A source for information on wildlife in 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.
Just like us, birds and other animals are doing their best to make a living and raise their young. Developing an
appreciation and understanding of your wild neighbors can help you learn to accept them and live in harmony with
them without resorting to extreme measures. Tips for keeping the awe in your wildlife experience.
wildlife accustoms them to humans and is a certain death sentence for bears, alligators and other
simple accommodations will often solve the problem of marauding raccoons and other critters. Remove the
free meal attractant by feeding pets indoors, installing baffles on bird feeder poles and fastening trash
cans lids with rubber straps.
pets inside at night will keep them safe from hungry predators.
possible entryways with hardware cloth to exclude squirrels, bats and other animals scouting out your home
for a safe place to raise young.
relocation is sometimes necessary, trapping and relocating wildlife is a last resort and only warranted if all
other measures have failed and an animal becomes a threat. Removing one animal may only serve to open up
territory for others to move in. Rather than getting your feathers ruffled, make simple accommodations to avoid
wildlife conflicts then relax and enjoy the wonders of wildlife in your own backyard.
has an abundance of wildlife, including a wide variety of reptiles. Snakes, and their cousins the alligators,
crocodiles, turtles and lizards, play an interesting and vital role in Florida's complex
people have an uncontrollable fear of snakes. Perhaps because man is an animal who stands upright, he has
developed a deep-rooted aversion to all crawling creatures. And, too, snakes long have been use in folklore to
symbolize falseness and evil. The ill- starred idea has no doubt colored human feelings regarding
the reason for disfavor, they nonetheless occupy a valuable place in the fauna of the region. On the plus side,
for example, snakes help keep in check rodents that threaten crops and, not uncommonly, carry diseases that
afflict man. Depending on your point of view, Florida is either blessed or cursed with a rich diversity of
snakes. Our 44 species of snakes are found in every conceivable habitat, from coastal mangroves and saltmarshes
to freshwater wetlands and dry uplands, and many species thrive in residential areas. However, there are just a
few species that are commonly seen in developed area, although any snake may occasionally be found in urban
of Florida's 44 snake species are venomous, the eastern coral snake, the southern copperhead, the cottonmouth,
the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the timber rattlesnake, and the dusky pygmy rattlesnake. Most Florida
snakes are harmless and beneficial and remove extra rodent populations. Even the venomous species are not
particularly dangerous unless stepped on or otherwise provoked.
snakes you encounter are most likely to be nonpoisonous. By recognizing common non-venomous snakes and
understanding something of their habits, you can take a more relaxed attitude toward them and appreciate them as
an integral part of Florida's wildlife.
to do when you see a snake
should you do when you come upon a snake? Just stand back observe it. Snakes don't purposefully position
themselves to frighten people. They'd much rather avoid encounters and usually will flee. You can try to figure
out what kind it is by using this article or one of the other references listed. Some snakes,
such as the Eastern indigo snake, are designated as endangered or threatened species and are
no good reason to kill a snake except in the unlikely situation of a venomous snake posing immediate danger to
people or pets. Snakes usually bite people only if they are molested; it's their only means of self-defense.
Even a poisonous snake in the woods or crossing the road poses no threat and should be left alone. Also, most
larger snakes travel in large areas, so one you see in your yard today may be far away
If you do
not like snakes in or around your dwellings or out-buildings, they can be removed from buildings without harm to
either you or the snake through the use of glueboards or funnel traps.
frequent sighting of snakes near dwellings or out-buildings may indicate the presence of rodents. Removal of
brush, lumber or other debris accumulations will discourage both rodents and snakes. Rodent food sources
like chronically spilled bird seed under feeders or pet foods scraps should also be policed
reptiles may only be possessed under license and specific laws are in effect for handling, caging, and