Animals and Plants in Miami

Thanks to the year-round nice and warm weather, the native animals and plants in Miami area grow and flourish, resulting in some of the most beautiful gardens. Well before Florida was recognized for its theme parks, people would come and stay in Miami Beach lodging to witness the magnificent animals and plants in Miami area. Florida’s vegetation is varied; there are up to 7 floral zones.

- Flatwoods: open forests with an abundance of flowers (up to 60 species of orchid).

- Scrublands: mostly small sand pines.

- Savannas: American lotus, water hyacinth and water lettuce.

- Grassy swamps: The Everglades

- Salt marshes: Mangroves

- Hardwood forest or Hammock: Trees growing on wet soil and in marshlands.

- Pinelands

Florida’s fauna

There are also some native species, specific to Florida and the Florida Keys. Some of these species are endangered and, therefore, protected. The mockingbird, one of the native birds, was named the state bird in 1927. The alligator is maybe one of South Florida's most iconic native species. The most known and common fauna found in Florida include:

Alligators and crocodiles
These are probably some of the most iconic animals in this region. They look alike and are often confused. South Florida is the only place on earth where crocodiles and alligators cohabitate. They are, however, two distinct reptiles.
- The American Crocodile is only found in South Florida (Everglades National Park, Key Biscayne and the Florida Keys).
- The American Alligator is found all over Florida and the southern states of the US.

Manatees, also called sea cow
These are large herbivorous marine mammals. Their average length is around 9.8 ft and can weigh 800 to 1,200 lbs. They are found in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The mermaid folklore is supposedly linked to the manatee.

Florida panther
This is a critically endangered relative of the cougar found in the low tides, palm forests and swamps of South Florida. The number of living Florida panthers is estimated to be between 80 and 100. It represents 5% of its historic range. In 1982, it was named Florida’s state animal.

The Florida Black Bear
This species lives mostly in forested areas and have therefore seen recent habitat destruction. It is a threatened species. The main cause of death is road accidents (which account for 89% of deaths since 1994). They are mainly solitary creatures. Those living in South Florida are the only subspecies to live in a sub-tropical region.

The Bottlenose dolphin
This is probably the most iconic Florida animal of all. Dolphins are very intelligent and friendly sea mammals. If you have always dreamed of swimming with dolphins, there are plenty of possibilities in Miami for you to do so.

The Killer whale, also called the Orca
These are found in the waters of Florida as well as in the numerous amusement parks. Despite their scary name, they aren’t a threatening species. The social and vocal behaviors of Orcas have been described as being a manifestation of culture.

If you are visiting Miami to see the animals and plants in Miami area, rent Miami Beach lodging. Miami Beach lodging rentals are the most affordable and convenient lodging option around.