Seafaring gators connect marine and freshwater habitats

Adult American alligator on the beach at Sapelo Island. Photo by James Nifong.

Research conducted at UGAMI shows that American alligators are an important link between freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems.  James Nifong and Brian Silliman, part of the NSF-funded Georgia Coastal Ecosystem – Long-Term Ecological Research Program, used radio telemetry and GPS trackers to follow the movements of alligators, and discovered that they spend a lot more time in marine environments than previously thought. Their research demonstrates that gators are an important ecological link between freshwater and coastal marine systems.  See a description of Nifong and Silliman’s work on the NSF website.