The SJBGNP doesn’t just have the largest number of palm species in Northern Florida, we also have a nature preserve! And since this preserve is near the Deep Creek Conservation Area, and features a riverine deciduous forest dominated by ash, maples and elms, there are a huge number of vertebrate species that either reside permanently or migrate through the preserve. Also, scores of bird species have been sighted, as well as a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians. Numerous fish have been seen in the creek and ponds here. However, it is the mammals that dominate this habitat, and a wide variety have been viewed in the garden and preserve.
Mammals observed (to date) at the St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve include:
Armadillo, Bats, Black Bears, Bobcats, Coyotes, Deer, Foxes (Gray and Red), Hogs (introduced), Mice (Cotton), Moles (Eastern), Opossums, Otters, Rabbits (Marsh), Raccoons, Squirrels (Fox and Gray), Shrews (Least and Short Tailed), and Striped Skunks!
Of course, due to the secretive or nocturnal behavior of many species, it is possible that one will not spy all, or any of these species in one visit. However, you can be sure that they will be watching you, as you pass over, under, or beside them in the nature preserve… Come check it out! How many mammals can you spot at the St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve?
Dr. John Rossi