Big Cypress National Preserve is located in southwest Florida in some of the most rugged terrain in the state. The preserve encompasses approximately 729,000 acres of a freshwater swamp ecosystem, offering refuge to a wide variety of plants and animals.
Plants and animals in the Preserve are protected from unauthorized collection. Big Cypress National Preserve was created in 1974, to protect the water quality, natural resources, and ecological integrity of the Big Cypress Swamp.
Big Cypress National Preserve is home to many mammals, birds, and reptiles unique to Florida’s climate. It is easy to view and appreciate Florida’s largest reptile, the American alligator, living here in its natural environment. Anhingas, egrets, and herons are found in plentiful numbers feeding, displaying courtship feathers, and nesting in and among the cypress trees. Occasionally, one can witness river otter, bobcats, black bear, and the endangered Florida panther on the Preserve’s back roads and trails.