Compilation of Alligator Data Sets in South Florida for Restoration Needs
Alligators have been identified as a key component of the Everglades ecosystem. Long-term changes in alligator numbers, nesting effort, growth, condition, and survival can be used as indicators of the health of the Everglades marsh system. Due to their sensitivity to hydrologic conditions, an alligator population model is underway in the Across Trophic Level Stimulation System (ATLSS) program to evaluate restoration alternatives. Evaluating long-term trends and developing population models requires a large amount of data collected over a number of years and a number of locations.
This study provides data required for an ecological study tool and population model of alligators deemed critical in the Federal Objective for the South Florida Restoration by The Science Sub Group of the South Florida Management and Coordination Working Group. The study allows estimation of the parameters necessary for an ATLSS American alligator production index and an ATLSS alligator population model for comparison of Everglades restoration alternatives during implementation. This project provides data sets that help establish restoration targets for alligator populations, develop models, and design short and long-term monitoring tools for evaluating restoration success.