Alligators have inhabited Florida’s marshes, swamps, rivers, and lakes for many centuries, and are found in all 67 counties. In recent years, Florida has experienced tremendous human population growth. Many residents seek waterfront homes and increasingly participate in water-related activities. This can result in more frequent alligator-human interactions and a greater potential for conflict. Although most Floridians have learned to coexist with alligators, the potential for conflict always exists. There are an estimated five million American alligators in the southeastern U.S. with a quarter of the alligator population in Florida.
Alligators play an important role in maintaining ecosystem balance. Sitting at the top of the food chain, alligators are apex predators and help keep other animal populations in balance. By digging holes and leaving trails throughout marshes, they create habitats for fish and marine invertebrates.
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