Unusual Year for Alligators in Texas

American Alligator, photo TPWD

American Alligator, photo TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

The American alligator is native to Texas and found primarily in the Eastern third of the state. According to Steve Lightfoot, 2015’s been an unusual year for this species.

11— More so because the timing of the flooding events that we had in May—right at the time when alligators are out. They’re doing their nesting and breeding. And so they’re active that time of year.

Lightfoot is TPW spokesperson. He says the flush of fresh water into Texas’ river systems caused alligators to pop up in unexpected places.

31—The number of calls we get at the department saying ‘We’ve got an alligator here; what do I need to do?’ Those obviously have gone off the charts. We recently had some video tape that showed an alligator in the surf along one of our popular beaches along the coast. And people were really concerned. ‘Oh my gosh! What if my kids had gone out there?’ Well, guess what. That alligator was doing what that alligator does. He was out there because the fresh water came down. Salinity levels were low. It was an opportunity for him to get out in the salt water and wash the parasites off his hide. That’s all he was doing. And he left after he got through with that.

And in places where alligators are a common sight: do not feed them, do not swim in waters where they they’re known to spend time, and if you leave alligators alone, they will leave you alone.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series. Through your purchases of hunting and fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels, over 40 million dollars in conservation efforts are funded in Texas each year.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…Cecilia Nasti

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