The female will build a nest in the vegetation in or around the water and lay a clutch of 20-50 eggs. Today, the state’s alligator population is estimated at 1.3 million alligators and has been stable for many years. Florida's alligator population had once dwindled to the point that the reptile was placed on the federal list of endangered species. Mating season is mid-April through May and alligators have a heightened aggression during this time. Crocodiles favor saltwater areas while alligators prefer freshwater and brackish water habitats. They have since rebounded to perhaps a million or more across the entire state, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson said local populations of breeding tegus are known to exist in three Florida counties: Charlotte, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough. It is used to show dominance, territorialism, and to attract mates. The state’s population is expected to increase from 20.98 million to 21.3 million in 2019. The Everglades Alligator Farm is a great stop for travelers heading to the Florida Keys who want to take an airboat ride and see a wildlife show. We are open! The largest populations occurred in the broad marl prairies to the east and west of the southern ridge and slough and to the mangrove estuaries inhabited by crocodiles. Catching a glimpse of an alligator, especially near one of Central Florida's lakes, is not a surprise. FWC issues permits as a method to help manage the alligator population. Hundreds of alligators were removed from Palm Beach County in 2016 either after nuisance calls from residents or through the annual permitted harvest. Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water. The state of Florida presently has over 20 million people and over one million alligators. See what we are doing to ensure a safe guest experience. When fed, alligators can overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food. When the reach a certain size or the age of 3, whichever comes first, they are returned to the farm and switched for younger alligators. The small gators eat fish, frogs and other small animals but are typically not large enough to pose a threat, even to small pets. According to the Everglades National Park, the largest alligator ever recorded measured 17 feet, 5 inches. They live in freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes. The American alligator was abundant in the pre-drainage Everglades in south Florida. Identification: Alligator mississippiensis is a robust crocodilian with a total length of 1.8-5 m (6-16.5 ft), and a record length of 5.84 m (19 ft 2 in) (Conant and Collins, 1998). "They can create problems for people or other alligators along the way. Orlando Wetlands Park, Central Florida Eco-biking, Hiking. Director Emeritus of Columbia Zoo/Aquarium. University of North Florida researchers recently published results from a year-long survey of Jacksonville’s urban alligator population. View our ADA Accessibility Policy. For more information on living with alligators, click here. To avoid that problem, the alligators would need to be relocated to remote areas where they wouldn't encounter people, according to FWC. If the alligator is big enough it will eat larger prey such as deer, bear, razorbacks, or other alligators. Burmese pythons have been know to prey on alligators in the area. Florida Black Bear Map American Alligator Alligators Transparent PNG. There are an estimated five million American alligators in the southeastern U.S. with a quarter of the alligator population in Florida. And there's plenty of activity documented in Polk County. Alligator mississippiensis – Florida Vertebrate Fossils. By using our site, you agree to our, American alligators were once considered almost extinct, By the 1950s, endless hunting had almost wiped out the population, By the 1980s, the population managed to recover; gators were removed from the endangered species list, Although confrontations occur, attacks on humans by alligators are still considered rare, Homes and communities now lie on edges of alligator habitats or have water that alligators seek, Alligators are often drawn to storm water ponds of all sorts, Regardless of whether it’s natural or man-made, if there’s a body of water in Florida, there could be an alligator in it, Alligators have a preference for fresh water and sometimes brackish water, Statistical data suggests that the probability of being killed by an alligator is low, Since the early 1970s, there have been 23 fatalities and under 400 unprovoked bites by alligators in Florida, Mating season for alligators is late April through early June, Females build their nest and lay on average 20-45 eggs in June/July, Eggs traditionally hatch from the middle of August through the beginning of September, Egg, hatchling and nest survival is often stunted by predators (like raccoons) and flooding, Alligators rely on external heat sources in order to regulate their body temperature (which is why they can often be found lying in the sun or on a hot surface), 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit is the range of temperature when gators are most active, Limited feeding takes place during temperatures less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, The hibernation or dormant period for gators is often when the temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, Alligator classification: reptiles (direct ancestors: dinosaurs), An alligator’s heart has four chambers (most reptiles have 3), The American alligator is known as the largest reptile in North America, Alligators are the official state reptile of Florida, The alligator is the mascot of the University of Florida, Alligators can go six months a year without eating, Alligators migrate far distances (they walk on roads, crawl through pipes, slug through swamplands), It is difficult to keep alligators contained to one space, Alligators mostly ignore humans and are often unsettled/frightened by them, If hungry, and humans are in the water, alligators may go for the ankles of that nearby human (regardless of age, weight or size), An alligator is able to outrun all human creatures within the first 20-30 feet of exiting the water – making it very difficult for humans to outrun alligators, It is difficult to spot an alligator in the water or on land if it’s in a secluded area, Alligators watch from above the water but they listen and feel vibrations of prey from below the water, Alligators are known to lie on tar roads due to the hot surface, Alligators are prevalent all over Florida, If bit by an alligator, make a lot of noise, use force, poke eyes, Alligator diet includes prey that is easy to find and available often, Adult alligators eat snakes, turtles, smaller mammals, small birds, large/rough fish, Young alligators eat mostly insects, smaller fish, other amphibian creatures/invertebrates, Alligators have been known to eat other alligators and dead animals, Female alligators typically remain under 10 feet long, Male alligators can be much larger than females and over 10 feet in length, If taking a photo or looking at an alligator, remain at least 50 feet away in distance, Do not swim in areas where it’s a known alligator community, Never touch or go near an alligator on a road even if it looks dead, Stay away from water at night and definitely stay away during the breeding season, If you’re in fresh or stagnant water (natural or man-made) in Florida, know that alligators could be anywhere. 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