The wilds of the Big Cypress Swamp have yielded many interesting species, from ghost orchids to freshwater sponges. Just last week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced a surprising and unexpected find during their first-ever bat monitoring program at Picayune Strand State Forest, part of the Big Cypress ecosystem. – the bonneted bat. It tops the charts for Florida bats, with a wingspan of 19 to 21″.
Found only in South Florida, it’s one rare and big bat. “The find of the bonneted bat is significant because there are only a few hundred bonneted bats in existence,” said FWC biologist and project leader Kathleen Smith. “ Bats, like many other wildlife species, have lost a great deal of natural habitat to development.”
Learn more about this endemic Florida bat from Florida FWC
Take a hike (a wade, in summer) at Picayune Strand State Forest