Identifying common wildlife in Florida waterways
Taking in all that Mother Nature has to offer is one of the best aspects of boating. While the serenity and beauty of the water make for a great day, you’ll be sure to meet plenty of wildlife to keep you company as well. While we can’t cover every species or variant, this blog will give you a good idea about what wildlife you can expect to encounter on Florida waterways.
We’ll start with some of the larger and more dangerous animals you may see on Florida waterways, starting with alligators and crocodiles since they often are a symbol of our great state. Often found in canal banks and alongside rivers and lakes, it’s important to keep an eye out for these reptiles when in these areas.
Also read: How to find a boat ramp in Florida
Florida is also home to more than 50 species of sharks, but unless you’re in very deep water, you’re unlikely to encounter any. Although it’s rare, you want to stay aware of where you are, as Florida experiences more unprovoked shark attacks than any other state.
You’ll also find 45 species of snakes in Florida, but snakes are notoriously hard to spot. Despite that fact, knowing which snakes are dangerous and which are not can help you when and if you do come across one.
Onto less dangerous wildlife, Florida has the highest concentration of amphibians in the country, many of which are frogs and toads. Likewise, lizards, especially geckos, are incredibly common and can be seen without looking too hard.
Turtles and tortoises, while not as common as lizards and frogs, are pretty frequently seen by boaters, especially in motorless boats. Florida has four species of sea turtles and 16 species of traditional turtles and tortoises.
While we’ve covered wildlife you’ll spot in or near Florida waterways, you’ll see mammals like otters, deer, armadillos, and raccoons on the shore. You’ll also spot manatees in certain areas.
Of course, there are hundreds of fish and inspect species native to the state that you’ll see plenty of while boating.
No matter which animals you encounter, it’s important to be respectful of their habitat and try to avoid disturbing them.