Status, Distribution, and Habitat Relations of the American Crocodile in Florida
In South Florida we have the unique opportunity to integrate endangered species conservation with ecosystem restoration and management. American crocodiles thrive in healthy estuarine environments and in particular are dependent on freshwater deliveries. In this regard crocodiles can be used to evaluate restoration alternative and set success criteria for Florida and Biscayne Bays. Crocodiles can also be used as an indicator of negative impacts of freshwater diversion due to coastal development in Dade, Collier and Lee Counties. Perhaps even more importantly, we have an opportunity to reevaluate the status of the American crocodile and spotlight the success of an endangered species recovery effort. Continued research and monitoring will be an essential component of this effort. Objectives of this project are to determine relative abundance, distribution, habitat relations, nesting growth and survival of crocodiles in Florida, especially Everglades National Park, Florida Bay, Biscayne National Park, and Biscayne Bay.