Matlacha takes home to several native Florida Wildlife and human population are encountering each other more often than ever before. As humans develop more open space and wildlife habitat is reduced and fragmented, encounters between humans and wildlife become more common. For most people, observing wildlife is a thrilling experience, but when an animal causes damage or attempts to share your living space, that thrill can turn to irritation or fear.
Here are just a few of the many Wildlife's in SW Florida
Bald Eagles are one of the most recognizable birds in the United States. If you don’t remember what a Bald Eagles looks like, simply pull out a quarter or a dollar. An eagle is shown on the back of the quarter and holding an olive branch and arrows on the one dollar bill. Bald Eagles are large, predatory raptors.
About 1/3 of alligator nests are destroyed by predators (mainly raccoon's) or flooding. The average clutch size of an alligator nest is 38. For nests that survive predators and flooding, an estimated 24 live hatchlings will emerge. Only 10 alligator hatchlings will live to one year. Of these yearlings, 8 will become sub-adults (reach 4 feet in length).
Adult manatees are typically 9-10 feet long and weigh around 1000 pounds. However, they may grow to over 13 feet and weigh more than 3500 pounds. Adults are gray in color, with very fine hairs sparsely distributed over much of the body. Stiff whiskers grow around the face and lips. Algae growing on the dermis may make them appear green or brown.
Panthers historically ranged across the southeastern United States including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and parts of Tennessee and South Carolina. Now, the breeding population of Florida panthers is found only in the southern tip of Florida, south of the Caloosahatchee River.
Gopher tortoises are long-lived reptiles that occupy upland habitat throughout Florida including forests, pastures, and yards. They dig deep burrows for shelter and forage on low-growing plants. Gopher tortoises share these burrows with more than 350 other species, and are therefore referred to as a keystone species.
Approximately 20 species of waterfowl regularly winter in Florida. Wintering areas, such as Florida, are important in the annual cycle of migratory waterfowl. Habitat conditions during this non-breeding period may affect survival and subsequent reproduction. Ducks must maintain or improve their body condition during winter to avoid mortality during spring migration.