves
have 3-7 leafets, uneven at the
base and poi nted at the apex.
Small red fruits i n summer.
poison tree, was so used. Note
compound leaves, pal e l avender
fowers and wi nged fruits.
REDBAY has a rough, purplish­
brown bark. Leaves are si mple,
leathery and alternate. Frui t i s
oval, black, lf i n. l ong.
POND APPLE, a swamp tree wi th
fragrant, leathery leaves and a
large, yellow, pul py frui t. Flow­
ers creamy with red marki ngs.
COCO-PLUM, a tropical plum,
has rounded leaves i ndented at
the tip. Frui t is a pale purple;
matures i n early fall.
CARIBBEAN PI NE, a form of
slash pine, grows down into the
Keys. Long needles, 2 or 3 to a cl us­
ter. Cones with spines on scales.
LIVE OAK grows i n hammocks
but i s very rare on the Keys.
Acorns small , bl ack. Leaves oval ,
dark green, and downy beneath.
52 FlANI5
STRANGLER FIG grows on ather
trees, strangling them while it
takes root. Note thick, oval , al­
ternate leaves and red fruits.
POND CYPRESS i s smal l er than
bal d, with mi nute, scal y leaves
and thin gray bark. Usual ly l acks
"knees" at base of the trunk.
common i n t he Par k and Keys.
Leaves compound, fruits l arge,
and woody, split open from base.
SEA-GRAPE is a stout coastal
tree formi ng huge thickets. Grape­
li ke fruits give i t its name. Leaves
rounded. thi ck. red-vei ned.
BUTTONWOOD is common on all
drier shares. Nate cone-li ke fruits,
si mple rough leaves, and faky,
brown bark.
WILD TAMARI ND of Keys and
mai nland hammocks has twice-com­
pounded leaves, greenish, candy­
tuft fowers, and broad fruit pods.
GEIGER TREE i s small with wide,
downy leaves and attractive, or­
ange fowers. Most abundant an
the Keys and near shores.
TETRAZYGIA is a smal l tree with
narrow, opposite leaves, smal l
white fowers and round, dark
fruits. Not on Keys.
SAPODI LLA, from Central Amer­
ica, yields chicle for chewi ng gum,
and a brown edi ble frui t. Oval ,
evergreen leaves grow in rosettes.
AUSTRALIAN PI NE is no pi ne at
all. I ts needl es are young twigs;
fruit a small cone. Bark i s dark,
furrowed and scaly.
topped tree with smooth gray
bar k a n d t wi ce- compou n ded
l eaves, has great clusters of red
fowers in l ate spri ng.
KEY LIME, a small , spi ny natural­
ized citrus, i s common on the Keys.
Fruits, smal l and yell ow, are the
basis of famed Key Lime pie.
WOMAN'S TONGUE, named for
its broad, rattl i ng seed pods, has
twice-compounded leaves, and
tufted fower heads. A weed-tree.
YUCCA, or Spani sh bayonet,
grows al ong dry shores and i n the
Keys. Leaves are l ong and needl e­
poi nted. Creamy, l i ly-l ike fowers
form dense spi ke.
AGAVE i s a l arge stemless yucca­
l i ke pl ant. Some have bl uish or
striped l eaves bordered with
spines. Fl owers on tal l stal ks.
POI SONWOOD is an attractive
but dangerous tree with shi ny
compound leaves; orange fruits;
smooth, faky gray bark. Avoid it.
DI LDO, a native cactus, has l op­
i ng, three-ngled, thorny stems.
Cephalocerus, rarer, has rounded,
branched stems.
LIGNUM VITAE, a smal l , hand­
some, bl ue-fowered tree of the
Keys with very heavy wood, i s now
rare. Compound opposite leaves.
PALM5 may grow 100 feet tal l , but are more cl osel y
rel ated to grasses and l i l i es than they are to pi nes, oaks,
or other trees. Pal ms are tropical . There are more native
species i n the Evergl ades and Keys than i n any other part
of the United States. About ten species grow here, i ncl ud­
i ng a few that are nearl y exti nct. The coconut pal m i s not
actual l y native, but it is compl etel y natural ized, and i s
abundant al ong beaches.
Dozens of other exotic pal ms are pl anted as orna­
mental and shade trees. One of the best col l ections of
growi ng pal ms is i n the Fai rchi l d Tropical Garden on
the south edge of Miami, easi l y vi si ted on the way to
Evergl ades Nati onal Park. Several of the l ocal native
pal ms are smal l , with l ow or prostrate stems. Those i l l us­
trated are the l arger and the more stri ki ng southeast
species of the Park and the Keys.
PAUROTIS, 12 to 30 ft. high,
grows i n clumps. Seen i n Park and
along Tami ami Trail. Leaves fan­
shaped wi th many curved spines
on leaf stems. Trunk i s slender,
brown, and rough because of
persistent stal ks.
common native palm, found i n the
Everglades but more abundant to
the north. Fan-shaped leaves,
bearing many fne threads; mi d­
ri b promi nent. Round bl ack fruits
i n clusters.
COCONUT is widespread through
all the tropics and i n some areas
i s the most important plant, pro­
vi di ng food, shelter and dri nk.
Fruits are distributed by sea and
sprout on beach sands. Trees bear
in fve to seven years. Coconut
plantations once fourished at
Key Biscayne, Cape Sabl e and on
the Keys. New varieties of coconut
frui t earl i er and bear more heav­
ily. Unfortunatel y a coconut dis­
ease di scovered at Key West i s
spreadi ng and is causing concern
for south Flori da trees.
ROYAL PALM i s the largest and
most beautiful native species.
Now wi dely pl anted. Note the
smooth, gray, bulgi ng trunk, ta­
pering into a green sheath below
the large, feathery leaves.
THATCH PALMS (two species)
found on the Keys have narrow
trunks with fan-shaped leaves.
Leaf stacks lack spi nes. Flowers
i n long, droopi ng cl usters become
small , round, whitish fruits.
