Species of the Month

American Alligator
Alligator mississippiensis

Description Large reptile with thick limbs, broad head, and powerful tail that accounts for half of their length. Adults are dark gray to nearly black above and dull white or pale yellow below. Hatchlings and juveniles are black above with six to nine yellow crossbands down the middle of back and yellow vertical bards on the sides of their body and tail.
Size Adult females usually <9, males usually <14, hatchlings usually 8.1-10.4
Habitat Usually found in permanent wetlands and slow-moving rivers, but may also occur in swamps, ditches, temporarily flooded depressions, marshes, and lakes.
Diet Young alligators feed on aquatic insects, crawfish, small fish, and frogs. Adults feed on fish, frogs, turtles, waterfowl, wading birds, and small mammals.
Distribution and Status Alligators occur statewide and their population in Louisiana is estimated at >1.5 million. The species was listed under the ESA as endangered in 1967 due to overhunting, but their numbers recovered in many areas and the American alligator was removed from the list of endangered species in 1987.
Fun facts Alligators have between 74 and 80 teeth at any given time and can replace >2,000 teeth in their lifetimes. Alligators can use tools (e.g., sticks, branches) to lure in their prey. Alligators are quite vocal and have different calls to defend their territories, signal distress, and find mates.

Species Information

2013 Fall Symposium

2013 Fall Symposium Award Recipients

2013 Student Oral Presentation Award (from left to right) Pres.-elect Andy Nyman, A. Nikki Anderson (2nd place), Holly Rogers (1st place), and Jessica Schulz (3rd place).


2013 Student Poster Presentation Award winner Sinead Borchert (LSU) with Pres.-elect Andy Nyman.


2013 LAPB Student Scholarship Award presented by Larry Reynolds (Treasurer) to Garrett Wilkerson (University of Louisiana at Monroe).


Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists Publication Awards

2012-2013 Best Paper Award - General Conservation: Richard H. Day.
Osland, M.J., N. Enwright, R.H. Day, and T.W. Doyle. 2013. Winter climate change and coastal wetland foundation species:salt marshes vs. mangrove forests in the southeastern United States. Global Change Biology 19:1482-1494.

2012-2013 Best Paper Award - Wildlife: Thomas C. Michot.
Viana, D.S., L. Santamaria, T.C. Michot, and J. Figuerola. 2012. Migratory strategies of waterbirds shape the continental-scale dispersal of aquatic organisms. Ecography 35:1-9.


LAPB Fall 2013 Sympsoium Program with Abstracts

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