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Limpkin

LIMP ad, stretching, Collier Canal, 2021-07-11, DSC_8421.JPGDSC_8519.JPG

The Limpkin is a large bird of wetland – especially swamp – habitats that can be found throughout Florida and only more recently and rarely in other southern states. It is a tropical species also found in Cuba and on other Caribbean Islands and well into tropical South America. The Limpkin is a food specialist – feeding primarily on large Apple Snails, but also taking clams and some insects. The Limpkin has been a game bird in Florida – but is now protected as a troubled species – troubled because of habitat losses and fragmentation of the suitable habitats that remain. Florida has only one native Apple Snail and its populations have also declined. Four additional Apple Snail species now occur in Florida and compete with the native species. All four are invasive exotics most likely introduced through the pet trade.