A diverse parade of animals has probably traipsed past you at the park, on the road, and at state wildlife refuges. But would you be able to identify every creature in that wildlife line-up?

Award-winning photographer Larry Allan wrote Florida Animals for Everyday Naturalists to help Floridians identify and protect the species of mammals, birds and reptiles surrounding our homes.

We’re proud to announce the publication of his book and invite you to learn more about his love for Florida fauna in our Q&A below.

“I believe we simply co-inhabit the Earth with all species.”


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Tell us what sparked your interest in animals.

Family pets. It all started with a stray dog my brother brought home. He explained, “He followed me.” More dogs and cats came into our home throughout the years. I blended an interest in photography with my interest in animals to create a career in animal photography, now exclusively wildlife photography.

Do you have a personal favorite Florida animal?

Actually, I have two favorites: Florida panthers and bald eagles. However, I love to watch and photograph all Florida animals, including those species that many people call, “pests.”

Where are your favorite places to go in Florida to observe wildlife?

One of the wonderful things about Florida is that you can see wildlife in your own backyard. There are also many great places to observe wildlife throughout Florida. I highly recommend Everglades National Park, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, and Myakka River State Park.

When you head out to take photographs, beyond your camera, what’s in your toolkit?

Water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. After all, this is Florida.

What do you think about the Florida Wildlife Corridor project of Carlton Ward Jr. and other environmentalists to “protect and restore connected landscapes throughout the Florida Peninsula to create a viable corridor from the Everglades to Georgia”?

This idea seems so logical that I would expect the corridor to already exist.

What are you hoping readers will do after reading your book?

I hope my readers will care about the continued existence of wild animals in their natural habitats throughout Florida. I believe we simply co-inhabit the Earth with all species. Let’s learn to share.

Do you have one sentence of advice for budding naturalists?

Follow your passion.

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