K. G. Rice

Estimating Sighting Proportions of American Alligators During Night-light and Aerial Helicopter Surveys

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

We used mark-resight methods to estimate sighting proportions of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) during night-light and aerial helicopter surveys. Alligators ≥122 cm were captured during 5- to 12-day periods on Orange Lake and Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, and marked with paint on the dorsal neck area. Replicate helicopter surveys were subsequently flown on each area to record marked and unmarked individuals. Population estimates were calculated and compared with night-light and aerial counts of alligators ≥122 cm. Estimated mean proportion of alligators...