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Category: Florida Everglades

Endangered Plants of the Everglades

Endangered Plants of the Everglades

One of our most beautiful and mysterious natural areas in the United States is changing. The Everglades is slowly losing some of its flora and fauna due to climate change and the encroachment of urban growth. If you wish to view the native plants of the area, such as the cactus tree, Krug’s holly, lignum-vitae, and manchineel, booking an airboat tour is a great way to experience these endangered species.

Endangered Palm Trees of the Everglades

The Brittle Thatch Palm (Thrinax morrisii) is a small palm with blue-green or yellow-green leaves that have a reflective white underside. The leaves are so tough, they were used to make roofs for thatches, hence their name.

Buccaneer palm (Pseudophoenix sargentii) is a lesser known variety that is cold-sensitive as well as slow growing. This variety is notable due to the extremes of nature in which it can survive, as it is drought and salt tolerant. The leaves are green, blue-green, or silver. In the wild, it can reach up to 25 feet tall.

Silver thatch palm (Coccothrinax argentata) has fan-shaped leaves that are green on the top and silver underneath. It is slow growing and can only tolerate the lightest of frost.

Florida thatch palm (Thrinax parvitolia) is a slower growing palm that reaches up to 30 feet. It has broad, yellowish-green leaves that can reach up to three feet in diameter. It blooms all year long, peaking in spring.

Endangered Exotic Trees and Plants of the Everglades

The Key tree-cactus (Pilosocereus robinii) is only found in southern Florida. When in bloom, the flower is large and white in color, and the fruit it produces is a purplish-red in color. This tree cactus can grow up to 32 feet high with a few arms or many.

Krug’s Holly (Ilex krugiana) is known for its interesting leaf shape. This tree can grow up to 55 feet in height having white flowers. Later it produces black, red, and purple berries that birds enjoy.

Lignum-vitae (Guaiacum sanctum) is a hardwood tree that is so dense the wood does not float. The tree flowers in the spring with small periwinkle flowers. It can mature up to 30 feet tall.

The manchineel tree (Hippomane mancinella) is best left for viewing than to being touched, as it is known as one of the most dangerous trees in the world. It is an evergreen with green-yellow flowers that can grow up to around 50 feet tall. All parts of the tree are poisonous. Do not touch the sap or ingest the fruit, nicknamed beach apple and little apple of death.

Make Memories Viewing Endangered Species on An Airboat Tour

Spending a couple of hours on an airboat tour viewing the exciting wildlife, exotic orchids, beautiful trees, and feathery ferns is a lifelong memorable event. Cypress Outdoor Adventures is ready to take you on this excursion. Reserve your Everglades airboat tour in Fort Lauderdale today by phone (954-260-1096) or book online now.

Migrating Birds in the Everglades

Migrating Birds in the Everglades

On a ride with Everglades airboat tours in Fort Lauderdale, visitors skim across what is sometimes called a “river on grass.” In the Everglades, which is a slow-moving river, visitors can hear a chorus of frogs and cicadas, and they can safely observe alligators lying on the sun-warmed shore.

View Migratory Birds in the Everglades and Endangered Animals in a Natural Setting

Tourists can also view a variety of birds in their natural habitat. Unusual birds appear during the migratory season in this warm and beautiful area of swampland. Over 360 different species of birds have been spotted in the Everglades, most belonging in one of the following categories – wading, land, and prey.

Some of the birds that tourists may catch sight of are the roseate spoonbill, varieties of egrets, the great blue heron, the black-necked stilt, white and black ibis, and ducks such as the greenwing teal. Egrets and herons, as well as ibises and spoonbills are wading birds, that you’ll often spot walking in the shallow waters of the glades on the hunt for food.

The Everglades, once the territory of the Seminole Indians, remains the home of various plants and animals. Among them are several endangered species that have adapted over time to the subtropical and wet environment.

Schedule Your Delightful Everglades Airboat Tours in Fort Lauderdale With Captain Bill

Cypress Outdoor Adventures offers day and sunset tours, where you may be able to observe many of the birds heading back to the northern part of the country for spring. On the sunset tours, the boat has lights that illuminate the surroundings so that tourists can view the wildlife. Then, as the sun goes down, the lights are turned off for all on the boat to revel in the beauty of the fiery ball as it passes below the horizon.

In addition to these tours, we offer other excursions such as bow-fishing. For more information on Everglades airboat tours Fort Lauderdale and to make arrangements for tours, contact Captain Bill, owner of Cypress Outdoor Adventures today at 954-260-1096.

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!

Are Airboat Tours Safe in the Everglades?

Are Airboat Tours Safe in the Everglades?

If you’ve heard about how much fun airboat swamp tours are, you’ve definitely heard about the exciting wildlife we encounter and how close to nature we become. Feeling a little nervous about getting up close and personal with an alligator? Not quite sure about gliding over the glades at sunset? We perform tours of the Everglades every day and can attest to the safety of our boats, our crew, and the nature of your next airboat tour in Fort Lauderdale.

Airboat Tours Are Safe for Kids of All Ages

Fort Lauderdale alligator tours are fun and safe for everyone, from toddlers to great-grandparents. While our big airboat fan can be a little loud, it’s nothing that a pair of ear plugs can’t fix. Passengers may feel like they’re flying across the glades with the wind in their faces, but our boats actually don’t exceed 40 mph. In order to take in the full experience, we make sure to go as slowly as needed so we don’t scare away nearby wildlife.

Sunset Tours of the Everglades are just as safe as Daytime Tours

Scared of the dark? There’s nothing to be afraid of! There’s a variety of nocturnal animals such as gators and panthers that we can safely observe from a distance. A sunset tour allows you the chance to encounter wildlife you wouldn’t normally see during the day.

