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South Florida Aquatic Environments

Mangroves



MANGROVE LIFE: MAMMALS
Mink
© Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences
Mink


Mangrove life:

Mammals

Carnivores residing in the mangroves of south Florida include:

Florida Panther
courtesy South Florida Water Management District

Florida Panther

The Florida panther is rarely observed, however most of the recent sightings have been within the everglades mangrove systems. Only 50-60 panthers remain in Florida - the greatest threat to this critically endangered cat is habitat destruction. Coastal hammocks and mangroves are vital for the continued survival of this panther.


Raccoon
courtesy South Florida Water Management District

Raccoon

Other mammals residing in these areas include:,

  • white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium)
  • opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
  • marsh rabbits (Sylvilagus palustrias)
  • cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus)
  • marsh rice rat (Oryzomys palustris
  • silver rice rat (O. argentatus)

Dolphin
© Anne DuPont

Dolphin

Marine mammals found along mangrove-lined waterways include bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and manatees (Trichechus manatus). Dolphins feed on fishes associated with mangrove systems. As an herbivore, the manatee feeds on seagrasses and other submerged aquatic plants found outside mangroves. However, manatees are frequently observed swimming in canals, coastal rivers, and other waters close in proximity to mangroves.

Manatee
courtesy NOAA

Manatee