When William Bartram rode on horseback through the upper Florida peninsula in 1744, much of his journey was through longleaf pine forests. The landscape of the peninsula has changed since this exploratory journey, and many animal species native to the region have disappeared. No longer can you hear the howl of the red wolf and the red-cockaded
woodpecker is endangered. A number of other species, from the pine snake to the gopher tortoise, are threatened. Many of these animals depended on the rich forest ecosystem for sustenance. You still can encounter many animals on the Blackwater River, notably various bird species. A casual visitor might see on any given day red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons, red-shouldered hawks, red-tailed hawks, the great egret, the belted kingfisher, the little blue heron, reddish egret, snowy egret, tri-colored heron, American kestrel, Mississippi kite, osprey and the barred owl. Preserving the Blackwater River will ensure that
future generations can enjoy the beauty of nature.
Left: White Heron or egret, quite rare in this area
Right, top: Bald eagle
Right, middle: Racoon
Right, bottom: Cottonmouth moccasin