University of Florida


To live in harmony with the Florida environment, we need to be aware of how our lives intersect with and affect it. We offer information about the animal and plant species that live here, as well as the coasts, estuaries, forests, swamps, lakes, hammocks, and wetlands that make our state unique, so you can enjoy—and help preserve—these treasures.

To find out what Extension services are available in your area or to get personal assistance, please contact your county Extension office.

February Wildlife Happenings

From quails to pocket gophers and snapping turtles, find out what’s shaking in Florida this February. February wildlife happenings… Photo credits: UF/IFAS  More»

Stormwater Ponds

Ever wonder where all that abundant Florida rainwater goes after it hits your roof or runs down your driveway? Depending on where you live, that water, called stormwater, may flow into man-made stormwater ponds. You may have noticed these areas of standing water surrounded by aquatic plants in your community. Though many people assume these ponds exist for aesthetic purposes and to enhance property value,1 the true purpose of stormwater ponds  More»

Southern Black Racer

Recently, I was driving down a residential street near the University of Florida, and all of a sudden something long and black slithered very quickly across the street. I stopped to watch it disappear into the shrubs in someone’s yard, marveling at its speed and color and wondering, what kind of snake was that? (Of course, to this urbanite, any snake sighting is pretty remarkable.) It turns out that what I saw was most likely a  More»

The Snail Kite: Barometer of Everglades Health

The snail kite is an endangered bird mainly found in the Everglades area.1 The snail kite relies almost entirely on apple snails, hence its name.2 This bird uses its talons to pluck snails out of the water and eats them with a slender, hooked beak perfect for getting these mollusks out of their shells.2 This specialized diet means that the availability of apple snails directly affects the snail kite population. Loss of Everglades habitat and  More»

January Wildlife Happenings

January in Florida brings male cardinals, roseate spoonbills, gray foxes, and sunshine bass. More on January wildlife happenings… Photo credits: Josh Wickham, UF/IFAS  More»

15 Birds Migrating to Florida This Winter

People aren't the only ones who leave colder climates for the sunshine state. Look for these birds migrating to Florida this winter! References Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2015. "American Robin." Accessed December 9, 2015. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2015. "American White Pelican." Accessed December  More»