FlANI5 57
WILD POTATO, with storage
roots like sweei potatoes, is a
large morning gl ory with scarlet,
tubular nowers and thick, ellip­
tical leaves.
COREOPSIS, or tickseed, is the
native ancestor of attractive culti­
vated vari eties. Note the notched,
yel low petal s and narrow leaves.
ARROWHEAD thri ves i n the
' Gl ades and on the Keys. Note
the whorl s of three white fowers
and the l ance-shaped leaves.
SAWGRASS i s the widespread
Evergl ades pl ant. Tall, with thi n
spiny-edged l eaves and short fow­
er stal k. Stem is three-angl ed.
WILD POINSETTI A is a small,
native rel ative of the famous
Christmas pl ant, found on dry
ground. Note red fower brads.
ZAMIA, or coontie, is a cycad,
found in dry, pi nel and soi l . Flow­
ers are cone-l i ke; l eaves fern-l i ke.
I ndi ans made four from the un­
derground stems.
MOON VINE, a morni ng gl ory,
is common an burnt-over or bul l ­
dozed l and. Leaves heart-shaped;
fowers fattened.
RUBBER VINE or wild al l o­
manda i s found on the Keys and
on dry ' Gl ade hammocks. A vi ne
wi th thick, oval , opposite leaves.
RUElLIA i s another dry-l and
pl ant with bl ue, tubul ar, 5-lobed
fowers i n the axil of the leaf.
Leaves are opposite, hai ry.
BALLOON VI NE i s named for its
thi n, swol l en, seed capsules.
Leaves alternati ng; three leafets.
lowers smal l and whi ti sh.
Rubber Vine
FlANI5 59
AIR PLANTS, or epi phytes, are
pl ants growi ng free from contact
with the ground. They are not
parasites. Members of the orchid
and pi neappl e fami l ies ofer many
SPANI SH MOSS is a member of
the pi neappl e fami l y. Found on
oaks and other trees, it bears mi­
nute, yel l owish fowers whi ch be­
come smal l , tufted seeds.
Til landsia
exampl es. In south Florida the
term i s used for wild pi neappl e
and i ts rel atives. Seen on trees
al ong the Tomi omi Trai l and in
the Park. Over a dozen species.
BALL or BUNCH MOSS i s an·
other epi phyte si mi l ar to Spani sh
moss, but formi ng irregul ar bal l s
on twi gs and even on tel ephone
wi res. Quite common on the Keys.
ORCHI DS i ncl ude hundreds of
ground-dwel l i ng species, but here
epiphytic orchi ds ore common on
rough-barked trees. These num­
ber about a dozen species, i n-
CIGAR ORCHI D i s a l arge epi ·
phyti c orchid wi th l eaves 1 ft.
l ong and fower stol k up to 5 ft.
l ong. Fl owers greeni sh-yel l ow,
spotted with brown. Rare.
el udi ng the vani l l a orchi d whi ch
produces vani l l a. Most common
are several epi dendrums, i l l us­
trated above. The butterfy orchi d
is del i ghtful ; so are the others.
MULE EAR ORCHI D i s a l arge,
coarse Onci di um with thick dark
l eaves and a fower stal k 5 ft.
l ong. Fl owers are yel low, spotted
with brown. Now quite rare.
STRAP FERN grows on dead
trees and humus i n hammocks.
Four species of this tropical group
are found i n and near the Pork.
often grows on trunks of pal metto
as an epi phyte (p. 60). leaves 1 6-
20 i n. l ong are grass-like.
LEATHER FERN i s the l argest
fern i n the U. S. -growi ng to 1 2 ft.
high i n the Evergl ades and Keys.
leaves thick; stal ks hai ry. There
are over a hundred species of
ferns i n Fl orida. Over hal f are
found in Evergl ades.
lADDER BRAKE, common i n dri­
er parts of the Park and Keys, is
a close relative of the more north­
ern species of bracken.
pody, grows on trees. Dries up in
unfavorabl e weather; unrol l s and
grows after rains.
Early Indian w-d carving of
deer head found in •. Fla.
The Evergl ades and the Keys may have been i nhab­
ited for many thousands of years, but proof of habitati on
goes back onl y three thousand years at t he most. The
record, though cl ear, i s scanty and we know very l iNi e
about the frst I ndi ans of thi s regi on, though Europeans
were i n contact wi th them for over two centuri es.
The Cal usa I ndians i nhabited thi s area at the ti me the
frst Spani ards arrived. Thi s powerful tri be control l ed
the regi on south of Tampa, i ncl udi ng the Evergl ades and
Keys. Thei r i nfuence extended north al ong the Atl anti c
coast to Cape Canaveral .
The Cal usa l ived i n smal l bands of twenty to thi rty,
hunti ng, fshi ng, gatheri ng wi l d pl ants, and doi ng a bi t
of agri cul ture. They were expert seamen, often travel i ng
as far as Cuba i n thei r smal l , open canoes. For war, or for
rel i gi ous occasions, the smal l bands j oi ned together. They
probabl y joined, al so, i n bui l di ng the canal s and l arge
mounds, remai ns of whi ch can sti l l be seen i n the Ever­
gl ades National Park.
Cal usa Indian watching wreck of Spanish shi p
From the ti me the frst Spanish vessel s ran aground i n
the Keys about 1 500, the Col usa were on hand to ki l l t he
crews and make of with pl under. A feet of 80 Col usa
canoes attacked Ponce de Leon i n 1 5 1 3. Later he was
wounded by them and died i n Cuba. I n 1 567 the Spanish
establ ished mi ssions i n Col usa territory, and under the
Spanish i nfuence the I ndi ans confned thei r pl underi ng
to French and British vessel s.
