Learn about some of the amazing organisms that call Collier County home. From secretive snails to adorable alligators, these fascinating animals are all perfectly adapted to life in Southwest Florida.
Click below to gain access to educational videos and art projects!
Explore the world of Southwest Florida's amazing animals with Conservancy Educational Videos and activities. From slimy snails to slithering snakes, these cool critters will help you understand what it takes to survive in Southwest Florida's diverse ecosystems.
Virtual Nature Center Field Trip
Take a guided Nature Center tour with Nerissa as she explores the Dalton Discovery Center! Learn about Southwest Florida ecosystems and the creatures that call it home.
Touch Tank Adaptations
Southwest Florida's coastal habitats are populated by some truly amazing animals. Join Tonya on a Conservancy Touch Tank tour about the adaptations that help these organisms survive in their aquatic environment, and then complete this interactive lesson!
Whoever said that crabs were not cute never met a hermit crab! Southwest Florida is home to some adorable and fascinating marine hermit crabs. Join us as we observe and discuss one of the hermit crabs that lives in the Conservancy Touch Tank.
If you have ever found one of these shells on a Southwest Florida beach, you might have wondered about what once lived inside it. Learn all about this fascinating marine snail that slowly stalks the Southwest Florida coast for delicious oysters, clams, and scallops to eat.
Another of Southwest Florida's amazing marine snails, the fighting conch, is known for its beautiful shell. But there is much more to this snail than meets the eye! Join us as we explore the Conservancy Touch Tank and learn more about this cool conch.
Join Nerissa as she introduces you to Timon, one of the baby alligators at the Conservancy's Dalton Discovery Center. When you finish with the video, put your gator knowledge to the test with this short quiz!
Sea turtles aren't the only turtles that call Southwest Florida's coasts home. Join Conservancy Naturalist Nerissa and Muffin - one of our ambassador animals here at the Conservancy Nature Center - to learn about the rarely-seen diamondback terrapin. Click here for a cool terrapin activity after you watch!
Eastern Indigo Snake
The Threatened eastern indigo snake is North America's longest snake and also one of the most beautiful! Learn more cool facts about these special serpents as Conservancy Education intern Erin introduces you to our resident indigo snake, Bindi.
Learning can be a real HOOT when you watch a video OWL about our ambassador animal, Olive. Barred owls like Olive can be found in various wooded habitats in Southwest Florida, but you are more likely to hear these nocturnal predators than see them. Join Olive and explore the world of this riveting raptor.
Florida Box Turtle
The Florida box turtle is like a little ray of sunshine on our forest floors. However, the unique markings on these turtles' shells are not just for show. Find out what makes these terrestrial turtles perfectly adapted to their Southwest Florida habitats, and then click here for an educational box turtle activity!
Have you ever seen a large black bird near the water, sunning with its wings spread wide open? There is a good chance you just saw a double-crested cormorant, a Southwest Florida bird that is at home in the water as it is in the air. Join Tonya at the Conservancy Filter Marsh and learn about what makes this fish-loving bird unique!
Black mangrove trees have established themselves as a niche species, able to survive the harsh tidal conditions along coastlands and estuaries. And this water is salty! Salt prevents most plants from taking up necessary nutrients at the root, but black mangroves have found a way around this: they rid themselves of excess salt by excreting it through their leathery leaves.
And perhaps most unique to the black mangrove are its aerial roots, or pneumatophores. Stay tuned as we check out these unique adaptations!
Conservancy Naturalist Nerissa is back to teach you a little about spider crabs — also known as decorator crabs. They like to decorate themselves with shells, algae, and pieces of food for camouflage.
Did you know horseshoe crabs have ten eyes? These animals have been around for over 450 million years. They also lack hemoglobin, which means their blood is blue, and that blood is very important in the biomedical industry.
Watch the video below for more cool facts about horseshoe crabs!
Yellow Rat Snake
Yellow Rat Snakes are native to Florida. They eat a variety of rodents and live in multiple habitat types. You can see him at the Dalton Discovery Center when we re-open to the public!
Craft with a purpose! Join Conservancy of Southwest Florida intern Mandy as she teaches you how to make plantable paper. It's a great craft that you should be able to do with the items you have lying around the house.
Make some awesome art with these crafty Conservancy Educational Art projects. These activities are a blasts whether you're joining us from school or home and use primarily household and upcycled materials. Expand your science knowledge as you follow along with our instructions and get those creative juices flowing!
Plastic bags and jellyfish might look different to us, but sea turtles often confuse the two. Learn about how pollution threatens sea turtles as you create your own 3-D plastic jellyfish with this fun Conservancy Craft.