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South Florida Aquatic Environments

Estuarine and Marine Waters



AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES
American Crocodile
© Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences

American Crocodile


Estuarine and Marine Waters:

Native Fauna: Amphibians and Reptiles

  • Estuarine and marine waters are home to many endangered and threatened species including the American crocodile and American Alligator as well as four species of sea turtles
As the most northern of its range, the Florida Bay is home to the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). This endangered species feeds on mullet within the waters of the bay. Sanctuaries for crocodiles have been set aside at Little Madeira Bay and Joe Bay.

American Alligator
© John White

American Alligator

The American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis) coexists with the American crocodile in estuarine habitats and is currently listed as threatened.

Atlantic Hawksbill Sea Turtle
© Eugene Weber, California Academy of Sciences

Atlantic Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Endangered sea turtles, including the Atlantic hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Atlantic ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), also reside in these waters and nest on associated beaches.

Green Sea Turtle
© Steve Turek

Green sea turtle

The threatened loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) has been observed nesting on the beaches of Cape Sable.