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The American crocodile in Biscayne Bay, Florida

December 22, 2011

Intensive crocodile monitoring programs conducted during the late 1970s and early 1980s in southern Florida resulted in an optimistic outlook for recovery of the protected species population. However, some areas with suitable crocodile habitat were not investigated, such as Biscayne Bay and the mainland shorelines of Barnes and Card Sounds. The objective of our study was to determine status and habitat use of crocodiles in the aforementioned areas. Spotlight and nesting surveys were conducted from September 1996 to December 2005. The results revealed annual increases in the number of crocodiles. Crocodiles preferred protected habitats such as canals and ponds. Fewer crocodiles were observed in higher salinity water. The distribution and abundance of crocodilians in estuaries is directly dependent on timing, amount, and location of freshwater delivery, providing an opportunity to integrate habitat enhancement with ongoing ecosystem restoration and management activities.

Publication Year 2011
Title The American crocodile in Biscayne Bay, Florida
DOI 10.1007/s12237-011-9378-6
Authors Michael S. Cherkiss, Stephanie S. Romañach, Frank J. Mazzotti
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Estuaries and Coasts
Index ID 70003938
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southeast Ecological Science Center