Where to See Alligators in Florida
Apr 08, · Statewide, 6, nuisance alligators were killed or relocated in That increased to 7, last year, according to FWC data. Areas with the highest removals are . Aug 25, · How Many Alligators Are There In Florida? The average count of alligators in Florida is staggering: million! This is incredible, considering they were once endangered! Gators are so populous now, that is one is big enough, you can report it to animal control.
The ancient reptiles sun themselves on golf courses, inhabit wildlife theme parks, cruise around freshwater lakes, rule the Everglades and occasionally hit the news when they stroll through subdivisions. In short, American alligators — how many alligators are in florida 1. Gators were once on the brink of extinction in the Sunshine State but aggressive conservation efforts reversed their decline. That is illegal and can condition them to associate food with people.
Also, keep your distance. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends we stay at least 60 feet away when observing in the wild. Winter is the best season for alligator watching, mostly because they come out of the cooler water to catch the warm rays. Spring is breeding season and the low growls of amorous males fill the air.
How can you see alligators in the Everglades? Let us count the ways. Coe Visitor Center. Alligators are often spied from the walking trails. The Shark Valley entrance is on U.
Here you can take tram tours and rent bicycles to ride on the paths. The two highways through the Everglades and across the state are Interstate 75 Alligator Alley and U. S 41 Tamiami Trail to its south. Water runs along both sides of the roads and passengers with keen eyes can spy gators swimming along or sunning on the banks. Bring binoculars. They provide the sound mufflers to protect ears from the roar of the motor and make it a point of getting riders as close as possible to alligators.
Billie Swamp Safari in Clewiston, north of Alligator Alley, has swamp buggy tours and airboat rides plus a twilight expedition. The Everglades Alligator Farm is a great stop for travelers heading to the Florida Keys who want to take an airboat ride and see a wildlife show. While the Everglades are teeming with gators — about— there are many other spots to have a safe encounter.
Wakulla Springs State Park. Ranger-led boat tours take visitors out on the river for about 45 minutes. This a good multi-generational excursion that provides a gentle experience, plus the how many alligators are in florida are handicap how many alligators are in florida. Besides gators, which often are spied sunning next to turtles, you will see all manner of Florida birds. There are plenty of gators in the river, which runs through 57 square miles, but the truly adventurous take the easy five-mile round trip hike to Deep Loving what is book byron katie, a sinkhole on the edge of the river that attracts dozens of gators.
Only 30 daily permits are issued to this wilderness area and rangers suggest you pick a sunny day with little wind. Call for details. Same-day permits are issued but try to get to the park by 8 a.
Hillsborough River State Park is natural respite close to Tampa and the urban sprawl of the area. Gatorama is an iconic Florida roadside attraction that has been drawing gator-curious tourists since Gators in captivity are the draw at several places around the state. At these attractions, visitors can observe alligators at feeding times, hold and pet baby gators and also hear expert lectures, plus maybe have some lunch gator bites anyone? This is a way to see alligators in a more organized, controlled fashion.
This drive-thru park guides visitors in their cars through the park and past specially designed pools where about gators swim and feed. Also in Orlando is Gatorlanda acre theme park that is home to about 2, gators. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park where brave souls can zip line over alligators and crocodiles, and Gatorama in Palmdale, east of Lake Okeechobee. Not a theme park exactly, but the Florida Aquarium in Tampa has a wonderful exhibit of baby gators in which they can be spied above and below the water through a glass wall.
Freshwater lakes. Minnesota calls itself the land of lakes with its 10, watery holes, but Florida has about 30, You can rest assured that each one is home to gators. Johns River in northwest Florida has the most, with more than 2, Lake Kissimmee near Orlando comes in second with just shy of 2, Lake Kissimmee State Park15 miles east of Lake Wales, is an excellent place for campers, birders, paddlers and even RV lovers to get a taste of natural Florida, and that includes gator viewing.
Corkscrew can be enjoyed by traversing the 2. Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, especially moms and babies. An elevated one-mile walkway guides visitors through Sawgrass Lake Parka natural oasis in densely populated Pinellas County in St. Look for gators in the lakes and canals.
