The American alligator is a powerful indicator for Everglades restoration. It responds clearly to environmental change and is easy and inexpensive to monitor. As top predators and ecological “engineers,” alligators affect nearly all aquatic life in the ecosystem. Thus, trends in alligator populations can tell us whether restoration projects are successful. Alligators may be monitored for both short-term responses (body condition) and longer-term responses to ecosystem change (abundance). This 3-page fact sheet discusses trends in alligator abundance. It was written by Rebecca G. Harvey, Jeff Beauchamp, Robin Bijlani, Frank J. Mazzotti, and Laura A. Brandt, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, July 2014.
WEC342/UW387: Alligator Abundance and Hydrology (2003–2013): What Long-term Monitoring Can Tell Us about Everglades Restoration (ufl.edu)
Brandt, L.A., J. Boyer, J. Browder, M. Cherkiss, R.F. Doren, P. Frederick, E. Gaiser, D. Gawlik, S. Geiger, K.Hart, B. Jeffery, C. Kelble, J. Layne, J. Lorenz, C. Madden, F. J. Mazzotti, P. Ortner, M. Parker, M. Roblee, L. Rodgers, A. Rodusky, D. Rud-nick, B. Sharfstein, J. Trexler, A. Volety. 2012. System-wide Ecological Indicators for Everglades Restoration. 2012 Report. Unpublished Technical Report. 90 pp.
REstoration COordination and VERification (RECOVER). 2004. Monitoring and Assessment Plan for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. January 2004. http://www.evergladesplan.org/pm/recover/recover_map_2004.aspx
REstoration COordination and VERification (RECOVER). 2014. Draft 2014 System Status Report for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. March 2014. http://www.evergladesplan.org/pm/ssr_2014/ssr_main.aspx
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 2013. Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) Draft Integrated Project Implementation Report and Environmental Impact Statement. Annex D, Adaptive Management and Monitoring Plans. August 2013. http://www.evergladesplan.org/pm/projects/docs_51_cepp_draft_pir.aspx