Wildlife Study
Wildlife Study Proud of their commitment to the natural environment, landowners in the Everglades Agricultural Area Environmental Protection District funded an eight-year study to document the presence and abundance of wildlife in the farming region’s 1,081 square miles dedicated to growing sugarcane, rice, sod and vegetables.

The study began in 2001, and was conducted by Dr. Elise V. Perlstine and Dr. Frank J. Mazzotti of the University of Florida, IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center.

Birds, both resident and non-resident, are a dominant feature of the habitat in the fall, winter and spring and are found in all habitat types (e.g. tall-grass/sugar cane; flooded/rice; sod fields, canals, ditches and crop-edges). In total 164 species of birds were documented. Of these, at least 36 are known to breed in the area.

Winter surveys of songbirds found more than 22 species in one season in cane and edge habitat including: warblers, sparrows, cardinals, doves, bobolinks, yellow crowned night –herons and various blackbirds.

Marsh birds including whistling ducks, mottled ducks, black-neck stilts and common nighthawks were found in abundance nesting in or near flooded rice and vegetable fields.

Barn owls frequent the many nest boxes constructed by landowners and local residents.

With 19 mammal species, bobcats, river otters, marsh rabbits and eastern cottontails are regularly seen in the region.

There are 24 species of reptiles including snakes, turtles and alligators, which frequent the canals and ditches of the EAA.

Additionally, there are 13 species of amphibian and 22 species of fish.

View the full report.