I n the l ong run, thi s choice of al l ies worked agai nst the
Col usa. The British and thei r Creek I ndi an al l i es (l ater
known as Semi nol es) pushed south and forced the Col usa
from their l and. At thei r hei ght the Col usa numbered
about 3,000 peopl e i n over 60 vi l l ages. But, as they were
pushed i nto the Evergl ades, the Col usa gave up these
settl ements i n favor of smal l camps. When Spai n ceded
Fl orida to Great Britai n i n 1 763, a group of "Cal usas,"
but mainl y other coastal I ndi ans, moved to Havana.
The few Col usa l eft l ived i n the Evergl ades and on the
Keys. Not much is known of them. They may have formed
the group l ater known as the Spani sh or Muspa I ndi ans.
Perhaps thi s group was mai nl y Semi nol e. At any rate,
these Spanish I ndi ans attacked Ameri can troops i n 1 839,
and in 1 840 ki l l ed Dr. Henry Perri ne, the great agri cul ­
turist, on I ndi an Key. At thi s ti me the band numbered
about a hundred, and soon they di sappeared completel y.
TEKESTA were a smal l er tri be l ivi ng around Mi ami and
southward i nto the upper Keys. Thi s smal l tri be was cl osel y
rel ated to the Cal usa, and l i ke them, kept an unqui et
peace with the Spani sh. A Tekesta mission was establ ished,
destroyed, and rebui l t agai n. Duri ng t he period from
1 650 to 1 750 the I ndi ans gradual l y l ost ground and
di ed of. The group of "Cal usa" whi ch went to Cuba i n
1 763 were l argel y Tekesta I ndi ans and members of t he
Ai s tribe, who l ived al ong I ndi an River t o t he north. No
Cal usa or Tekesta are al ive today, but the 5emi nol es, who
repl aced them i n the Evergl ades, are sti l l hol di ng out.
shell digging tool
Col usa relics found i n southwest Florida
Semi nole chickee north of Tami ami Trai l
5EMlNOLE5 are newcomers to the Evergl ades and even
to Fl ori da. They were origi nal l y Creek I ndi ans from
Georgia, who began to move southward about 1 7 1 5,
enteri ng what is now Fl orida about 1 750. By 1 767 there
was a settl ement near Tampa Bay, and duri ng the next
decade the mi gration i ncreased. It reached its peak after
the Creek War of 1 8 1 3. The I ndi ans who later were cal l ed
Semi nol es came from several Creek tri bes speaki ng dif­
ferent di al ects. They never were as ti ghtl y knit a group as
the Col usa.
The Semi nol es soon establ ished about a hundred vi l ­
l ages i n north and central Fl orida. Thei r popul ati on rose
unti l it was cl ose to 5,000. Each vi l l age supported itsel f
with si mpl e agri cul ture. Corn, squash
, sweet potatoes,
mel ons and cowpeas were grown. Wild fruits and vege­
tabl es such as coco- pl ums, sea-grapes, cabbage pal ms
and coontie rounded out thei r di et. Hunting suppl i ed deer,
turkey and much smal l game. Game al so furni shed ski ns
for moccasi ns and robes. Tool s, i mpl ements and orna­
ments were made of bone, shel l , and wood. The Semi nol es
made good baskets and some pottery.
The Semi nol es di d not enjoy Fl ori da for l ong. Pressure
from settl ers and pol i tical entangl ements got them i n­
vol ved i n border fghts and rai ds. Thei r acceptance of
runaway s lves added to thei r troubl es. Andrew Jackson
l ed Ameri can forces agai nst the Semi nol es i n 1 8 1 7, and a
l onger, more bitter war was fought from 1 835 to 1 842. I n
thi s war about 1 ,500 Ameri cans were ki l l l ed. Osceol a and
other chiefs were captured by treachery; vi l l ages were
burned, and most of the Semi nol es were moved to I ndi an
territory (Okl ahoma). Those that remai ned fed south i nto
the cypress swamps and the Evergl ades, and for a ti me
carried on gueri l l a warfare agai nst thei r enemi es.
I n al l , about 300 Semi nol es remai ned i n Fl ori da. These
l earned how to l ive i n the wet wi l derness. They devel oped
the chickee as a shelter, and modi fed thei r si mpte agri­
cul ture. Fishi ng became more i mportant and canoe bui l d­
i ng arose as a fne craft. Cotton cl othi ng was obtai ned
by barter, and wi th the advent of the sewi ng machi ne,
about 1 890, the bri ght, mul ti -col ored Semi nol e costume
was devel oped. I t i s sti l l worn, mai nl y by the women.
The Semi nol e popul ation i ncreased sl owl y at frst, but
more rapi dl y duri ng the past twenty years. Now there are
over a thousand Semi nol es i n south Fl ori da. Most of them
l ive on the l arge reservations at Brighton, Bi g Cypress
and Dania. Quite a few l ive in "vi l l ages" al ong the Tami ­
ami Trai l , and some fami l ies sti l l l ive i n camps deep i n
the Evergl ades. Cattl e rai si ng is a maj or activity on the
l arger reservati ons, and the tribal herds have grown.
Young Semi nol es get some education i n l ocal or i n
I ndi an school s. Job possi bi l ities are l i mited, and most men
work i n rural occupati ons. The women make craftwork to
sel l . A few make baskets, but they are best noted for their
i ntricate sewi ng. Smal l pi eces of bri ghtl y col ored cl oth
are sewed i nto stri ps of geometric desi gns. These are com­
bined i n making ski rts, bl ouses and smal l er articl es. Sem­
i nol e dol l s of c

conut fber are al so made and sol d.
Visit the Semi nol es al ong the Tami ami Trai l and on the
reservations. Remember you are thei r guests. They were
never conquered.
SPANIARDS probabl y touched south Fl ori da in the earl y
1 500's. When Ponce de Leon arrived i n 1 5 1 3, the Col usa
al ready hod gol d and sil ver from Spanish shi pwrecks. De
Leon, Mi ruel o, Cordova, De Soto, and other expl orers di d
not fore wel l wi th the I ndians. When Ponce de Leon re­
turned i n 1 52 1 he was fatal l y wounded by the Col usa.
