American alligator study.




Smith, J.C.

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Texas Game and Fish Commission, Marine Laboratory.


Three research approaches were made during 1974 and 1975 to gain information about Texas alligator population dynamics: estimates from field researchers, night count surveys, and alligator nest counts. Analysis of 402 field personnel responses to questions about alligator numbers, population trend, and habitat showed total estimates in 1974 of 36,558 alligators in 97 counties with 7,678 square miles of alligator habitat. Twenty alligator night-count survey lines were run in 1974 and 31 in 1975. Analysis of night count survey results show and increase of 11.5% in alligator numbers for comparable lines in 1975. Accordingly, the statewide estimate of alligator numbers is adjusted for 40,672 alligators for 1975, Alligator nests at the J.D. Murphee Wildlife Management Area in Jefferson County were counted in 1974 and 1975 with totals of 61 and 65 nests being recorded. When coupled with 1973 data, results indicate a stable breeding population at high population density levels in the county showing greatest estimated numbers of alligators, Jefferson County.


24 p.


alligators, ecological distribution, abundance, population dynamics, habitat