Everglades

Florida is marking a milestone in its attempt to control an infestation of Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

 

Two people are hospitalized after the small plane they were riding crashed into the pitch-black Everglades late Thursday night.

The plane went down west of Okeechobee Road and Krome Avenue around 11:30 p.m.

Fire rescue crews from Miami-Dade and Broward had to be lowered to the wreckage by helicopter to the scene as the crash, which split the plane in two, happened miles from the roadway.

For the Miccosukee tribe, the Everglades has been home for about 200 years: ever since ancestors of today's tribe members were forced south from Alabama and Georgia.

Soldiers and settlers pushed tribe members into the swamp, where they built villages and grew crops on tree islands, and hunted and fished in canoes.

The Everglades kept the Miccosukees safe. Now, every fall and every spring, the tribe dedicates an entire week to checking on the Everglades' health.

Wood storks, roseate spoonbills, ibises and egrets are among the many birds that fly, paddle and wade through the Everglades.

They draw visitors, particularly photographers, to the ecosystem. But the Everglades' birds are important for another reason: The health of wading bird communities says a lot about progress on Everglades restoration.

George, a great white shark that was nearly 10 feet long and weighed more than 700 pounds when he was tagged a year ago off Nantucket, has paid a visit to Everglades National Park.

At about 5 p.m. Sunday, a satellite tracker picked up the shark when he surfaced off Highland Beach, a remote campsite in the park’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness Trail on the southwest coast. It’s the second time the shark has been located close to shore. While tracking can be imprecise, a third inshore ping could provide insight into whether George is becoming a regular Florida tourist.

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