Crocodiles and alligators in the US: where they are and what species they are

Although they are often associated with the imagery of Florida's swampy waters, there are several species that also find homes in other states

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Crocodiles and alligators in the US: where they are and what species they are
© Joe Raedle / Staff Getty Images News

Crocodiles and alligators are fascinating creatures that populate different parts of the United States of America. Although they are often associated with the imagery of Florida's swampy waters, there are several species that also find homes in other states across the country.

Let's start by talking about alligators, which are commonly divided into two species: the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis). The American alligator is the best known species and populates a vast area that includes several states, including Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.

This species is particularly abundant in Florida, where the swamps and wetlands offer ideal habitats for its survival. However, it can also be found in other parts of the southeastern United States. The Chinese alligator, as its name suggests, is native to China and is a critically endangered species.

However, some populations of Chinese alligators exist in the United States, primarily in the state of Louisiana. These specimens are often present in wildlife recovery centers, where they are protected and preserved in the hope of safeguarding the species.

Crocodiles, on the other hand, are mainly represented by the American crocodile species (Crocodylus acutus). These crocodiles can be found primarily in South Florida, where they live in coastal areas, including the Everglades and the Florida Keys.

Brackish waters and coastal marshes provide the perfect habitat for these crocodiles, which feed on fish, crustaceans and other marine animals. Some crocodiles have also been spotted in other states such as Georgia and Texas, although they are rarer than in the states of Florida.

In general, crocodiles are considered more adaptable to marine environments than alligators, but their populations are often concentrated in coastal areas. It is important to note that both alligators and crocodiles are wild reptiles protected by law in the United States.

This means that it is illegal to capture or kill these animals without permission from the relevant authorities. Wildlife management agencies in various states work to preserve these species and ensure their survival through protection programs and research.

In conclusion, crocodiles and alligators are present in different parts of the United States of America. While American alligators primarily inhabit the coastal and swampy territories of states such as Florida, Louisiana, and other southeastern states, American crocodiles are especially abundant in southern Florida. The presence of these fascinating creatures is a reminder of the beauty and diversity of the country's wildlife.