NONNATIVE SPECIES IN THE EVERGLADES

Florida is a beautiful state, and the warm climate is inviting not just to the people, plants and animals that live here, but to species from other parts of the world that live in similar climates. World travel, international mail, and wind and water currents are among the many pathways that have made it possible for species from all over the globe to find their way to the Sunshine State. Sometimes nonnative species are brought here intentionally, and sometimes they hitchhike along with unknowing travelers.

Most nonnative species that are introduced do not survive, but those that do have the potential to become invasive, causing significant negative impacts to the environment or the economy or posing a danger to human health and safety. While invasive wildlife species are found in many parts of Florida, they are especially prevalent in subtropical south Florida. Of major concern are Burmese pythons, Argentine black and white tegus, Nile monitor lizards and lionfish. Invasive species such as these can prey upon native species and compete with native wildlife for food and space. They can also spread nonnative disease and parasites, as well as damage important recreational and commercial fisheries and agricultural crops.

In an effort to minimize these impacts, the FWC and partners are working cooperatively to manage and control invasive wildlife throughout the Everglades ecosystem.

Getting involved with the 2016 Python Challenge™ is a great way for you to help the FWC conserve Florida’s native fish and wildlife! You also can help by reporting any sightings of nonnative wildlife. Sightings can be reported online at IveGot1.org, through the IveGot1 mobile app, or through FWC’s IveGot1 Hotline.

Looking for even more ways to get involved?

Learn about what you can do to help.

 The Nile monitor is the largest nonnative lizard found in Florida.

tegu head

The nonnative Argentine black and white tegu is omnivorous, consuming small animals, eggs and vegetation.