Big Cypress Swamp

The Big Cypress Swamp is a flat swampy land of about 3,120 sq. kilometers west of the Everglades. It differs from the Everglades in its relatively higher land elevations, its thinner soils of marl and sand, and its forest vegetation. The swamp is characterized by an abundance of small and stunted cypress trees, and by cypress trees of moderate size associated with depressions in the bedrock. Pine and hammock forests occur on land slightly higher than cypress forestland. Natural drainage in the swamp is by slow, overland flow to the south. Well-defined streams do not exist except along the southwest coast where the Swamp merges with the estuarine mangrove forests. Fifty-six percent of the surface water that flows into Everglades National Park comes from Big Cypress and the Swamp also contributes a substantial amount of water to Water Conservation Area 3.

View of the inside of a hammock during flooding in Big Cypress. Much of the Big Cypress Swamp is inundated with water for over 300 days a year.

Aerial photo of typical terrain in the Big Cypress, consisting of isolated forest and hammocks speckled throughout broad fields and shallow marshes.

The Big Cypress Swamp is home to much of the same wildlife that inhabits Everglades National Park, including this osprey.

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