Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Monday, May 14, 2012
Mississippi Alligator Travels 30 Miles to Louisiana
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries,
and Parks (MDWFP) was recently notified by the Louisiana Department
of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) about a nuisance alligator near
Lake Providence, Louisiana. While there was nothing illegal
or unusual about the nuisance alligator complaint, the LDWF agent
alligator trapper noticed some tags located in the alligator tail
and on its hind feet. The tags were identified as those
attached to alligators in Mississippi as part of a monitoring
project being conducted by MDWFP. The alligator, identified
as White 4, was originally captured and tagged by MDWFP in Warren
County, approximately 1 mile south of Eagle Lake on March 18, 2009.
At the time of capture, it was 7 feet 7 inches long.
When this alligator was captured near Lake Providence, LA on
April 11, 2012, it was 9 feet 2 inches long. Since the time
of original capture in Mississippi, White 4 had traveled at least
30.6 miles and had grown 6.3 inches per year.
It is not uncommon for adult male alligators to travel
substantial distances, particularly during the breeding season of
late April and May. However, traveling distances over 10
miles are very uncommon. It is likely that White 4 navigated
over 44 miles of water during his venture to Lake Providence, LA.
Additionally, a 46-inch alligator tagged by the LDWF in 1996
was captured in Mississippi, near Eagle Lake in 2008 after growing
to 11 feet 5 inches. It had also traveled over 30 miles since
its original capture in Louisiana.
Documentation of these occurrences assists MDWFP in managing
Mississippi's alligator population. Since March 2007, MDWFP
biologists have captured and tagged nearly 600 wild alligators to
learn more about alligator movements and the effectiveness of
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