Soon Fl ori da become a bose for forts to protect the Span­
i sh gal l eons en route from Mexico to Spai n. Wi th the sol ­
di ers come pri ests who al so mode l ittl e headway with the
I ndi ans. The earl y history of Fl ori da i s one of murder,
treachery and reprisal , with short peri ods of unstabl e
I n northern Fl ori da the Spani sh missi ons were more suc­
cessful , but these were destroyed by the Bri ti sh ( 1 702-
1 704). Fl ori da proved of such l ittl e val ue to Spai n that,
when the Engl ish conquered Havana, Spai n traded al l of
Fl ori da for its return. And, in 1 783, Engl and in turn
swapped i t bock to Spai n for the Bahamas.
Duri ng al l thi s ti me the Keys, cal l ed Los Mortires (the
martyrs) by the Spanish, kept taki ng their tol l of shi ps
Coi ns from shi pwrecks on Florida Keys
and men as wi nds threw the heavy cargo vessel s agai nst
the shoal s and reefs. Fi rst the I ndi ans and then the set-
tl ers took to pl underi ng and l ater to sal vagi ng wrecks. For
ffty years before the United States acqui red Fl ori da, and
for some years after, pi racy was a hazard of the regi on.
Sai l i ng shi ps of al l nati ons were captured by marauders
with bases i n the Keys, the Bahamas, and Cari bbean is­
l ands. The most famous Fl ori da pi rate was Jose"Gaspar,
who sai led from Charl otte Harbor near Fort Myers unti l
1 820, when the United States, Britai n and Spai n united
agai nst the pi rates and captured about 1 00 shi ps and
1 ,700 men.
With a new naval base at Key West, the Keys began t o
grow. They became t he center for wreckers and sal vage
crews who came when the area was cl eared of pi rates,
and who stayed unti l l i ghthouses were bui l t 30 years l ater.
Shrimp boats at Key West
� " 
70 HI 5IOkY
Pi neappl e and coconut
pl antati ons were set out
and attempts were made
to introduce tropical pl ants.
Dr. Henry Perri ne brought
agave and other pl ants
from Mexico and set out
nurseries i n the Keys. He
worked unceasi ngl y through
the earl y 1 800's, onl y to be
ki l l ed duri ng an I ndi an rai d
i n
About this same ti me, i n
1 832, John James Audubon
came to the Keys. He set up
headquarters at Key West,
expl ored, sketched, pai nt­
Audubon pai nted the Whi te­
crowned Pigeon on the Keys.
ed, and col l ected bi rd ski ns. He kept detai l ed notes, not
onl y about bi rds but about the l and and events-even
to the account of a hurricane. Audubon moved up to
I ndi an Key, from whi ch he expl ored Fl orida Bay and
Cape Sabl e before conti nui ng hi s j ourneys.
As the growth of thi s regi on conti nued, Fort Jeferson
was begun on the Dry Tortugas i n 1 846, and two other
forts at Key West. These soon became obsol ete, and one
was never fnished. Fort Jeferson housed prisoners duri ng
the Ci vi l War, i ncl udi ng Dr. Samuel Mudd, who set Booth's
broken l eg after the actor assassi nated li ncol n.
I n t he earl y 1 900's, with rai l roads establ i shed, com­
mercial fshi ng and raisi ng of wi nter vegetabl es were
started i n south Fl ori da. Evergl ades l and was cl eared,
drai nage canal s were dug, and fshi ng camps sprang up
i n the Keys and al ong Fl ori da Bay. But thi s i ndustry was
margi nal at best, and earni ng a l ivi ng was hard.
HI 5IOkY 7¡
One i ndustry whi ch began in the 1 870's, and grew
rapi dl y, was pl ume-hunti ng. Egrets and herons had l ong
been ki l l ed for food by I ndi ans and settl ers. Now fashi on
demanded the fne egret pl umes, whi ch the bi rds devel ­
oped onl y duri ng the nesti ng season. Hunters turned pro­
fessional in the Evergl ades and on the Keys. The huge
rookeries of nesti ng bi rds were easy targets, and thou­
sands upon thousands of skins and feathers were exported
for the mi l l i nery trade.
By 1 900 the focks were so badl y depl eted that the
Audubon Society, i n cooperati on with the State of Fl ori da,
provided wardens to protect the nesting sites. Scarcity of
pl umes and hi gher pri ces onl y spurred poachi ng, and in
protecti ng the bi rds, two wardens were ki l l ed. The death
of one, Guy Bradl ey, was wi del y publ i ci zed, and eventu­
al l y l egi sl ati on, frst i n New York and then nati onal ly,
brought al l pl ume-hunti ng to an end. The depleted focks
have gradual l y come back, but not i n the great numbers
of the past. There are sti l l probl ems of food, water and
control of t he envi ronment t o be sol ved for these bi rds.
Plume hunters once ki l led thousands of breedi ng egrets.
U.S. 1 connects the Florida Keys.
I mproved transportati on opened up the i sol ated Ever­
gl ades and the Keys. Unti l the rai l road reached Mi ami
i n 1 896, thi s was fronti er country. Soon after, pl ans to
push the rai l road south to Key West were under way, and
t he actual work began i n 1 905. Seven years and twenty
mi l l i on dol l ars l ater the j ob was done.
The rai l road bucked hurri canes duri ng constructi on and
after. Fi nal l y, after 23 years, the great hurri cane of 1 935
fni shed it of. Meanwhi l e, the tri p across south Fl ori da was
a ten-day adventure. The much- heral ded Tami ami Trai l
(Tampa t o Mi ami ) was begun i n 1 9 1 6 as a county proj ect.
I n 1 924 the state took over and by 1 928 the road was
done. I t has been constantl y i mproved, and wi l l eventual l y
be four-l aned. Tri p t i me now-four hours .
