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Selected Aspects of the Nesting Ecology of American Alligators in the Okefenokee Swamp

R. Howard Hunt and Jacqueline J. Ogden
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 25, No. 4 (Dec., 1991), pp. 448-453
DOI: 10.2307/1564768
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1564768
Page Count: 6
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Selected Aspects of the Nesting Ecology of American Alligators in the Okefenokee Swamp
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Abstract

In five study areas in the Okefenokes Swamp, Georgia, 129 nests of alligators were located during 13 nesting seasons. The total predation rate on these nests was 69%; the predation rate of 93% in one study area is the highest ever reported for an alligator population. Predation on nests was significantly higher during nesting periods with low water levels. The nest defense strategies of alligators were investigated using log-linear analysis; nests guarded from humans had a significantly lower predation rate than either attended or unattended nests. Surveillance cameras monitored turtles, Pseudemys nelsoni, using alligator nests as oviposition sites. These cameras also identified bears, Ursus americanus, as the primary predator of alligator eggs.

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