The Everglades National Park in Florida is visited on average by 1 million people each year! The park protects the southern 20% of the original Everglades. The Everglades National Park also protects a fragile ecosystem within which is encased a network of wetlands and forests fed by a river flowing out of Lake Okeechobee and southwest into Florida Bay. It's also the breeding ground for tropical wading birds and home to 36 threatened or protected species that include the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee. The park is home to hundreds of bird species, fresh and saltwater fish, and reptiles. And, lastly, the park contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere. Established in 1934, the park was dedicated to protect the quickly vanishing Everglades.