Everglades are the tropical wetlands located in Florida in the U.S.A., and is a part of the neo-tropic ecological zone. It begins near Orlando and discharges into the Lake Okeechobee, which is a vast yet shallow lake. The region experiences different kinds of weather from the flooding in the wet season to the drought in the dry seasons. The vast area which is covered by this wetland is nearly two million acres and the water flows from diverse habitats, wet prairies, and swamps and mangroves. The water of the Everglades supports the agriculture and solves the drinking water purpose of South Florida.
4. Historical Role
The human habitation dates back to 15,000 years ago, and the region was particularly dominated by the Calusa and the Tequesta tribal groups. The Seminole people after being forced out from the Northern Florida settled in the wetlands of Everglades during the 19th Century and were able to resist the attack from US Army too. The people who were left in this region after a series of wars were recognized as the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida in the year 1962. The construction of canals and railway stations also began in the area, and most of the land developers sold the land too. The hunting developed in the area during the 20th Century, and many wild animals and birds were killed for their skin and feathers respectively.
3. Modern Significance
The best attraction for the tourists in the area is the Everglades National Park, which is thronged, mostly in the winter season. American Alligator farm is made to save the endangered species from extinction, next is the Anhinga Trail which is a boardwalk in the National Park and one can enjoy the water birds and alligator during the specific seasons. Everglades National Park is also the main tourist attraction because of its wildlife and the plant life, and people come here for camping, recreation and enjoy other things as the Pine woodlands, Mangroves, and Tropical Hardwood Hammocks. One can also go for a bike ride to the Shark Valley and can even go on foot. Moreover, it is a fresh water source and attracts many species.
2. Habitat and Biodiversity
There are more than 750 animal species in the Everglades and is also a home to the 14 endangered species, which includes the West Indian Manatee and the Florida Panther. The birds species found in the area are white and glossy ibises, egrets, herons, wood storks, and snail kites. One can also see the American crocodile and the alligator and there are 27 different species of snakes in the area. The bottlenose dolphin is also found in the area.
1. Environmental Threats and Conservation Efforts
The threat to the Everglades is mostly by the invasive species which are introduced in the area and are disturbing the habitat of the native species. The other threats involve the flooding of the area during the rainy season, urban development, agriculture pressures and industries are some other factors. However, the conservation efforts have resulted in control of water through drainage canals and to preserve wildlife, the Everglades National Conservation area was established.