A visitor center will help you find the best places to spy the prehistoric beasts. Lakes abound and rivers run through the forest giving alligators plenty of spots to do their thing. Boaters, paddlers and fishermen see plenty. Gators and Mini-Golf. At five locations along the coast of west Florida, large ponds of baby gators are a big attraction.
Alligator theme parks Gators in captivity are the draw at several places around the state. Freshwater lakes Minnesota calls itself the land of lakes with its 10, watery holes, but Florida has about 30, Places to Remember.
Everglades City. Wakulla Springs. Related Content. GOT IT!
The Everglades Alligator Farm is a great stop for travelers heading to the Florida Keys who want to take an airboat ride and see a wildlife show. While the Everglades are teeming with gators – about , – there are many other spots to have a safe encounter. Wakulla Springs State Park. Apr 05, · Florida has an estimated million alligators living in lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps in all 67 counties of the state, according to the Florida Fish . Young alligators eat insects and crustaceans. Adult alligators eat fish, snakes, frogs, turtles, mussels, crayfish, birds, muskrats and many other kinds of small animals that live in or near the water. They feed primarily at dawn and dusk. Breeding. Nesting begins in June. One brood a year. Female may not breed each year. Lays about 30 eggs. Young.
Alligators in Florida are wild reptiles that are apex predators! Only found in the Southeast United States, their name comes from Spanish settlers when the creatures were discovered in Florida.
Found in ponds, wetlands, marshes, swamps, lakes, and rivers, gators increase plant diversity and provide habitat for other animals during droughts. This makes them very important to their ecosystems! While as of , alligators were considered an endangered species, conservation efforts have reversed this! Actually, Florida has both! South Florida is actually the only place in the world where both crocodiles and alligators can coexist!
While both creatures are dangerous, alligators prefer freshwater habitats while crocodiles prefer saltwater habitats. Alligators have u-shaped faces while crocodiles have more toothy grins. The average count of alligators in Florida is staggering: 1. This is incredible, considering they were once endangered!
Gators are so populous now, that is one is big enough, you can report it to animal control. How long do alligators live? On average, most live between years.
Some alligators, despite fighting for their lives, can be known to live up to 70 years. The oldest recorded alligator life has exceeded years! Did you know that the alligator population has grown so much, that from , Disney World had to remove over of them?
Florida is home to two different types of alligators. The American and Chinese alligators both make Florida their home, but the two could not be more different. While alligators are the largest reptiles in North America, the American variety is much larger than the Chinese alligator. The easiest way to tell these two apart is to look at their snouts. The Chinese alligator has a tapered, more narrow snout than the American alligator.
While both varieties are carnivores, the Chinese alligator has a more blunt set of teeth, better equipped to eat shellfish. This being said, you should be more cautious when dealing with American alligators. American alligators will attack and eat anything if they are hungry enough. They have been known to attack turtles, humans, and family pets like cats and dogs. Chinese alligators have been known not to attack humans. On average, an American alligator, the most common type of alligator in Florida, can grow up to pounds and as long as 13 feet.
How large are alligators? Males averagely grow to 9. Females in general rarely exceed 10 feet, but males can grow much larger. In the wild, alligators can live years. As stunning as they look, you should always stay a minimum of 50 feet away! With over , wild alligators calling this park their home, this is one of the best places to see alligators in Florida! The Everglades is made up of 1. Sawgrass marshes, pinewood flats, and coastal mangroves make up the park! This is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators can coexist.
Alligators are one of the most important parts of the Everglades ecosystem. The nesting activity of females is the biggest creator of peat in the area! Take a airboat tour of a tram ride! Your closest views of the gators will be on Anhinga Trail at Royal palm, which is a ten minute drive from the Ernest Coe Visitor Center! While alligators are one of the most dangerous predators in the park, we recommend bringing bug repellant. Without it, the mosquitos are almost unbearable! Popular for its proximity to Tampa, spotting a gator is easy here!
Among the many ecosystems found on the Wetlands Trail are habitats perfect for alligators. These are great areas for them because it is so swampy! Keep your eyes peeled on the Rapids Trail, there are almost always gators lounging on a log or floating in the water. Walk along the stationary bridge and gators will be sunbathing on a bank across the river.
