The Everglades are famous tropical wetlands found in Florida, United States. The region experiences different kinds of weather from the flooding in the wet season to the drought in the dry seasons. The vast area of these wetlands covers nearly 2 million acres, though the Everglades used to be much larger - in fact, several hundred years ago they were over 5,000,000 acres.
The Everglades are one of the most iconic regions of the entire United States, and they hold many fun facts and secrets. Some of these are outlined below.
- The Everglades provides drinking water to nearly 8 million Floridians. That's 1 in 3 people in the state!
- Everglade water is also vital to agricultural activity in Florida.
- Humans have lived in the Everglades for at least 15,000 years, when the Calusa and Tequesta peoples lived in the area. Later, the area was inhabited by the Seminole people.
- The Everglades National Park takes up nearly 1 million acres of the Everglades. It is a major tourist attraction.
- There are more than 750 species of animals that live in the Everglades, 14 of whom are endangered. Examples of endangered species include the West Indian manatee and the Florida Panther.
- The Everglades are especially well-known for their bird species, which includes white and glossy ibises, egrets, herons, wood storks, and snail kites.
- The Everglades is home to the bottlenose dolphin.
- Most fires in the area are caused by lightning strikes.
- The Florida Everglades are the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles live side-by-side.
- North America's largest selection of sawgrass prairie is found in the Everglades.
- Invasive species are a major threat to the area, as they disturb the habitat of native species. Other threats involve the flooding of the area during the rainy season, urban development, agriculture pressures and industries.
- The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is the most costly environmental restoration plan in the world.
- Southern Florida is the only place in the United States that has a tropical climate. Some of the Everglades have a subtropical climate.
- Both UNESCO and the Ramsar Convention consider the Everglades to be a place of importance.