• A road down the Keys had been started in 1 923. I t
eventual l y made Key West wi th the ai d of 40 mi l es of
ferry. After the 1 935 hurri cane, three years were spent i n
converti ng the wrecked rai l road bed i nto a modern hi gh­
way. When compl eted, it l i nked 29 i sl ands by bri dges and
fl l s t hat covered 37 mi l es of water. The l ongest bri dge i s
7 mi l es i n l ength; the hi ghest i s 65 feet above the sea. So
engi neeri ng ski l l and hard work opened thi s tropi cal
area for resi dents and visitors.
Marina at Fl ami ngo in the Park
THE PARK STORY has many roots. Famous visitors, i m­
pressed by the great rookeries and the l ush pl ant l ife of
the Evergl ades hammocks, spread the story. Steps taken
to save the rookeri es paved the way for wi der conserva­
tion eforts. In 1 9 1 5 the Fl ori da Federation of Women's
Cl ubs obtai ned 960 acres to preserve a fne hammock of
royal pal ms. The state added 4, 000 acres i n 1 92 1 , maki ng
the area Royal Pal m State Park.
About thi s ti me the idea of creati ng a national park i n
the Evergl ades began to take hol d. I ndivi dual s and organ­
izati ons pushed the i dea unti l the Fl ori da l egi sl ature
started the proj ect i n 1 929. The next year heari ngs were
hel d, and Congress designated the area as a proposed
park i n 1 934. Acquisition of l and moved sl owl y duri ng
Worl d War I I , but men l i ke Ernest Coe, John Baker, and
John Pennekam. p, wi th a Park Commission of · 25 men,
kept the project movi ng. Fi nal l y enough margi nal , private,
and state land was obtai ned to meet the mi ni mum park
requi rements. In 1 947 President Truman dedi cated the
new Evergl ades Nati onal Park.
The Evergl ades Nati onal Park encompasses about one
and a hal f mi l l i on acres-nearl y twice the size of the state
of Rhode I sl and. See pp. 4-5 for a detai l ed map. Onl y
two other nati onal parks are l arger-Mt. McKi nl ey i n
Al aska and Yel l owstone i n Wyomi ng. Nearl y every pl ant
and ani mal descri bed in thi s Gui de can be found wi thi n
the Park l i mits, and many more as wel l . Records show the
presence of approximatel y 300 ki nds of bi rds, 30 ki nds of
mammal s
65 ki nds of reptil es and amphi bi ans, and al ­
most a thousand species of foweri ng pl ants.
Dani el B. Beard, the Park' s frst Superi ntendent, worked
for ten years to preserve thi s ri ch area and to devel op the
park faci l ities. The task conti nues. Fi nal boundaries have
recentl y been establ ished. The restorati on of depl eted
speci es i s sl ow and pai nstaki ng. New faci l ities, i ncl udi ng
a new Visitors Center have been bui lt. The Park i s now
in ful l operati on. More and more peopl e come each year,
and soon the anti ci pated goal of a mi l l i on annual visitors
wi l l be reached.
Lectures are given by rangers.

WHAT TO S££ AN0 0O l N I H£ PAkK
STOP AND LOOK The Park i s not a pl ace where you can hurry
through from one quick sight to another. Nei ther can you see it as
you go al ong the road, though the broad vistas of sea, grass and sky
are i mpressive. To see the Park, stop frequentl y. Take ti me to l ook.
Wait quietly at the edge of a sl ough or at one of the wayside stations.
Soon you wil l be seei ng the many creatures from al l i gators to zebra
butterfies that make the Park the gem that i t is.
ROYAL PALM STATI ON AND EXHI BITS i s reached on a branch from
the Fl ami ngo road. Watch for the si gn. Vi si t the exhi bi ts on the Keys,
cl i mate, bi rds, and I ndi ans. Watch gar, al l i gators and many birds i n O
nearby sl ough. Restrooms.
ANHI NGA TRAIL, a short distance from the Royal Pal m stati on, i s an
el evated wal k over a sl ough, taki ng you ri ght i nto t he wet Evergl ades.
Bri ng your fel d gl asses and camera. Stay awhi l e to l ook for anhi ngas
and gal l i nul es, al l igators, water snakes and gars.
GUMBO-LIMBO TRAI L i s al so near the Royal Pal m stati on. Thi s
marked and l abel ed nature trai l takes you through a ri ch hammock.
DRI VE TO FLAMI NGO al ong 35 mi l es of fne paved road, givi ng you
views of the Evergl ades, hammocks and mangroves. Stop along the way
at roadsi de stati ons. Read the si gns; watch for wi l dl i fe.
MAHOGANY HAMMOCK is one of several turnofs. See the l argest
ma!gany trees i n the U. S.
FLAMI NGO was once an ol d fshi ng settl ement. Vi si t the exhi bits and
publ i c bui l di ngs. Watch the bi rds al ong the shore. Here are restaurants,
overni ght accommodati ons, campi ng and pi cni cki ng.
BOAT TRI PS from Fl ami ngo take you to Coot Bay, through canal s, and
on vi si ts to rookeries. These are educati onal , safe, gui ded tours. Al so
try the Audubon boat tours which leave Evergl ades and Taverni er.
Make reservati ons at 1 43 N.E. 3rd Ave. , Mi ami 32.
EXPLORE the Evergl ades on foot near Fl ami ngo, and on the trai l s.
Get proper equi pment and advice before venturi ng back-country.
Expl ore by rented boat at Fl ami ngo, but stay on marked routes. Use a
chart. Get a gui de to go farther afel d. for advice, ask a Park ranger.
FI SH i n the many canal s, ri vers and l akes of the Evergl ades. Fl ori da
Bay is excel l ent too. Local fsh i ncl ude tarpon, snook, l adyfsh, jewfsh
and snapper. Boats, motors and tackle are avai l abl e at Fl ami ngo. No
license is needed for salt-water fshi ng.
