Everglades’ Alligator Numbers Drop after Dry Years

Natural History Wanderings

News Release USGS

Everglades’ Alligator Numbers Drop after Dry Years

Alligators and the Everglades go hand-in-hand, and as water conditions change in the greater Everglades ecosystem, gators are one of the key species that could be affected.

A recent study conducted by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Florida found the number of American alligators observed in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge dropped following dry years, and then appeared to recover in later non-dry years. The decrease in alligators appeared proportional to the intensity of the dry event. The refuge is located west of Boynton Beach, within the greater Everglades ecosystem.

“Alligator behavior and habitat use is linked to hydrology, and when that hydrology changes, alligator behavior and habitat can change,” said USGS research ecologist Hardin Waddle, lead author of the study. “They don’t need it wet all…

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