National Park Service

South Florida/Caribbean I&M Network (SFCN)

American Alligator Monitoring

American Alligators in Everglades National Park
American Alligators in Everglades National Park.

Monitoring Reports

Protocol

Parks and partners are monitoring alligators. SFCN is not developing a protocol but will link to reports and summaries.

Links

Alligator Photos & Videos by Park

Importance/Issues

The American Alligator is considered an ecosystem engineer in the Greater Everglades due to its role in maintaining alligator holes (aquatic refuge for a variety of wildlife in the dry season). Additionally, it is a top predator and can influence many other species. Alligators have been monitored as a keystone species in the Everglades over the last 20 years. Scientists have linked alligator population dynamics to resource management activities, especially to water management.

Monitoring Objectives

  • What are the status and trends in the relative distribution, abundance, body condition, alligator hole occupancy, nesting level, and demographic structure of alligators in various habitats in relation to water levels in EVER and BICY?
  • How do these variables change during CERP/MOD Waters Everglades's restoration implementation?

Status and Trends

Status and trends for this vital sign are reported as part of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force 2010 System-wide Ecological Indicators for Everglades Restoration (See page 24–25 in this report) and the RECOVER: 2009 System Status Report.

Approach

At EVER and BICY alligators are being monitored as a CERP RECOVER Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) project. This project uses a variety of sampling methodologies including: nightlight surveys to estimate densities, capture-recapture sampling for body condition and survivorship, nest survey for fecundity, and hole occupancy. Everglades National Park also conducts nest monitoring. SFCN will link to the summaries and reports of these existing programs.

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Last Updated: March 27, 2017 Contact Webmaster