For a safe swim free of alligators, take a dip in the State Park Pool! Next door is the Hillsborough Park Poolside Cafe which offers food and beverages as well as umbrellas and lounge chairs rentals! Birds flutter by as Spanish moss hangs from the oaks like cobwebs. On the 7 mile auto tour, you will most assuredly see a gator from the safety of your own car!
Alligators can be seen in winter on warm and sunny days, but they are most visible basking in the sun during the winter and fall months. If you venture out on the hiking trails, make sure to wear bug spray! Be cautious, alligators can be sunning themselves nearby these trails. Always be aware and make sure to never feed or harass the alligators! Make a stop at the Manatee Observation Center to see wild manatees before you head home!
Just north of Orlando, Ocala National Forest is square miles, known for its sand pine scrub forest. In addition to seeing alligators, this park is full of activities perfect for the whole family! The best place to see alligators at the Ocala National Forest is on the riverbanks, where they will be sunbathing on the shore! Alligators are also visible on the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway, a driving path which cuts through the heart of the forest. For a closer look, rent a canoe and hit the water on the Salt Springs Run.
Highly considered one of the best paddle trails in the country, you can spend hours in a canoe looking at gators on the shore. Because there is so much shade provided by the tree canopies, this trail is especially refreshing in the summer.
In Sarasota County, a trip to see alligators in this 37, acre park is one of the most fun things to do in Sarasota! Alligator sightings are possible year-round in all bodies of water in the park, but park rangers say your best shot for seeing these creatures is in early spring. Alligators like warm, but not hot weather! In the hottest months of the Florida year, alligators will tend to spend more time in the water. They like to lie on the bottom of rivers and lakes where it is cooler. Mating season is actually in late March, one of the easiest times to see alligators in Florida.
Scientists and researchers have not been able to figure out why, but at least gators have been spotted in this area in one sighting! If you would like a safer, guided tour, follow signs for the Myakka Outpost once you enter the park to find an airboat guided tour.
Lake Kissimmee is just south of Orlando is the third largest lake and the third largest park in the state of Florida! Of all the attractions in Orland o, is Lake Kissimmee State Park, perfect for viewing all kinds of wildlife, not just alligators. Just off of SR 60, you can see bald eagles, ospreys, bobcats, as well as alligators in this lush park.
You will want to look for the alligators in the canals and lakes, first though. Lake Jessup, in Central Florida, is one of the biggest home of Florida gators, with an average of 12, per year. It is estimated that there are gators per mile of shoreline in Lake Jessup!
Lake Jessup is the ideal environment for gators, as the grounds are loaded with mudfish, shad, and turtles, which are all perfect for a gator dinner.
This is the second most populated place to find wild alligators in Florida, second only to Lake Okeechobee! While the state record for length of wild alligators in Florida is only They say its only a matter of time that they bring him in for measuring, but we recommend caution and distance when visiting. Over 16, acres, Lake Jessup is a popular tourist attraction with brewing companies and sunflower parks.
The St. Running along the east coast, the river has a slow flow rate. A popular site for hikers, boaters, and birders alike, the St. An estimated alligators live in just a thirteen mile radius of the river.
The backwater river is flanked by marshes instead of banks, where it is easy to spot a gator basking in the sun. The easiest place to see many gators at once is the Black Creek tributary in Clay County.
Enjoy seeing the gators from the safety of the hiking trails or on an airboat tour, but take caution. In recent years, these gators have been becoming more active. Never approach or try to feed an alligator if you do encounter them! This seashore is considered a nature sanctuary as it is unspoiled by hotels, restaurants, or other man-made infrastructure.
A camping trip here is a perfect way to reconnect with nature and see some alligators among the other creatures! Take a drive down the Bio Lab Road to see some gators resting on the shore.
Walk the Scrub Ridge Trail, which borders wetlands and ponds, where gators are always peeking out! Or take the road to Playlinda Beach, where guests say they have seen the most gators! With trails and boardwalks winding throughout, this is some of the best wildlife watching in the state of Florida. The area was named because guests could easily see black bears scratching their backs on a tree or playing with each other!