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Fun Facts about the Eastern Indigo Snake

Fun Facts about the Eastern Indigo Snake

Florida is full of beautiful, marshy landscapes and the creatures that inhabit the land, sea, and sky. We have some of the most interesting creatures in the United States thanks to our Everglades, and we’re responsible for protecting and bringing awareness about them to others. This includes our protected species, such as the Eastern Indigo Snake.

Is the eastern indigo snake venomous?

Let’s just get this out of the way – no, they are not venomous. Eastern Indigo Snakes rarely bite humans. But they do bite prey, enemies, and occasionally males will fight each other in aggressive situations. The indigo snake is considered harmless, but is a protected species you can not handle without a permit. Not that most necessarily want to handle a snake…

The Eastern Indigo Snake Is the Longest Snake in North America

Identified by its beautiful blue-black sheen, this species is now native to peninsular Florida and southeast Georgia. The females can reach up to 6.5 ft long and males up to 8.5 ft. While their size can be impressive, they are most often between 5-6 ft. long.

Eastern Indigo Snakes Eat Other Venomous Snakes

Yes, that’s right. The eastern indigo snake overpowers its often larger prey with muscular jaws, consuming them head first. The indigo snake has a diet of lizards, tortoises, mammals, frogs, birds, and other venomous snakes. It has been observed that the Indigo snake appears to be immune to the poison of venomous snakes.

The Best Place to see an Eastern Indigo Snake Is the Everglades

Although the Indigo snake is now listed as a threatened species because of dramatic decline in population – due to over-collecting by domestic and international pet trade – it can still be found in the Everglades! Preservations of these habitats is the best assurance of survival for the indigo snake.

You May See an Eastern Indigo Snake on an Everglades Airboat Tour in Fort Lauderdale

Although as a protected species, the chances of seeing an Indigo are slimmer than an Alligator. But keep your eyes peeled on tour! There’s a good chance you’ll see one on your next airboat tour of the Everglades. Are you ready to get closer to nature than you’ve ever been? Call Cypress Outdoor Adventures today at (954) 260-1096, or secure your spot online for an Everglades airboat ride of a lifetime!

Everglades National Park: Unique Beauty That Needs Protected

Everglades National Park: Unique Beauty That Needs Protected

Also known as the River of Grass, the Florida Everglades is indeed a slow-moving river that feeds into the Florida Bay. Visited by about 1 million people every year, the Everglades National Park was established in 1934 to help preserve the precious ecosystem in the area.

Why the Everglades is Unique

The Everglades National Park is currently the tenth largest park in America, and it is the biggest tropical wildernesses in the country. It is very interesting and unique in many ways. Over 340 species of flora and fauna co-exist in the park area; 120 types of trees serve as homes for 16 classes of birds such as the great egret and the roseate spoonbill. The Florida Panther, the most endangered species in the Everglades, and many other animals call the it home.

Over half of the park is covered in water or swampland, and there is both fresh water and salt water. In this area of Southern Florida, there are only two seasons – winter, or the dry season, and summer, the wet season. During the dry season, wildfires in the Everglades are common. Though they may seem harmful, wildfires are beneficial as they serve to protect and maintain the ecosystems in the prairies and pinelands.

Why Protecting the Everglades Is So Important

Home to a diverse ecosystem that includes everything from microscopic bacteria to the American Alligator, Everglades National Park hosts 30 species that appear on federal threatened and endangered lists. To help preserve these species that rely on the swampland’s for survival, the area must be protected.

Water supply from the Everglades serves 1 in 3 Floridians. That’s approximately 8 million people that depend on the wetlands for drinking water and other household needs. Without protection, a huge burden would be placed on other water systems.

There is also an aesthetic benefit to protecting the Everglades, as the beauty of nature holds value. In addition to inspiring the literary works of Thoreau and other authors, nature leads to advancements in science. Humankind has invented ways to fly, improved upon how ships sail, and developed many other innovations based on how plants and animals operate in nature.

Rescuing the Everglades

Only about half its original size, the Everglades covered nearly 3 million acres at one point in time. Canals and dams built to develop land near the park have diverted much of the water that previously flowed in and ou , drastically reducing its size.

Conservation efforts began in the 1960s and continue to this day. The Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other legislation has helped to preserve what is left of the natural wonder. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and other conservationists work to ensure that laws that protect the area are enacted and enforced. Improving levels of phosphorus and other vital nutrients and correcting water diversion so the region receives the amount of water it needs are top priorities, in addition to protecting endangered wildlife.

