Everglades & Dry Tortugas

The Everglades National Park is a shallow basin tilted to the southwest and underlain by extensive Pleistocene limestones.

The reserve also includes Fort Jefferson National Monument, which consists of a group of seven coral reefs called the Dry Tortugas National Park with three major banks (Pulaski, Loggerhead and Long Key) forming a pseudo-atoll with a mud-bank type formation.

 

Declaration Date: 1976
Surface Area: 636,411 ha
Administrative Division: Everglades National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park National Park Service

Human Activities

The reserve contains some 200 known archaeological sites, with two archaeological districts nominated in the National Register of Historic Places. Historic use has left a rich record from Native American use, settlement, farming and fishing activities.

A Native American group, the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, has a special use trust area inside the Everglades National park for tribal headquarters, visitor centre, housing and businesses.

Some 40 park personnel and 50-100 concession personnel live in residential areas in the park (1990). The area receives more than 84,000 (1990) visitors for snorkelling, swimming, sport fishing and touring the historic sites. The Everglades Regional Collection Centre houses some 50,000 biological and cultural museum artefacts and archives, as well as a library with 10,000 volumes.

Fort Jefferson National Monument offers excellent research possibilities on coral reef ecology, subtropical islands, bird migrations, and fisheries (IUCN, 1990).

Ecological Characteristics

The Everglades National Park is a shallow basin tilted to the southwest and underlain by extensive Pleistocene limestones.

The reserve also includes Fort Jefferson National Monument, which consists of a group of seven coral reefs called the Dry Tortugas National Park with three major banks (Pulaski, Loggerhead and Long Key) forming a pseudo-atoll with a mud-bank type formation.

The biosphere reserve lies at the interface between temperate and subtropical America between fresh and brackish water, shallow bays, deeper coastal waters and coral reefs, thus creating a complex of habitats supporting a high diversity of flora and fauna.

The area of transition from freshwater (glades) to saltwater (mangrove) is a highly productive zone that incubates great numbers of economically valuable crustaceans. Southern Florida vegetation is unique in the United States, but similar communities occur throughout the Caribbean and parts of tropical America.

Freshwater and wet prairies characterized by islands of tropical hardwood trees; saltmarshes; mangrove forests; beach and dune complexes; brackish water estuaries; cypress swamps; marine systems; coral reefs.


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                                                                                      Last updated : May 2012

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