Some young gators from northeastern North Carolina

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RowlandP
Posts: 12
Joined: September 2nd, 2018, 3:48 pm

Some young gators from northeastern North Carolina

Post by RowlandP »

Lots of young gators out yesterday. From Dare County, NC. Their numbers seem to be increasing. I talked to a wildlife officer who stated they are seeing more of them in the Chowan River all the way up to the Virginia border.

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AEthelred
Posts: 41
Joined: July 16th, 2019, 9:56 am
Location: North Adams,Massachusetts

Re: Some young gators from northeastern North Carolina

Post by AEthelred »

There is supposedly some type of crocodilian species in lake Onota in Pittsfield Massachusetts.The Mass environmental police are staking out the lake in order to see if purported sightings are accurate.

Being that Alligator's are not native anywhere near Massachusetts it would have to be an exotic pet that got loose so it could be any crocodilian species.If it exists at all,it was likely just a funny looking floating log and someone freaked out.

Jimi
Posts: 1930
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Some young gators from northeastern North Carolina

Post by Jimi »

Many of those individuals - if they are not indeed of the same individual) depicted are pretty clearly in the same age cohort (further south I'd say 2019 hatch year; maybe slower/older up there?) Basically, they look like last year's 2-footers (they hatch at a foot, and normally grow about a foot a year until maybe 5 years old). Where I have known gators elsewhere the main cause of nest failure was flooding; some years you lose most nests entirely, and/or only the top-most eggs within nests survive. Whereas moderate drought during the incubation period is often helpful in creating a strong year-class (assuming the drought doesn't continue and strengthen, leading to increased predation of hatchlings due to crowding in small pools). But I seem to recall 2019 as being a super-soaker in coastal NC. I could easily be mis-remembering though...

Do you know anything about the way gator-world works at its N extremity? Ever looked up stats from the state wildlife agency, who manage that species? I know hunting resumed there quite recently, and was controversial even within the agency, so there must be quite a lot of species demographic data collected & analyzed. Could be interested to dive into, if you're so inclined.

Anyway, thanks for the pics. I'm presently - due to your post - remembering a couple of fairly recent nice hikes on Bull's Island SC, where I was able to observe (and enjoy!) multiple creches of current-year and last-year hatchlings, usually in company of momma gator.

RowlandP
Posts: 12
Joined: September 2nd, 2018, 3:48 pm

Re: Some young gators from northeastern North Carolina

Post by RowlandP »

Pictures 1-3 are the same animal, the first one I saw.
Picture 4 is alligator #2. It was larger than the others at about 4-5 feet.
Picture 5 is gator #3.
Picture 6 and 7 are gator #4.
Picture 8 and 9 MAY be the same gator as #1. I found that one in the same canal a few hours later but several hundred yards from where I saw #1. These canals are only a few yards wide.

All of these animals, except #2 (in picture 4) were about the same size. #2 was bigger than the others.

Given than this is northeastern NC, I suspect they are 2 years old, maybe 3. I understand they grow slowly here.

I am not sure if hunting was actually implemented in NC. I do know there was talk of it. As far as I know, there is no planned alligator hunting in Dare County or any county north of it. Tyrell Co. to the west was considering a short season. I understand Hyde Co. to the south planned a season. Hyde has a decent population, which is growing, and there have been quite a few troublemakers showing up under people's decks and in their yards. I saw my first alligator this year in Hyde Co., in March, in a canal on the south side of Lake Mattamuskeet. I don't get down to Hyde as much as I'd like but I understand they are pretty common there. An agent at the Mattamuskeet visitors center told me that joggers and hikers complain about them laying on the blacktop paths and banks of the canals where the trails are.

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