Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness &the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River. It has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance. The Everglades are a network of wetlands and forests fed by a river flowing .25 miles (0.40 km) per day out of Lake Okeechobee, southwest into Florida Bay. The Park is the most significant breeding ground for tropical wading birds in North America, contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere, is home to 36 threatened or protected species including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee, and supports 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles.The majority of South Florida's fresh water, which is stored in the Biscayne Aquifer, is recharged in the park.
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