With more than 4,000 identified animal species, Florida ranks as the seventh-most biodiverse state in the nation. Florida is also in the top five states for number of endemic species, meaning they’re found nowhere but Florida. This vast species diversity stems from the variety of ecosystems and habitats that span our state.
Florida wildlife is one of the top reasons people come to our state, with wildlife viewing providing an annual economic impact of $4.9 million and almost 45,000 jobs, per a state study. In Sarasota County, we are known for birding hotspots—like Celery Fields, with its 246 identified bird species—and the various County parks and preserves that provide habitat for listed species like gopher tortoises and Florida scrub-jays, as well as many others.
Wild Sarasota series
Our Wild Sarasota series provides information about a variety of wildlife species and related topics. Click on an image or animal name in the photo grid (below) to open that item with a list of on-demand webinars, blogs, and information for that animal (or, show all items). Learn about the natural history, identification, characteristics or adaptations and conservation status of these animals, and how you can help wildlife. We hope you find this information helpful as you continue to enjoy Florida’s wildlife!
- Get Involved!: Florida’s Jay Watch
- Archbold Biological Station’s Aviation Ecology Program
Other Wading Birds
Wild cats (panthers, bobcats)
- UF/IFAS: Ask IFAS – Wildlife A to Z
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – Species Profiles
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - Wildlife Conservation in Florida (endangered and threatened species)
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology – All About Birds
- Audubon Florida
- Florida Museum - Florida’s Reptiles and Amphibians
- UF Wildlife – Johnson Lab