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Resources of Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics
Hontoon owl

Reproduction of owl totem found near Hontoon Island State Park in the St. Johns River

  • Archaeological Resources

    The Wekiva and St. Johns River basins provided abundant natural resources for pre-European communities. Native American artifacts from several archaeological periods have been discovered in significant numbers at many sites within the Wekiva and St. Johns basins. Remains of now extinct animals, like giant sloths and mastodons, have also been found at various locations in the preserve.
Wooded shoreline of Wekiva River

The Wekiva River

  • Natural Communities

    Extensive areas of floodplain wetlands, including marsh, swamp, blackwater streams and spring-fed runs, make up the aquatic preserve. Forests of mixed hardwoods - tupelo, red maple, water ash, bald cypress and hickory - line the river banks. Laurel oak, sweet gum, wax myrtle, buttonbush and swamp dogwood share the floodplain. Eelgrass is the dominant submerged vegetation, and spatterdock, pennywort and pickerel weed dot the water's surface.
Baby alligators

Baby alligators


  • Wildlife

    The wetlands, as well as the uplands, of the aquatic preserve provide rich habitat for central Florida's diverse wildlife population. From micro- and macro- invertebrates, to amphibians, reptiles and mammals, the Wekiva and St. Johns rivers support an extensive list of native species, including those designated as endangered, threatened, rare or of special concern. The natural communities of the aquatic preserve provide food, water, shelter, and breeding sites to support healthy populations of wildlife - fish, turtles, alligators, wading birds, manatees and black bear - to name but a few.


Last updated: March 18, 2011

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