Natural Communities

The Withlacoochee River watershed is comprised of a variety of natural communities, which form an extensive and diverse ecosystem. As the river begins in the Green Swamp, there are river floodplain forests, cypress domes, pine flatwoods and sandhills. The middle watershed contains extensive lake systems and marshes. Salt marsh is found as the river empties into the Withlacoochee Bay near Yankeetown. The watershed’s diverse ecosystem supports nearly 500 species of vertebrates.

Gopher Tortoise


Throughout the watershed, you’ll find a large number of species such as a gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snake or Florida black bear. Many are common species, some are unique and a few are even threatened and endangered.

Discover the Florida Black Bear


The habitats provided by the Withlacoochee River watershed are critical for maintaining several species of birds such as the Bald Eagle, Swallow-tailed Kite, Red-shouldered Hawk and the threatened Florida scrub-jay populations.

Florida Scrub-Jay