The stamp pane featuring a southern Florida wetland is the eighth in an educational series designed to promote appreciation of major plant and animal communities in the United States.
The subtropical wetlands of southern Florida are remnants of a great wilderness that stretched, unbroken, for hundreds of miles until about a century ago. They still include some of the most extensive saw grass marshes and mangrove swamps in the world -- wetlands that support a remarkable number of species.
The previous issuances in the Nature of America series were Sonoran Desert (1999), Pacific Coast Rain Forest (2000), Great Plains Prairie (2001), Longleaf Pine Forest (2002), Arctic Tundra (2003), Pacific Coral Reef (2004), and Northeast Deciduous Forest (2005).
Much of southern Florida's natural wealth is protected in Everglades National Park, a 1.5-million-acre preserve noted for its vast marshes and mangrove swamps. The park's wetlands are home to hundreds of bird species and such rare creatures as the Florida Panther and Everglades Mink. Its wetlands are also havens for the elusive American crocodile and the more common American Alligator - such as the youngster eyeing the Roseate Spoonbill at the center of the scene.