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Seasonal Activity Ranges and Habitat Preferences of Adult Alligators in a North-Central Florida Lake

Thomas M. Goodwin and Wayne R. Marion
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 13, No. 2 (Apr. 30, 1979), pp. 157-163
DOI: 10.2307/1563922
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1563922
Page Count: 7
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Seasonal Activity Ranges and Habitat Preferences of Adult Alligators in a North-Central Florida Lake
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Abstract

Seasonal movements and habitat preferences of adult alligators were studied in a north-central Florida lake from September 1976 until September 1977. Nine alligators (5 females, 4 males) were outfitted with radio transmitters and monitored on Newnan's Lake, Alachua County, Florida. Study animals were located 627 times via telemetric signals and visual observations. Female alligators were more sedentary than males during all four seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall). Greatest movements and largest seasonal ranges for both sexes occurred during the spring. Females showed no evident preference for either lake or swamp habitat during the spring, while males preferred the open lake. Reduction in activity ranges was noted during the summer for both sexes. Males preferred the open lake during the summer while females restricted themselves to the surrounding swamps. Preference for the swamp during the summer by females was believed to be due primarily to nest construction, egg laying, and attendance at nest sites.

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