Florida is to Alligators what Alaska is to bears. Due to alligators’ larger presence in the state, many people forget to realize and even spot another species of crocodilian, the American crocodile that coexists with alligators. In fact, Florida is one of the few handful of states that inhabit both American alligators and crocodiles. Let us now look in detail into the presence of crocodiles in Florida.
Are There Crocodiles in Florida?
Yes, there is an established population of crocodiles in Florida. Not as well populated as alligators but crocodiles in Florida have lived in the state for millions of years. There are about 27 species of crocodiles and the ones living in Florida belong to the American crocodile species.
How Many Crocodiles in Florida?
Unlike alligators, the crocodile population in Florida is not so great. But this can be also said for other states in the country. There are only 2000 crocodile individuals currently living compared to the massive 1.25 million alligators coexisting in the state.
There was a time in the past when crocodiles were found in large numbers and were distributed almost all over Florida. But the rapid hunting and habitat loss pushed them towards sparse numbers. This is the reason why crocodiles are designated as “Threatened” by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
How Did Crocodiles End Up In Florida?
It is not very clear how crocodiles ended up in Florida. But one thing that’s certain is that this creature has been roaming the earth since the pre-historic times and the first recorded sighting of crocodiles in Florida took place in the late 1800s. And since then, these creatures have been of particular interest.
As already specified, the American crocodile is the only species of crocodile found in Florida and the most widespread species out of the four extant species in the Americas.
Where To See Crocodile In Florida?
Crocodiles unlike alligators live in brackish and saltwater sources. The American crocodile range starts in South Florida and ends in Peru and Venezuela South America.
In Florida, crocodiles exist in the coastal areas of South Florida. They are believed to have ranged even further north but due to climatic conditions and their preference for warmer weather, these creatures have moved more south. They are sometimes even spotted in inland freshwater areas due to the extensive canal system in Florida.
Also Check Our Guide On Crocodiles In Maine
Where Are Crocodiles Most Common In Florida?
Crocodiles though in somewhat stable number, are still rare in Florida. But there are some places where you could easily spot them. They currently inhabit only the southern parts of the state and prefer to live in ponds, mangrove swamps and creeks.
Although you can visit such habitats in the southern part of the state, spotting crocodile in wild is still difficult and not to forget dangerous. Instead, you could visit the Everglades National Park, where crocodiles currently exist.
How Big Are Crocodiles In Florida?
Crocodiles are quite big and tend to be smaller than alligators in average. They weigh as heavy as 550 pounds and tend to grow to a length of 8 to 14 feet. In Exceptional cases, crocodiles may even reach 15 ft in length.
Males tend to be bigger than female which is a trait often observed among many animals in the world. Like alligators, they have a smooth movement in water but somewhat of a rough gait in land.
Are Crocodile Attacks Common In Florida?
Crocodiles are reclusive and often shy. Although dangerous by nature, they tend to stay away from humans and move into water when suddenly spot a human.
With only 2000 crocodiles living in Florida, crocodile attacks in the state are extremely rare. Additionally, these creatures are threatened and can mostly likely not be seen with public in local areas. And in the wildlife parks where people come in contact with these creatures, there are well set protection, barricades that separate them.
How Many Crocodile Attacks In Florida?
Crocodile attacks as mentioned in the previous section are very uncommon. As per Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there have been very few reports of crocodile attacks on humans.
The fact that there has been only one attack on humans in Florida re-iterated this fact. But this doesn’t mean we can be careless when observing these creatures. Note that they are one of the top predators and will even consume humans if need arises. So extreme caution must be taken when observing these creatures.
Also Check Our Guide On Crocodiles in America
Can You Hunt Crocodiles In Florida?
No, You cannot hunt crocodiles in Florida as they are designated as “Threatened” species and therefore it is illegal to hunt them in Florida. But you can do so with a valid hunting license from the Florida Wildlife Commission.
Unlike for many animals, there are no rules and regulations on the number or size of crocodiles that can be hunted but the timeline for hunting season is fixed from August 15 to November 1.
Some rules include hunting with permit, at night and the harvests need to be reported within 24 hours of hunt. Note that permits are available on a limited entry basis so make sure to obtain one as early as possible. Happy hunting!
And that was everything you need to know about the Crocodiles in Florida. I hope this article answered all your queries.
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Founder Of This Website
I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.