Let Captain Bill take you up close and personal with the unique beauty of the Florida Everglades on an airboat tour in Fort Lauderdale. Our private adventures take you through the backcountry to see the American Alligator and other species native to the Florida Everglades. Call us today at (954) 260-1096 or book your adventure online.

Alligator Tour Airboat Rides

Alligator Tour Airboat Rides

We’ve all studied about alligators back in school. However, what we learn is mostly elementary. There’s a lot more they havethan what we’ve been told. To help out with your curiosity, we’ve compiled a list of interesting alligator facts. Take a look!

They Cry

Ever hear of the expression “crocodile tears or alligator tears”? Well, if you have, you know what it means. In a nutshell, it refers to false tears. Where do you think the inspiration for this expression came from? Well, it obviously came from the actual fact that alligators shed tears. However, these tears are shed purely for the purpose of moisturizing and cleaning, hence, the association with fake crying.

Alligators Are Found Only in 2 Locations across the Globe

According to what is known so far, they have appeared over 30 million years ago and they are found only 2 regions around the world.

First, we have the American alligator, which is found in the southern part of the USA. This includes everything from North Carolina to Texas.

Then, we have the Chinese Alligator, which is found in the region that runs along Eastern China’s Yangtze River. Chinese alligators are shy and don’t often reveal themselves. Plus, the rapid progress in that region has led to a drop in their numbers as well. So, it’s harder to spot the now.

American alligators are larger than their Chinese counterparts. For example, the average American alligator can grow up to 13 feet and weigh almost 800 pounds. The Chinese alligator, on the other hand, doesn’t cross 7 feet and reaches a maximum weight of 300 pounds.

Now that you know a thing or two about alligators, we’re pretty sure you would want to see them up close. But, how can one do that, you ask? Well, it’s quite simple really. All you need to do is sign up for an alligator tour. It is basically an airboat tours that take you through the swamps, marshes and mangroves of the Everglades to get you as close as possible to real alligators.

You get to see alligators in the natural habitat; untamed and wild! It’s an experience that you’re sure to remember.

 

Everglades History

Everglades History

There is more to the Florida Everglades then just alligators and airboat tours. The Florida Everglades has a deep historical and cultural heritage that goes back many generations. There are many interesting facts about the Florida Everglades you may not know.

The first people to inhabit the Florida Everglades where the Casula Indians who settled back in 10,000 BC. The place they called home is what we now call the Everglades National Park. Archaeologists found many artifacts spread throughout the area. These Indians thrived here until early settlers in the 1700s brought disease and basically wiped out these Indians.

South Florida did not have any settlements until the end of the 19th-century, and at that time the only three established areas were Chokoloskee, Flamingo and Cape Sable.  Many of these areas where only accessible by boat and the settlers depended on trading with other areas such as Tampa, and Key West.

The people that settled this area were known as Gladesmen. They survive by living off the land and learning how to navigate through the dense marsh. They learned how to hunt, trap, and fish to feed their families. They learned the different weather patterns to understand when an approaching storm was coming so they can take shelter.

Many people think of the Florida Everglades as a stagnant swamp; however it is called the River Of Grass because it is a river. The water moves from north to south starting near the Kissimmee river near Orlando. Even though the water moves very slow it is moving. That’s why you will notice on your airboat tour when you look over the side of the boat that the water is crystal clear. But there is a lot going underneath you as well. The water will seep into the ground where we have many aquifers, and caverns that allow the water to flow underneath you.

It was not until 1929 that people living in South Florida began building levees in an attempt to drain the Everglades into valuable farmlands. When this began to take place cities like Clewiston and Moorehaven that are south of Lake Okeechobee popped up and began to thrive. From that point on this diverse ecosystem began to face man-made challenges that threatened its existence

Burmese Python Non-Native Species of the Everglades

Burmese Python Non-Native Species of the Everglades

The Florida Everglades was an untouched paradise until settlers arrived in the early 19th century. Which their arrival they brought new non-native species of animals and plants. Many of these species have flourished in this delicate ecosystem. Today the Florida wildlife commission has many plants, mammals, and reptiles that are all listed as established non-native, or invasive species.

