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

2016 Fall Symposium

2016 Fall Symposium Award Recipients

Student Oral Presentation Award

Fourteen students presented their research and Kristy Capelle (School of Renewable Natural Resources, LSU) received first place in the oral presentation contest for her presentation “Evaluating Survival of Released Ranched American Alligator in Coastal Louisiana”. Kristy's co-authors were Micheal D. Kaller with LSU and Ruth M. Elsey with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

 

Madelyn McFarland (School of Renewable Natural Resources, LSU), shown here with LAPB President Dr. Eddie Lyons, received second place in the oral presentation poster contest for her presentation "Prothonotary Warbler Nestling Diet and Parental Provisioning Rates at BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, in Baton Rouge, LA." Madelyn's co-authors included Ryan C. Hughes at LSU, and Katie L. Percy and Erik I. Johnson, both with Audubon Louisiana, National Audubon Society, Baton Rouge.

 
Student Poster Presentation Award

Melissa Bloch (ULM), shown here with LAPB President Dr. Eddie Lyons, won first place in the student poster presentation with her poster "The Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems In Forest Management."J. Bhattacharjee, University of Louisiana, Monroe, was her co-author.

 

Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists Publication Awards

Best Paper Award - Popular: Jennifer Hogue
The History of Fur Trapping in Louisiana, Winter 2015 Louisiana Wildlife Insider, pages 2-5

Best Paper Award - Basic Research: Chabert, T., A. Colin, T. Aubin, V. Shacks, S.L. Bourquin, R.M. Elsey, J.G. Acosta, and N. Matehevon
Chabert, T., A. Colin, T. Aubin, V. Shacks, S.L. Bourquin, R.M. Elsey, J.G. Acosta, and N Matehevon. 2015. Size does matter: crocodile mothers react more the voices of smaller offspring. Scientific Reports. 5:15547.

Best Paper Award - Fisheries: Miller, B.A., W.E. Kelso, and M.D. Kaller.
Miller, B.A., W.E. Kelso, and M.D. Kaller. 2015. Diet Partitioning in a Diverse Centrarchid Assemblage in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana. Transaction of the American Fisheries Society 144:780-791.

Best Paper Award - Wildlife: Rosenblatt, A. E., J. C. Nifong, M. R. Heithaus, F. J. Mazzotti, M. S. Cherkiss, B. M. Jeffery, R. M. Elsey, R. A. Decker, B. R. Silliman, L. J. Guillette Jr., R. H. Lowers, J. C. Larson
Rosenblatt, A. E., J. C. Nifong, M. R. Heithaus, F. J. Mazzotti, M. S. Cherkiss, B. M. Jeffery, R. M. Elsey, R. A. Decker, B. R. Silliman, L. J. Guillette Jr., R. H. Lowers, J. C. Larson. 2015. Factors affecting individual foraging specialization and temporal diet stability across the range of a large-bodied “generalist” apex predator. Oecologia. 178:5-16.

Best Paper Award - General Conservation: Gee, K.H., S.L. King, and R.F. Keim
Gee, K.H., S.L. King, and R.F. Keim. 2015. Influence of hydrologic modifications on Fraxinus pennsylvanica in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 45:1397-1406.


 

 

LAPB Fall 2016 Sympsoium Program with Abstracts

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