PHOTOGRAPH the great sweep of the Evergl ades or the maj estic
fi ght of birds. Catch a sleeping al l igator or a gal l i nu le picking its way
across the water l i l ies. A telephoto l ens pays of here. You' l l need time
and patience-but the su bjects are wel l worth it.
WALKS AND TALKS with Park rangers are a feature duri' ng most of
the year at fl ami ngo, Royal Palm and Evergl ades. Check bul l etin
boards i n the Park for details, or ask at Park Headquarters.
WHAT IO 5 £ £ AND 0O l N T H£ K£Y5
REDLANDS i s the famed agri cul tural region around Homestead. I t
can b e easi l y seen when visiti ng ei ther the Park o r Keys. Drive east o r
west from Homestead through fel ds of tomatoes, beans, squash, and
ot her wi nt er vegetabl es; avocado, mango, papaya and bananas.
HOMESTEAD BAYFRONT PARK is a county park about 7 mi l es east
of Homestead on Bi scayne Bay. No admi ssion charge. Swi mmi ng, boat­
ing, fshing and pi cni cki ng.
DRI VE DOWN THE KEYS You enter the Keys on Route 1 when cross·
ing Jewfsh Creek (boats and fshi ng). Two mi les farther you can turn
north and work up North Key largo, the l east-devel oped part of the
i sl ands where there are the l argest hammocks. Dri ve to the Angl er' s
Cl ub ( 17 mi l es) and return the same way. Goi ng south from the Key
largo j unction, head 1 1 0 mi l es to Key West over fl l and bridges. You
can stop at Taverni er, I sl amorada, Marathon, or at many pl aces i n
between. Ampl e accommodations, restaurants, fshi ng, and swi mmi ng.
MC KEE' S SUNKEN TREASURE, 6 mi l es south of Taverni er, exhi bi ts
bul l i on, cannon, sil ver bars. Admission charge.
THEATER OF THE SEA is a commerci al attraction 3 mi l es north of I sl a­
morada. Pool s of reef and other fshes. Shows by trai ned porpoises.
MARATHON is the l argest settl ement between Homestead and Key
West. It i s a center for sport and commercial fshi ng.
has excel l ent exhi bi ts. Admi ssion charge.
KEY WEST i s the southernmost ci ty i n conti nental U. S. See ol d houses,
shrimp docks and turtl e crawl s. Visit Martel l o Towers. Good bathi ng
and fshi ng. Charter a boat to the Dry Tortugas.
KEY WEST AQUARIUM exhibi ts most of the common reef and ocean
fshes and some other sea ani mal s. Admission charge.
SWIM AND SUN at any of several publ i c beaches al ong the Keys.
Many motels have their own beaches and pools. For safety, swi m in
desi gnated areas. Ski n-di vi ng is a new and exciti ng sport for ex­
peri enced swi mmers. Novices can have fun with a mask or even with
a gl ass-bottomed bucket. Marine l i fe i s rich, especi al l y on the coral
shores and al ong the reefs. Spear-fshi ng is not permi tted anywhere
i n the waters of the Park or above long Key.
SHELLING is possi bl e al most anywhere. Wade on the sand bars and
fats at l ow t i de or col l ect shel l s on t he coral shores. Shel l s are
pl enti ful but may not be easy to fnd. Get advi ce from experienced
col l ectors. Good shel l s are ofered for sal e at many roadside stands.
FI SH to your hearr's content i n the fabu l ous fshi ng waters. Catwal ks
are provi ded on most bri dges for safe fshi ng. Rental boats and motors
are avai l abl e and so are party boats or boats for charter.
EXPLORE al ong the shores and i n the hammocks. Use caution and re­
spect private property. learn to know poisonwood before you start.
ASK A PARK RANGER. They know the answers or where you can
get them. Park rangers are civi l servants on duty to hel p you. They
welcome your questi ons and comments. Outside the Park use Chambers
of Commerce and other unbiased agencies. Check l ocal l y on fshi ng.
STOP at the Vi sitors Center where there is a natural hi story refer­
ence l i brary. Miami Publ i c Li brary i n Bayfront Park i s one of the best
in the South. Gui de books are avai l abl e i n many stores.
JOI N organi zati ons i nterested i n the natural hi story and conservation
of this regi on. Learn from them and support them.
Evergl ach!s Natural Hi story Assn., Box 275 Homestead, Fl ori da,
furthers an i nterest in and understandi ng of hi storic and scientifc
val ues of the Evergl ades National Park.
Florida Audubon Society, P. O. Box 821 , Maitl and, Fl ori da, promotes
an understandi ng of wi l dl i fe, its envi ronment and consrvation
within the state.
READ. A weal th of materi al on the natural and human hi story of thi s
regi on i s avai l abl e. Some wi del y used books are:
Land of the Everglades-Southern Tropi cal Florida, Wm. R.
Shel ton, Dept. of Agric., Tal l ahassee, 1 957. A free pamphl et.
The Flori da Keys, Wm. Ackerman, Dept. of Agric. , Tal l ahassee, 1 957.
A free pamphlet descri bi ng the resources and features of the Keys.
The Southeast, A Gol den Regional Gui de, Zim, Gol den Press, New
York, 1 959_ Covers a wi der regi on than thi s gui de, in same styl e.
They Al l Cal led I t Tropical, Brookfel d & Griswol d, Data Press,
Mi ami , 1 949. Stories of the Evergl ades and Keys.
The Everglades: River of Grass, Dougl as, Ri nehart, New York,
1 947. A cl assic, gi vi ng the feel as wel l as the facts of the regi on.
Flori da Bird Life, Sprunt, Coward-McCann, New York, 1 954. An ex­
cel l ent gui de to the state' s ri ch and vari ed bi rd popul ati on.
Roseate Spoonbi l l , R. Al l en, National Audubon Soc., New York,
1 942. A detai l ed study of this unique and fasci nati ng bird.
