1 December 2008 Nest-site Fidelity in American Alligators in a Louisiana Coastal Marsh
Ruth M. Elsey, Phillip L. Trosclair, Travis C. Glenn
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Little is known about nest-site fidelity in wild Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligator). As part of a long-term study on multiple paternity and mate fidelity that required capture and marking of nesting female alligators, we documented several instances of nest-site reuse by individual females. In one case, the female nested at the same site seven years after initial capture, demonstrating long-term nest-site fidelity. Another female used one nest site in 2000, 2002, and 2004. Herein, we provide data on minimum nesting intervals for recaptured alligators, including three cases of females nesting in two consecutive years. Despite tremendous habitat alteration and storm surge from Hurricane Rita in 2005 and a catastrophic drought precluding nesting in 2006, we found female alligators in 2007 at nests within 20 m and 170 m of their nest sites from seven years and three years, respectively, prior to those events.

Ruth M. Elsey, Phillip L. Trosclair, and Travis C. Glenn "Nest-site Fidelity in American Alligators in a Louisiana Coastal Marsh," Southeastern Naturalist 7(4), 737-743, (1 December 2008). https://doi.org/10.1656/1528-7092-7.4.737
Published: 1 December 2008
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