Our Everglades Airboats are Regularly Maintained and Inspected

The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority. Properly maintaining our boats is essential to safely traversing the swamps of Fort Lauderdale, day or night. We guarantee each airboat is regularly inspected and kept up to code by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

We Maintain a Safe Distance from American Alligators and Other Wildlife in the Everglades

Alligator sightings are a huge part of the excitement of our Everglades airboat tours. We get just as excited as our passengers to see gators and other wildlife on our tours, but we are professionals with plenty of experience keeping a safe distance. Alligators don’t pay any mind when strangers pass by, as long as we maintain a respectful amount of space between us.

US Coast Guard Certified, Captain Bill Makes your Airboat Ride as Safe and Exciting as Possible

Put your trust in Captain Bill to make your adventure an experience to remember. As a USCG certified captain, he safely operates your tour boat for an enjoyable time on the water. Ready to face your fears and have a wonderful time doing so? Call us today at 954-260-1096 to reserve your seat, or book online now!

Top 3 Reasons to Take a Sunset Tour of the Everglades

Top 3 Reasons to Take a Sunset Tour of the Everglades

Whether it’s your first time in Fort Lauderdale or you visit frequently, there are always many new wonders to discover in the area. If you’ve never experienced an airboat tour of the Everglades, it’s about time you did! If you’re still on the fence or need another reason to get started scheduling your tour, take a look at these top three reasons to take a beautiful sunset tour of the Everglades.

Reason #1: A Once-In-a-Lifetime Experience

Have you ever wanted to go hang gliding, skydiving, or rock climbing? Airboating is another thrill you need to experience at least once in this life. Gliding across the water, we can reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour. An airboat tour gives you an up close and personal view of wildlife you would never get on land. You get to see the glades as the animals themselves see the area.

This offer you a true eco tour that gives off virtually no pollution, unlike a motor tour boat. Party with friends and family or take a private tour with our experienced guide, Captain Bill, down the coast.

Reason #2: Wildlife You Can Only Find Here

The Florida Everglades is home to several species of plants and trees native only to wetlands as well as endangered animal species. It houses the Florida panther, the American alligator, the snail kite, and the wood stork, to name a few. With an eco-friendly airboat tour, sailing across the still waters at dusk you can become closer to nature than you’ve ever been before.

The thrill of spotting a lurking croc or gator, or a far-off bobcat on the coast, is better than any thrill you’ll get from visiting your local zoo. Touring with Cypress Outdoor Adventures gives you a unique perspective on the area, as Captain Bill has been studying the Everglades since he was a boy.

Reason #3: Watching the Sun Set on the Everglades

While you’re keeping your eyes peeled for creatures that come out to dine at dusk, don’t forget to take in the scenery around you as the sun touches ground. Sunset is the most beautiful time of day to be out on the water. In a heart-stopping moment you’ll spot nighttime dwellers feeding right near your boat! But nothing compares to the orange-filled sky reflecting on the water and the silhouette of the glades at twilight.

If you still aren’t convinced after this, just take a drive by the Everglades at dusk and see exactly what you’re missing! Though you won’t get the full experience of a sunset airboat tour, it will be enough to make you want to explore much more. Call USCG certified captain, Bill Ferris today at 954-260-1096 to book your sunset tour. Be sure to ask about our day tours and bow fishing tours as well!

Best Way to See the Everglades Near Fort Lauderdale

Best Way to See the Everglades Near Fort Lauderdale

It’s no secret that Florida is one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the United States. However, with tourists flocking to Disney World, Epcot, or one of the many crowded and commercialized beaches, you may want to retreat to the quietness of the nearby Everglades. Fortunately for you, it is home to some of the most fragile, nearly-undisturbed areas for you to develop a deep appreciation for these natural habitats.

Florida Everglades Tourism

Whether you live near the Florida Everglades or are just visiting for a week or two, a visit is a must for a unique natural and educational experience. This is home to numerous species of wildlife, including endangered birds, fish, alligators and crocodiles, turtles, and even the rare Florida panther. In addition to incredible animals, the sawgrass in the Everglades hosts many different ecosystems including endangered plants.

The Best Way to View the Everglades is on an Airboat Ride

There are many ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Everglades. Though some areas can be enjoyed on foot, by bike, or by canoe or kayak, the shallow habitats home to some of the most incredible species are best explored on an airboat.

Airboat tours are great for many reasons. One of those reasons is the ability to share your intriguing ride with fellow voyagers. Since airboats are able to accommodate a small group of explorers, they are perfect for friends or family airboat tour adventures.

What is an Airboat?

Airboating is a popular ecotourism attraction in the Everglades. They are commonly used in shallow, marshy areas due to their flat bottoms and aircraft-like propeller. Traditional boats with a submerged propeller are unable to navigate these shallow areas.

Airboats are a safer way to maneuver through these fragile ecosystems because they hover on top of the water, posing less risk to the wildlife below. Their unique design also helps to keep passengers at a safe distance from unpredictable wildlife.

What to Expect on an Airboat Tour Through the Everglades

Many experienced tourists describe their airboat tour as thrilling, like an amusement ride through nature. Licensed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Captain Bill is a trained professional who knows the ins and outs of the area. He is committed to giving you the most educational and fun airboat rides possible.

Though not guaranteed, explorers are highly likely to see many different animal and wildlife species. You will definitely see new and intriguing sights, learn a lot of fun facts about the area, and have an unforgettable journey  with Captain Bill! Call Cypress Outdoor Adventures at 954-260-1096 today, or book one of our airboat rides online.

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.