Guide to the Repti les, Amphi bi ans and Fresh Water Fishes of
Florida, Carr & Goin, U. of Fla. Press, Gai nesvi l l e, 1 955.
Florida Marine Shells, Vil as & Vi l as, Bobbs-Merri l l , I ndi anapol i s,
1 952. A compact gui de to common shel l s of the Gul f and Atl antic.
Everglades-The Park Story, Wm. B. Robertson, U. of Miami Press,
Coral Gobl es, 1 959. A readabl e account.
The Native Trees of Florida, West & Arnol d, U. of Fl a. Press,
Gai nesvil le, 1 948. A fne reference on al l our trees.
The I ndi ans of fhe Southeastern States, Swenton, Bur. Amer.
Ethnol ogy, Bul l . 1 37, Washi ngton, D. C. , 1 946. A basic reference.
Florida' s Semi nol e I ndi ans, W. Nei l l , Ross Al l en Repti l e l nst., Si l ver
Springs, Fl ori da, 1 956. A concise, non-techni cal pamphlet.
Asteri sks ( *) denote pages on whi ch the subj ects are i l l ustrated.
Agave, *55 Cormorant, *26 Gal l i nul e, purpl e, *26
Agri cul ture, * 1 2, 71 , 77 Cottonmouth, *35 Gambusi a, *40
Air pl ants, *60- *61 Cougar, *22 Gar, l ongnose, * 40
Al l amanda, wi l d, *59 Crabs, *47-*48 Gecko, ashy, *37
Al l i gator, *38 Creval l e, *41 Geol ogy, *9-* 1 1
Al phabet cone, *46 Crocodi l e, *38 Grackl e, boot-toi l ed,
Amphi bi ans, * 39 Cypress, *32
Angel fsh, French, *43 bold, * 1 3 Grasshopper , . l ubber,
Angel wi ng, *45 pond, *52 *44
Anhi nga, 1 3, *26 Gul l ,
l aughi ng, *30
Anol e, *37 Deer, Gumbo-l i mbo, *51
Arrowhead, *58 Key, 1 6, *21
Audubon, whi te-tai led, 1 6, *22 Hammocks, 1 4- * 1 5
J ohn James, 71 Deer carvi ng, *63 Hawk, red-shoul dered,
refug, 1 3 Di l do, *55 *31
Society, 72 Dogwood, Jamai ca, *51 Heron,
tours, 20, 25, 76 Dol phi ns, bottl enosed, bl ack-crowned ni ght,
*24 *27
Bayonet, Spani sh, *55 Drai nage, 8, 71 great bl ue, *30
Bass, l argemouth, *.0 great white, *28
Beaches, sandy, * 1 8, 77 Eagl e, bol d, *31 green, *27
Bi rds, *25-*32, *72 Egret, l i ttl e bl ue, *27
Bi ttern, American, *27 cattl e, 28 Loui si ana, *30
Bl eedi ng tooth, *46 common, *25, *28 yel l ow-crowned
Bobcat, *22 pl umage, *72 night, 27
Bonefsh, *42 reddi sh, *28 Hi story, *63-*75
Books, 78 snowy, *28 Pork, 74-75
Bunti ng, pai nted, *25 Epi phytes, *60- *61 Hurri canes, 7, 1 4,
Butterfyfsh, * 43 71
Butterfy, zebra, * 44 Fai rchi l d Gorden, b
Buttonwood, *53 Ferns, *62 I bi s, white, *29
Fi g, strangl er, *52 I ndi ans, *63- *68
Col usa, 63- *65 Fi shes, *40- *43 I nformati on, 76, 77, 78,
Canal s, *8, 1 4 coral reef, * 1 9 end sheets
Cerith, Fl orida, *46 Fi shi ng, 20, *40- *42, 76, I nsects, *44
Chi ckee, *66, 67 77, endsheets I nvertebrates, * 44- * 48
Chi ton, West I ndi es, commercial , *70-71
*45 Fi sh-poison tree, *51 Jock, *41
Cl imate, 6, 20 Fl ami ngo, Fl a. , *74, Jeferson, Ft. , 20, 71
Coconut, *57 76, endsheets Jel l yfsh, *47
Coco-pl um, *51 Fl ami ngos, *29
Coi ns, *69 Fl owers, wild, *49, Key largo, 1 5, 20
Communities, natural , *58- *61 l i mestone, 9- 1 0*
* 1 3- *21 Fossi l s, * 1 1 Keys, Fl ori da, 9, 1 5, 1 6,
Conchs, *45 Fri gate bi rd, *30
1 7, * 1 8, 1 9, * 20,
Coonti e, *59 Frog, 63-65, 69-73, ¯
Coots, *25 gi ant tree, *39 mop, 4-5
Coral reefs, * 1 9 green tree, *39 Key West, 6, 8, *70,
Coral s, *48 narrow-mouth, *39 73, 77
Coreopsis, *58 s. bul lfrog, *39 Ki ngbi rd, gray, *32
Ki ngfsh, *41 Perrine, Dr. Henry, Snakes, (con' t )
Ki te, swal l ow- tai l ed, 65, 71 fat-tai l ed water, *34
*31 Pi geon, whi te-crowned,
gl ass, *37
*32, *71
green, *33
Land forms, *9- * 11 Pi ne,
i ndi go, *33
li gnum vi tae, *55 Austral i an, *54
Snake bi te, 35
Li l y, spi der, *49 Cari bbean, *52
Snai l s, *48
Li me, Key, * 54 Pi nel ands, * 1 6
Snapper, mangrove, *42
Li mpki n, *27 Pl ants, *49- *62
Snook, *42
Li zard, whi p-tai l , *36 air, *60- *61
Spani ards, *64, 69-70
Li zards, *36- *37 Pl ateau, _Fl ori da, *9, 10
Spoonbi l l , roseate, *29
Lobster, spi ny, *47 Pl ume- hunti ng, *72
Squi rrel , mangrove, *23
Poi nci ana, royal , *54
Sti l t, *31
Mackerel , ki ng, *41 Poi nsetti a, wi l d, *58
Stork, wood, *29
Mahogany, Poi sonwood, *55
hammock, *15, 76 Pond appl e, *.1
Tamari nd, wi l d, *53
West I ndi es, *.2 Potato, wi l d, *58
Tami ami Trai l , 4-5, 14,
