American Alligators: Habitats, Behaviors, and Threats



Series: Animal Science, Issues and Research
BISAC: SCI070010

The American alligator is an icon of conservation and biological science in the United States. This species has arguably one of the most volatile, yet rich histories in terms of conservation, wildlife management, and scientific research. Due to this, American alligators often serve as a model for crocodilian science on a global scale.

American Alligators: Habitats, Behaviors, and Threats is an essential addition to the library of vertebrate scientists, herpetologists, and most importantly crocodilian biologists. The book contains the most comprehensive, up-to-date knowledge about American alligator biology, behavior, distribution, diet, ecology, genetics, habitat use, physiology, parasitology, toxicology, and management by the leading experts of alligator professionals from around the world. Each chapter contains a comprehensive description of past research concerning each topic, new knowledge and interpretations of the topic, and suggestions of future research needs. This all-encompassing approach to the synthesis of past, present, and future knowledge of American alligators will make this a highly sought and referenced volume of work.

Authors are a mix of next-generation scientists who have distinguished themselves as crocodilian biologists, as well as those who are well-established within herpetological circles. Chapter authors include Kimberly Andrews, Richard Bauer, Gary Calkins, Warren Conway, Ted Joanen, Michelle Lawing, Abigail Lawson, Mark Merchant, Chris Murray, Brent Newman, James Nifong, Adam Rosenblatt, Wade Ryberg, David Saalfeld, Gregory Skupien, Bradley Strickland, Helen Sung, William Sutton, Marisa Tellez, and Jonathan Warner, as well as chapters written by the co-editors Cord Eversole and Scott Henke.

Cord B. Eversole received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and has 15 years of experience working with alligators and other herpetofauna. He has worked as a wildlife researcher for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville since 2010. Scott E. Henke is a research scientist with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and a Regents Professor and Chair within the Department of Animal, Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences with Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He also is co-editor of the book Becoming a Wildlife Professional. The two researchers have teamed up and published extensively within herpetological journals, with the main emphasis of their collaborative research concerning the American alligator.


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Conservation History of the American Alligator
(Cord B. Eversole and Scott E. Henke, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University- Kingsville, Kingsville, TX, US)

Chapter 2. Geographic Distribution and Habitat Requirements of the American Alligator
(William B. Sutton and Brent C. Newman, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN, US, and others)

Chapter 3. Patterns, Drivers, and Effects of Alligator Movement Behavior and Habitat Use
(Abigail J. Lawson, Bradley A. Strickland, and Adam E. Rosenblatt, Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, US, and others)

Chapter 4. Thermal Regulation and Innate Immunology of the American Alligator
(Mark Merchant and Chris Murray, Department of Chemistry, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA, US, and others)

Chapter 5. Alligator Reproduction: Courting, Breeding, and Nesting Behavior
(Ted Joanen and Mark Merchant, Big Pasture Rd., Lake Charles, LA, US, and others)

Chapter 6. Genetic Consequences and Management Implications of Climate Change for the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
(Wade A. Ryberg and A. Michelle Lawing, Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, US, and others)

Chapter 7. Understanding Alligator Feeding Patterns: Historical and Modern Perspectives
(Adam E. Rosenblatt and James C. Nifong, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, US, and others)

Chapter 8. Unveiling the Host-Parasite Dynamic of Alligators and Their Endoparasites
(Marisa Tellez and Helen Sung, Crocodile Research Coalition, Maya Beach, Stann Creek, Belize, and others)

Chapter 9. Environmental Toxicology and Health Assessments of the American Alligator
(Richard G. Bauer, Terry M. Norton, Kimberly M. Andrews, and Gregory M. Skupien, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, US, and others)

Chapter 10. The Use of Estuarine and Marine Habitats by American Alligators: Physiological Limitations, Drivers of Variation, and Ecological Implications
(James C. Nifong and Adam Rosenblatt, Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, US, and others)

Chapter 11. American Alligator Ecology and Behavior from Their Western Extreme Distribution in the United States
(Cord B. Eversole and Scott E. Henke, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX, US)

Chapter 12. Nuisance American Alligators and Evaluation of Translocation as a Management Strategy
(Cord B. Eversole and Scott E. Henke, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX, US)

Chapter 13. Alternative Management Tools for American Alligators
(Kimberly M. Andrews, Gregory M. Skupien, and Richard G. Bauer, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, US, and others)

Chapter 14. The History and Development of the Alligator Industry: A Historical Perspective
(Ted Joanen and Mark Merchant, Lake Charles, LA, US, and others)

Chapter 15. Management Strategies and Options for American Alligators
(Warren C. Conway, Jonathan Warner, David T. Saalfeld, and Gary E. Calkins, Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, US, and others)


Additional Information

Keywords: American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, Alligator biology/ecology, wetland conservation

Audience: Researchers of crocodilians; Wildlife biologists; Employees of State and Federal wildlife agencies; Outdoor enthusiasts, especially of wetlands

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