Alligators move in the Everglades

450px-American_AlligatorSatellite-tracking devices can be placed on alligators too. We strapped the devices to the backs of five adult American alligators in the Everglades to see where they went and whether satellite-tracking was useful for the species.

The devices were indeed useful: we found that the alligators all consistently used estuary habitat but showed individual variations in their movements. Basically, some liked to spend time in higher salinity water (closer to the Gulf of Mexico waters) and others didn’t. Alligators primarily stay in fresh or low-salinity water, but will sometimes travel to higher-salinity water to feed.

Water in the Everglades is highly managed so the more known about how alligators move around, the better managers can plan resource use and conservation efforts.

Read the article here.

Fujiskai I, KM Hart, FJ Mazzotti, MS Cherkiss, AR Sartain, BM Jeffery, JS Beauchamp, and M Denton. 2014. Home range and movements of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in an estuary habitat. Animal Biotelemetry: 2:8.

Photo from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_Alligator.jpg

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