american-alligator

Reported on February 8th, 2017, this orange alligator was spotted in Hanahan, South Carolina. Much like the alligator of the same color that was photographed in 2011, there are a few causes that could have made this creature the color it appears. Jay Butfiloski, the Department of Natural Resources’ Alligator Program Coordinator, believes that the alligator might be this color because of where it was residing during the colder months. He said “[It] might be iron oxide that has discolored it" after it had been living in a rusty pipe. Others believe it could be because of the high amount of clay deposits in the area. However Butfiloski does not deny that this could be a new color mutation entirely.

I hope you have your representatives on speed-dial! Use that phone for some good.

The Endangered Species Act may be heading for the threatened list. This hearing confirmed it.

A Senate hearing to “modernize the Endangered Species Act” unfolded Wednesday just as supporters of the law had feared, with round after round of criticism from Republican lawmakers who said the federal effort to keep species from going extinct encroaches on states’ rights, is unfair to landowners and stymies efforts by mining companies to extract resources and create jobs.

The Endangered Species Act is a 43-year-old law enacted under the Nixon administration at a time when people were beginning to understand how dramatically chemical use and human development were devastating species. It has since saved the bald eagle, California condor, gray wolves, black-footed ferret, American alligator and Florida manatee from likely extinction.

But members of the hearing said its regulations prevented people from doing business and making a living. In a comment to a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director who testified at the hearing, Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), repeated a point made by Barrasso that of more than 1,600 species listed as threatened or endangered since the act’s inception, fewer than 50 have been removed.

An American bald eagle prepares to snag a perch in the prime fishing grounds below Conowingo Dam in Darlington, Md., in November 2012. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

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World Wetlands Day is a great excuse to go tromp around in your nearest wetland, but it’s also a great chance to take a moment to think about the environment. Have a seat and let’s take a look at the wetlands and why it is important to have a day in their honor. Do you know what exactly a wetland is? A wetland can be defined as land that contains marshes or swamps.

History of World Wetlands Day
The first time this holiday was celebrated was in 1997. Each year a new theme is selected and that is the focus of all the celebrations for that year. Some of the past themes have been “No wetlands, no water”, “Fish for tomorrow?” and “Healthy wetlands, healthy people”. World Wetlands Day brings awareness and remembrance of the Convention on Wetlands of 1971.The convention and the world wetlands day were established to educate on the importance of wetlands and what they mean to humanity and the planet. Be honest, do you really know about the importance of wetlands? I didn’t think so because neither did I! There is data that proves the link between healthy wetlands and the decrease of violent weather. Also, when there are healthy wetlands, the people nearby tend to be healthier.UN Water estimates that 90% of natural hazards are water based. This makes the wetlands so important. When violent weather comes in, the wetlands act as a buffer. This gives time for the bad weather to slow a little and give time for the people nearby to get to safety. If the wetlands can stall the weather slightly there can be less damage to property and loss of life. Beginning to see why we should take care of the wetlands? I know I am!

How to Celebrate World Wetlands Day
To celebrate World Wetlands Day as a family it would be a good time to see if there are wetlands in your community. If there are, you are sure to find a group or agency that oversees them. You may find that there are activities sponsored on this day. If you do not find any events directly in your area, why not host one? You can get ideas and materials at worldwetlsndsday.org, if you have a wetland, you could take time to go and visit. I know that sometimes wetlands can have trails that will allow you to walk and enjoy the greenspace and reconnect with nature. Look around as you walk and you will find that not only are the wetlands a treasure, but the animals that live within them.

Not up for a trek outside? Why not spend a little time reading up about them and the issue of conservation? Get involved by signing petitions, calling elected officials or meet others in your area that are also looking to make a difference. Most of all just make sure to celebrate World Wetlands Day!

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About 3000 of our followers came from the day a post about crocodilian resting posture that we commented on ended up on The Best of Tumblr Facebook page. People were pretty amazed that it was as common as we said.

Here’s photos from today’s trip around Audubon’s beautiful facilities in New Orleans. Basically ever gator we saw was just chilling in the same posture. The baby at the Insectarium was super unpleased that I kept getting in his face to get his photo, but the leucistic adult gator at the aquarium was super chill about it.

Always remember you are a guest in their home. This bull gator, who I estimate was a hair over 12ft, reminded me that of that fact recently. 

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, FL

Has anyone else seen this?

I have never and do not plan to in the future order from Backwater Reptiles due to things I have heard/seen about them, but this is just atrocious to me.

AN AMERICAN ALLIGATOR!?

Let me just start with the size of an adult

- American alligators grow to about 10-15ft in length and weigh around a half ton

How many people are capable of taking care of an animal with this potential size? These guys need a lot of space, and not just that, a lot of water. They are also carnivores. They need meat.

BUT GUESS WHAT

Backwater will sell you “alligator food pellets” for 12.99/lb. 

But hey, apparently alligators are just like dogs. 

“I just want to thank you for my amazing alligator - “LillyGator” Your customer service was fantastic and it’s comforting knowing if I ever do have a question, y'all always reply. You made good on your promise, and I received the most beautiful, healthy, alligator. She lets everyone handle her, she eats fantastic, knows her name and is doing great both on leash training and being trained to respond to a dog clicker. I purchase the pellets from you, and Lilly does great on them. She is just amazing!!! I have and will continue to recommended your site to many others and have absolutely nothing but good things to say about your company.”

I’m not even going to get into all the things wrong with treating animals like other animals and the effect it can have on their health. 

Before posting this, just for kicks, I looked up “backwater reptiles alligator” on Google, and lo and behold, there are unboxing videos. I watched videos of kids STILL IN SCHOOL unboxing alligators. I’m sorry, but I cannot see a child having the resources to take care of something like this. Alligator enclosures (as a MINIMUM) need to be three or four times the animals length both in width and depth. The little 10inch alligator is cute now, (let’s say it’s female and gets to ten feet) but what are you going to do with her when she needs an enclosure that is at least 30ftx30ftx30ft? I know that wouldn’t fit in my backyard.


I apologize for this rant, but this just seems incredibly irresponsible to me.

Mama Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Female alligator are very protective of their young. Mama will guard the nest during incubation and will carry her hatchlings to the water where she will stay close by them and protect them from predators.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA