With its colorful coral reefs, excellent birding, and tropical temperatures, Florida remains a popular vacation spot for the ecologically minded. In this concisely detailed volume you'll become acquainted with the state's geologic origins, natural history, and diverse habitats (salt marshes, mangrove swamps, prairies, and woodlands). A field guide assists in the identification of some of the region's wildflowers, trees, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, mammals, and birds, including the elusive manatee, three species of dolphin, and the rare snail kite. An extensive sampling of the area's best parks, preserves, beaches, forests, islands, and wildlife sanctuaries, with thorough descriptions and visitor information on 50 destinations, is also included. For instance, the section on Everglades National Park includes information on wildlife viewing possibilities, driving directions, and popular touring attractions inside the park (such as Shark Valley, where a 15-mile loop via foot, rental bike, or tram affords close views of alligators, anhingas, and wading birds). Lesser-known areas such as Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and Withlacoochee State Forest are also featured. More than 1,300 color photographs heighten the quality of this handy compilation.