The introduction of exotic animals and plants into South Florida began in the late 1800’s and has escalated ever since. These newcomers were originally introduced as pets, food sources, ornamentals, or as biological controls. Because these species have few limiting factors in their new home, their numbers often become unmanageable. Exotic species often displace native flora and fauna by competing with them for space and food. Most exotics are extremely difficult to eradicate.
Many non-native animals have also been detrimental to the natural habitat of South Florida. In misguided acts of mercy, citizens have turned loose their no longer wanted pets in what they consider a “good home.” Parakeets, parrots, and other unwelcome animals have been observed in Everglades National Park.
Please click here to learn more about the threat that the release of non-native pet species into Everglades National Park poses to the natural habitat of South Florida.