South Florida Water Management District - Great Blue Heron

Levees are good places to view wildlife. You may encounter white-tailed deer, raccoons, common opossums, armadillos, river otter, bobcats, rabbits, songbirds, and various wading birds. Wood storks, ibises, great blue herons, snowy egrets, and cattle egrets are common. Swallow-tailed kites, red-shouldered hawks, and many migratory birds are seen during the winter months. Songbirds are found throughout the western forested boundary of the area. The endangered Florida panther may be an occasional visitor to the area.


Wildlife Spotlight: Alligator

The American alligator is one of the most commonly seen wildlife species in Florida. Alligators and other crocodilians are the only living Archosauria, the ancient group that included dinosaurs. They have many features more similar to birds or mammals than to other reptiles. The snouts of alligators are broad and rounded whereas those of the much rarer crocodile are longer
and more pointed.


Alligators play a key role in the Everglades and other wetlands. During times of drought they dig holes that fill with groundwater. During dry periods, these alligator holes are an important source of freshwater for birds and mammals and are critical to the survival of many aquatic species. Since 1988, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has held a public waters alligator harvest. Each year Alligator Harvest Management Units, including the Holey Land WMA, are established with conservative harvest quotas.


Wildlife Viewing Tips

FWC Facts:
Whooping cranes, the tallest of North American birds, stand nearly 5 feet tall. Their wingspan measures between 7 and 8 feet.

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