Feb 122012
 


The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) almost became extinct 30 years ago. Under constant pressure from market hunters who sold both the meat and hides, and a significant loss of habitatdue toagricultural and residential development, the alligator was listed as an endangered species in 1967. With the Endangered Species Act of 1973 all hunting of this large reptile ceased, although at the time many biologists feared that there wasn’t a viable population for species recovery.

Amazingly, these large reptiles now inhabit 9 states in the U.S., with an estimated population of over 3 million in Florida and Louisiana alone.

Steven Scott

Steven Scott

Steven Scott is a photonaturalist blogger based in Florida and Maine. He has surveyed butterflies with Earthwatch Institute in the mountains of Vietnam, tagged juvenile snook with Mote Marine Laboratory in the mangroves of Florida and filmed a BioBlitz insect survey in Acadia National Park. A registered nurse and retired Army officer, Steven believes man is an integral part of nature and travels annually to Vietnam with humanitarian medical teams from Vets With a Mission.

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Supertrooper

Steven, very informative article and great photo. This is one species, where you really have to “watch your step” – amazing how the species has “bounced-back” after enforcement of the Endangered Species Act – a real success story for wildlife conservationists.

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