Areas with the highest removal numbers are in and around central Florida. Tampa topped the list in with nuisance gators but was topped last year by Sarasota, which tallied State alligator trapper Robb Upthegrove measures a nuisance alligator captured in Tampa, Fla. Fox News. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora CITES is an agreement between countries to adhere to guidelines concerning international trade of certain wild animals and plants so as to not threaten their survival.
Each year biologists also use these instruments, as well as many others, to set alligator harvest and alligator egg collection quotas statewide. The American alligator is the largest reptile in North America. The first reptiles appeared million years ago; ancestors of the American alligator appeared million years ago. Reptiles are cold-blooded animals, which means that their body temperature is regulated by the temperature of the environment around them. This is why alligators are seen basking in the sun, trying to regulate their body temperature. Because alligators are cold-blooded, their body rates are slowed down and they feed less frequently in winter months.
Alligators are about 8" - 12" in length when they are hatched from eggs. Growth rates may vary from 2" per year up to 12" per year, depending on the type of habitat in which the alligator is living and the sex, size and age of the alligator. Growth rates slow down as alligators become older. Male alligators will grow faster and larger than females. Alligators range from central Texas eastward to North Carolina. Louisiana has the highest alligator population, currently approaching 2 million. Although alligators can be found in ponds, lakes, canals, bayous, rivers and swamps, in Louisiana the highest populations occur in coastal marshes.
Of the almost 4. Mature male, non-breeding female and sub-adult alligators tend to stay in deep water habitats.
Alligators mate during the spring. After mating, females select nesting sites, usually near isolated ponds in interior marsh habitats. These areas usually have dense vegetation adjacent to the isolated ponds which will be used for nest construction. Female alligators generally build their nests by pulling vegetation together forming a mound.
This mound nest will be 2' - 4' high and 4' - 8' in diameter. The female alligator makes a cavity by opening the nest and lays eggs averaging 35 eggs. After all the eggs have been laid, the female covers the cavity containing the eggs with vegetation from the nest. The nest vegetation maintains suitable temperatures and humidity which incubates the eggs. The female will remain near the nest during incubation and must open the nest to help the young alligators hatchlings exit the nest.
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Approximately 65 days after the eggs have been laid, the young will begin hatching and calling. Upon hearing the calls of the young, the female alligator will help them exit the nest by opening the top of the nest. The young may stay near the nest site for a couple of years. As spring arrives, alligators emerge from winter dormancy and the annual processes mating, nesting, winter dormancy, etc.
Young alligator diets consist of small animals such as insects, crawfish, small fish, frogs, etc.
As alligators grow large enough their diet changes to include larger animals such as rats, crabs, larger fish and frogs, small birds, etc. When alligators mature their diet changes to include even larger animals such as muskrats, nutria, beaver, raccoons, large birds and fish, snakes, turtles, deer, etc.
Much effort and time is needed in preparation for the wild alligator season in Louisiana. Preparation begins in June when the annual aerial alligator nest survey is conducted. The survey consists of sampling almost , acres coast wide and takes approximately 9 days to complete. Data obtained during the survey is used to calculate nest densities for over 50 management units statewide.
Alligator attacks rare in Florida, but nuisance gator numbers on rise
Management units are classified by habitat type fresh, intermediate and brackish marshes, swamps, lakes, etc. Other important data collected during the survey is habitat conditions. Each year following alligator nest surveys, La.
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No, the nuisance alligators are killed. FWC says this is because relocated alligators often try to return to their capture site. If an alligator successfully returns, capturing it again would be necessary and likely more difficult the second time," FWC says.
enter To avoid that problem, the alligators would need to be relocated to remote areas where they wouldn't encounter people, according to FWC. Those remote areas already have healthy alligator populations with established social structures. FWC says the introduction of a new alligator would likely cause fighting, and possibly result in the death of a resident alligator or the introduced alligator.
According to FWC, the odds of being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is about one in 3. In , statistics show 9 people were bitten by alligators. Of those, 8 were considered major and one was fatal.
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However unlikely serious injury may be, you should still take steps and precautions to avoid coming into contact with alligators. If you come across an alligator you believe poses a threat, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at For more information on living with alligators, click here.