Mammal s, *21- *24 68, 73
Manatee, *24 Rabbi t, marsh, *23
Tarpon, *42
Mangroves, *17 Raccoon, *22
Tekesta, 65
bl ack, * 50 Racer, Evergl ades, *33
Tern, royal , *30
red, *50 Rai l roads, 73
Tetrazygi a, *53
wh i te, * 50 Rat,
Ti ckseed, *58
Man-o' -war bi rd, *30 cotton, *24
Trade wi nds, *7
Marl i n, bl ue, *41 Fl ori da water, *23
Transportati on, *73
Map, Rattl ers, *35
·Tree, Gei ger, *53
geol ogi ca l , *9, Redbay, *51
Trees, *13, * 1 5� *17,
*10- *11 Refuge, Nat. Key Deer,
*50- *57
I ndi ans, *68 20-21
Tri ggerfsh, *43
modern, *4- *5 Repti l es, *33- *38
Turkey wi ng, *45
trade winds, *7 Rookeries, 1 7, 72
Turtl es, *36- *37
Mi ami ool i te, 9, *10
box, *37
Mosqui to fsh, *40 Sai l fsh, *41
gopher, *37
Mosses, *60 Sapodi l l a, *54
green, *36
Mul l et, *42 Sawgrass, * 1 4, *58
l oggerhead, *37
Muskrat, round-tai l ed, Sea-cow, *24
soft- shel l ed, *36
*23 Sea fan, *47
yel l ow- bel l i ed
Sea-grape, *53
s l i der, *36
Oak, l i ve, *52 Sea urchi n, *47
Vi nes, *59
Opossum, *23 Semi nol es, *66- *68
Orchids, *61 Sergeant

major, *43
Vi reo, bl ack- whi skered,

Osprey, *31 Shel l s, 44, *4.-*46,
Otter, *24 *48, 77
Vi si tors Center, *75,
Shore, rocky, * 1 8
76, endsheets
Pal ms, *56- *5 Shrubs, *5- *.5
Water moccasi n, *35
pal metto, cabbage, Si ren, *39
*56 Skink, *36
Wi nds, 7
pauroti s, *56 Snakes, *33- *35
Woman' s tongue, *54
royal , *57, 74, 76 banded water, *34
Woodpecker, pi l eated,
thatch, *. bl ack, *33
Panther, *22 coachwhi p, *34
Wood stork, *29
Parrotfsh, *43 coral , *35
Yucca ,_*55
Peat, 11 Evergl ades rat, *34
Pel i cans, *26 Evergl ades swamp, *34 Zami a, *59
The Evergl ades Park Co. i s the concessi onnai re responsi bl e
far accommodations and services i n the Evergl ades Nati onal
Park. Al l rates and prices are approved by the National Park
Servi ce. Health and safety standards are naj ntai ned under
federal supervisi on.

ACCOMMODATIONS at the new Fl i ngo Lodge I ncl ude
60 ai r-condi ti oned and heated rooms, si ngl y or i n suites.
The lodge i s on the edge of Fl ori da Bay, adj oi ni ng the
Vi sitors Center and other Park fadl i ties. For reservati ons
write Evergl ades Park Ca. , 3660 Coral Woy, Mi ami , Fl ori da.
Phone Hi ghl and 5-1 53 1 .
FOOD SERYICI a t the Visitors Center a t Fl ami ngo I s the
mari ne di ni ng room, -ti ng 200 pnd overl ooki ng the water.
Its cui si ne al ready has an excel l ent reputati on. At the Visitors
Center and at the Mari na are snack bars for qui ck l unches
and far hot or cold refreshments.
TRIPS AND TOUU ( i n -son) operate dal l y on to or
-re diferent rout.s, encompassi ng the rookeri es, Cape
Sable, the canal s and ri vers. nck• are for sal e at the
Mari na and Vlaltars Center. n-, ftom one to three hours
-deg on the trip.
AND IOATI NO Modern lbergl au boats are
awl l abl e for ren• ot the Mari na, wi th or wi thout motors
which r un frat1 6 ta 35 horsepower. Fhng tackl e, i ce, charts
CH spa can be purchased. t II a bot holst, free
l avnchi ng ramps for amal l boots, and pl enty of parki ng
apaa�. The Mari na Ia an otlal wei ghi ng stati on far 1 -1
fsh tournaments, or for an angl er who -nts a bi g one
certified. I t al so has moori ngs (6 ft. depth) with docksi de
electrldt, and Wf0f far over ffty boots. Gasol i ne and
di -1 f uel are avai l abl e. Chartered fshi ng boots with I n·
board or outboard motors, wi t h a gui de, can be hi red by
day or week.
SERVICE STATION carries compl ete suppl i es of regul ar
and hi gh-test gasol i nes, oi l , tires and accessories. Greasi ng,
other servi ces, and l i ght repairs.
FI LM, camera accessories, rental cameras, postcards, and
souveni rs, I ncl udi ng Semi nol e I ndi an handcrafts, are t o be
found at t he Visitors Center, upper level .
CAMPIRS wi l l fnd groceri es, notions, and suppl ies at the
Mari na.
60|0fNNk\08f60| 0f$N0RkVk| |kB|ft
Bi rds • Fl owers • I nsects • Trees • Seashores •
Stars • Repti l es and Amphi bi ans • Weather •
Mammal s • Fi shes · Rocks and Mi neral s · Zool ogy
60|0fN 8fB| 0Nâ| 60| 0îS #0R kVk| |â8|î:
The Southwest • The Southeast •
The Paci fi c Northwest

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