American Alligator at Circle B Bar Reserve in Florida.

Meet the Amazing Alligator



Introduction  |  Taxonomy, Phylogeny & Etymology  |  Distribution & Population  |  Ecology

 Anatomy & Physiology  |  Diet & Digestion  Thermoregulation  |  Reproduction  |  Neonate Care  |  Ethology

Survival  |  Human Conflict  |  Cultural & Commercial Impact  |  Conservation


Prime Observation Locations  |  Bibliography  |  Filmography  |  Suggested Publications  |  References



An alli gator afloat in water reflecting the gold of a sunset.AMERICAN ALLIGATOR

Alligator mississippiensis


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Superorder: Crocodylomorpha

Order: Crocodilia

Family: Alligatoridae

Genus: Alligator


(Image: istockphoto/LarryLynch)



a. Where to Observe Them in Their Natural Habitats*


There are numerous nature/wildlife parks that feature the American alligator. This list includes both government operated and non-government, non-profit facilities where wild alligators may be observed.



Listed by state/state region.

Click on a location name to visit the official website.


(This list is a work in progress.)


Florida (South)


Everglades National Park. The most dramatic place in the world for viewing wild alligators and crocodiles, the only place on earth where crocs and gators share habitat. Shark Valley is a particularly good place to see many alligators.


Florida (Southwest)


Big Cypress National Preserve. Alligators may be observed in this beautiful and biodiverse park from elevated boardwalks or canoe through the waterways .


Myakka River State Park. This location is well-known for its heavy concentration of alligators, including some impressively large ones.


Florida (Central)


Circle B Bar Reserve. A former cattle ranch, this large swath of propery located on Lake Hancock near Lakeland and Winter Haven was purchased by the public and transformed into an important regional environmental land with an education center and programs. Many alligators inhabit the lake and marshes; alligators of all sizes can be seen from the trails, even mother alligators nesting (June-September) or with their hatched babies.


Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. From the comfort of your automobile, you can take this 11-mile-long driving tour around the lake where you'll likely see multiple alligators, and you can use your smartphone to access the audio tour provided on the Internet.


Viera Wetlands. This wetland site in Brevard County is a popular spot for photographers and eco-tourists.


Wekiwa Springs State Park. Boaters may observe alligators in the river swimming and basking.


Florida (Northeast)


Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. This park near Gainesville is well-known for its high concentration of alligators.


Florida (Northwest and "The Panhandle")


Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. Featuring the deepest known freshwater spring on earth, this gorgeous piece of environment offers glass-bottomed boat rides on the Wakulla River, where alligators and many other fauna and flora abound in a primeval setting. You may see a tribute to "Old Joe", a large alligator which formerly made the park area his home and whose remains are tastefully exhibited in the lobby of The Lodge on site.


Georgia (Southwest)


Stephen C. Foster State Park. This lovely park is a quintessential southern cypress swamp, complete with "blackwater" and plenty of alligators. Daily guided boat rides are an excellent way to see the big reptiles in their natural habitat.

Louisiana (South-central)


Marsh Island Wildlife Refuge. Alligators may be observed in this large brackish marshland shared with many marine species.


State Wildlife Refuge. This large marshland next to the Gulf of Mexico features alligators minlging with marine species. Salinty is controlled here by artificial means by refuge managers.


Louisiana (Southwest)


Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge. This enormous environmental land (76,000 acres/ 308km²) features great biodiversity and is an excellent site for observation of its keystone species, the alligator.


Oklahoma (Southeast)


Red Slough Wildlife Management Area. This 5800-acre/23.5km² wetland project contains alligators, but you may only see them occasionally. This location is special because it is the northwestern extreme of the alligator's natural range.


Texas (Southeast)


Brazos Bend State Park. This location, 45 miles from Houston has a relatively high number of alligators, many of which can be observed from the designated trails.



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* LEGAL NOTICE: The information herein is offered as general information only and the Owner and Author of this website, his/its affiliates, associates, agents, assigns, and/or advertisers assume no liabilty in connection with this information and/or its observance. The presence or viisibilty of various animals in their natural habitats can be unpredicatable and may be affected by various factors. You are encouraged to explore the options presented by reading the websites linked herein and to augment this by further reading/research of your own. Please refer to this website's Terms of Service for more detailed information.



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