One of the most widely known invasive reptiles is the Burmese python; which became established in the early 1980s. Many of my clients ask me when we are on tour how did the snakes get here? I explain that there was a breeding facility that was destroyed during hurricane Andrew in 1992, but the snakes were in the area before then and in many cases it is because of the exotic pet trade. In many cases you can acquire permits to own exotic animals and keep them in your home, some animals didn’t need permits at all.

In many instances some of these animals were able to break free of their enclosures and escape. Sometimes the pet owners were no longer able to take care of them so they wanted to set them free and live a happy life. People have let these animals go and they have made their way into the Florida Everglades.

For animals such as the Burmese python and Boa Constrictors, the Florida Everglades offers an amazing habitat for them. They can disappear into the vast marshes and survive easily. These animals are masters of camouflage and stealth. The animal can lay very still and when prey is close it will quickly strike and wrap itself around the animal constricting it until it dies. Even for a large animal it can dislocate the hinges of his jaw and begin swallowing the animal whole. Sometimes the snake wins, sometimes the gator wins.

There have been documented cases of pythons swallowing gators. Aerial photography from helicopters has shown large snakes laying out on a bed of sawgrass with a very large gator in its belly. Up until the 1980s the American alligator was the top predator in the Florida Everglades. It appears that those days are gone.

With the introduction of these invasive snakes, gators are now on their menu as well as birds, turtles, and fish. In an effort to try and control the outbreak of the snakes there have been special hunts designated to try and catch and kill these animals. With the vast territory of the Florida Everglades it is my opinion that these hunts will not even put a dent in the situation. The snakes are now listed as a conditional species in Florida and can no longer be acquired as pets in the state. You are no longer allowed to transport the snakes across state lines.

The snakes are not only contained to South Florida. There have been snakes found moving north west through the state indicating that they were released or escaped pets.

These animals are potentially dangerous to humans as well. Since these python can grow up to lengths of 20 feet, and lay as many as 30 to 40 eggs per year; we are talking about a very dangerous animal that can cause a lot of harm to our environment and potentially human life.

At this moment researchers estimate the numbers to be between 30,000 and upwards of 300,000 pythons that likely occupy South Florida, which is just another way of saying they have no idea. However, between 2000 and 2011 almost 1800 pythons were removed from the Everglades national Park and surrounding areas.

History of the Everglades Drainage

History of the Everglades Drainage

The destruction and drainage of the Florida Everglades dates back to the 19th century. Most people assume that when the settlers planted their roots here they began to drain the Everglades. Actually, it was the United States military that began draining the Everglades to try and flush out the Seminole Indians. They had been trying to capture and kill them but were unsuccessful.

Eventually the settlers tried to drain the Everglades again in the hopes of planting crops in the fertile soil. The Florida Everglades is known as the River Of Grass because the water that originates near Orlando flows south into Lake Okeechobee. From there, there is about 100 mile wide river flowing south which eventually ends up in The Florida Bay. Even though the water is moving very slowly, it is still moving to the south at all times.

Most all of the founding fathers of South Florida from Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Henry Flagler, and other bigwigs wanted to drain the Everglades for economic development. Most of these developers had no idea of how to successfully contain the water and drain the Everglades. Many of them failed.

As land development and economic growth grew in South Florida, the natural animals in this area suffered due to unregulated hunting. Animals such as the American alligator and many of our birds were hunted to near extinction. These developers also brought non-native plant species and trees such as the Australian Melaleuca to try and drain the water in these areas. Thanks to mankind we now have many non-native invasive species growing in our area.

As you drive along some of Florida’s highways you may encounter some levees. If you were traveling up US Highway 27 N. or on I 75 W. These levees are used to control the water to assist in such things as flooding from hurricanes. The engineers that developed these levees did leave openings in some areas to allow water to pass through. There are also many flood control gates that can be opened and closed whenever necessary.

As a matter fact whenever a customer meets me for a tour they will actually be right next to one of these flood control gates. These gates and levees are controlled by the South Florida water management district. They can move water from certain areas as they see fit.

Often, many of our native animals suffer because of certain areas being heavily flooded for prolonged periods of time. Certain mammal such as Whitetail deer, black bear and Osceola turkey need dry ground and can sometimes be stranded on small islands and levees.

