American Alligator - Alligator mississippiensis

American Alligator

*The colored areas of the map above represent parishes with currently known records for the given species
 (Source: Jeff Boundy, LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries). By no means does it represent the full range of the species in the state, nor does it necessarily mean that a species can be found throughout the parish with the record. This is provided as a guide to where you might be able to find these species in the state and to aid in identification. A descriptive explanation of the range of each species can be found in the text below.

Other Common Names: 

Subspecies: No subspecies recognized.


Similar Species: 

Species Range: 

Louisiana Range:  Statewide, but records lacking from many parishes in west-central and northern Louisiana.


Natural History: 

Best Time and Place to Observe:

Global Conservation Status:  American Alligators are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. Their NatureServe Global Conservation Status Rank is G5 (Secure).

Federal Conservation Status:  The American Alligator is a federally threatened species, due to similarity of appearance.

Louisiana Conservation Status:  American Alligators are a ‘restricted harvest’ species, and managed as a commercial, renewable natural resource in Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) issues alligator harvest tags for property containing sufficient wetland alligator habitat capable of sustaining an alligator harvest. Wild alligator tags can only be issued to licensed alligator hunters and are nontransferable. An alligator hunter must either own land or have permission to hunt alligators on land that qualifies for alligator harvest tags. Alligator season is usually the month of September, give or take a week depending on what part of the state you live. It is unlawful to take alligators out-of-season, or without proper licenses and LDWF-issued tags within season.

Author's Remarks: I have observed this species in many places within southern Louisiana.

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