L. McNease

Food Habits of Native Wild and Farm-released Juvenile Alligators

Stomach contents of 108 juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were analyzed to determine if alligators hatched and raised in captivity (until 120-cm size) then released to the wild would be capable of foraging successfully for food. Seventyeight farm-reared, post-released alligators harvested during the 1991 annual alligator hunt on Marsh Island Wildlife Refuge and 30 native wild alligators harvested of similar size class were selected and stomach contents compared. Crustaceans were the most important prey item among all alligators, with blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) being...