Airboat Tours Fort Lauderdale

Airboat Tours Fort Lauderdale

Whether it’s during the winter or right after it, you obviously make plans to go somewhere warmer. If you haven’t really thought of a place yet, we would like to suggest the idea of coming down to Florida. Florida is the place to be if you’re looking for a tropical experience without having to spend too much.

It’s much warmer here, which is something you’ll probably be looking forward to, especially if you’re from up north. There are a ton of things to do in Florida and a lot of them are part of the outdoor experience.

Where to go and what to do

There are plenty of places to visit in Florida. You could seek out the hip urban life on the beaches of Miami or explore the Florida Keys etc. However, we suggest that you come on down to Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale is located very close to the Everglades and that’s a place worth putting on your bucket list.

If you haven’t seen the Everglades, you’re truly missing out on something spectacular. Apart from the breathtaking beauty, the Everglades are known for activities such as golf, salt water fishing rides, fresh water fishing rides, and of course, the  flora and fauna.

Salt water fishing is a great activity. Apart from the thrill of catching fish, you get to experience the Everglades in all its glory. While you admire the beauty around you, you can catch some awesome fish on the side as well. The Everglades are known fish varieties such as the Large Tarpon, the Redfish, the Trout, and the Snook.

In fact, Tarpon Fishing is a big deal here and the months of April, May, and June are perfect for carrying out this activity.

Similarly, you can engage in some fresh water fishing as well. There are a plenty of bass during the spring season and the Everglades are considered to be the global hotspot for this variety of fish.

How to experience all of this

If you intend to experience all of the above mentioned activities and explore the Everglades in general, the best way for you to do it would be through an airboat tour. Click here to get Started!

With an airboat tour, you get to see the best of the Everglades and have fun while doing so. In fact, riding on an airboat is an experience by itself.

 

 

Everglade Airboat Tours

Everglade Airboat Tours

Do you have an upcoming trip to Florida planned? Or perhaps you’re a native Floridian and you have already visited all the theme parks, been to the beaches, and done your share of deep sea fishing. These ‘touristy’ events are fun, but now is the time to get the true taste of Florida. It’s time to experience authentic Florida Everglades airboat ride!

Cypress Outdoor Adventures LLC can provide you and your friends and family the ultimate Florida Everglades experience you won’t soon forget. You’ll get much more than just an airboat ride when you visit Captain Bill and his crew at Cypress Outdoor Adventures LLC. All rides with Captain Bill are private, so it’ll be just you and those in your group on the boat. No worries about being herded onto a boat with a group of total strangers. The memorable experience you have on your airboat ride will be all yours to share. The private tours incorporate technology into each tour, helping to enhance the experience while cruising through the Florida everglades, and preserving the experience for future viewing enjoyment. You will be provided with intercom headsets, enabling you to have constant communication between you and Captain Bill.

While on your airboat ride through the Florida everglades rest assured you are traveling in a manner that treats this fragile ecosystem with care. Our boats are one the most environmentally friendly craft on the water.  There are no props or paddles negatively impacting the ecosystem and the flat bottom hull of the airboat is eco friendly as well.

While on your airboat ride you’ll learn the history of the Florida’s Everglades from Captain Bill, from its primitive early stages, to the developments that man has made down to the present. While traveling through what is called the River of Grass you will encounter a variety of flora and fauna, as well as birds, fish, reptiles, and maybe a mammal or two. Once your tour has concluded, you will be provided with a complimentary video of your memorable airboat adventure, so you can relive the experience again and again.

Cypress Outdoor Adventures LLC offers Day Airboat Tours and Sunset/Night Airboat Tours, each a very unique experience.

For the Day Tour, you can book a private 2 or 3 hour airboat adventure. The adventure includes fishing, the interactive headsets for communication, and the complimentary video. If the sun is proving to be a bit much, a shade structure can be provided.

With a stop at a local recreational facility, you can view a wildlife exhibit, do a little shopping, and even enjoy an authentic gator lunch. It is recommended that participants bring bug repellent, sunglasses, and sunscreen on the Day Tour.

You can watch the sun go down over the River of Grass on the beautiful Sunset Tour. As the Everglades come alive at night, you can view the wildlife with the giant lights on board the vessel. An added bonus to the sunset and night tours is the opportunity to do some bow fishing, which is included at no additional charge, with gear included.

So come experience a bit of real Florida with Everglades airboat tours with Captain Bill of Cypress Outdoor Adventures LLC. You will never view those ‘touristy’ places the same again!

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