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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Tuesday, October 18 • 10:20am - 10:40am
Wildlife. Evaluating Models of Released Ranched American Alligator (Alligator mississippensis) Survival in Coastal Louisiana

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AUTHORS: Kristy D. Capelle, Michael D. Kaller, William E. Kelso - School of Renewable Natural Resources Louisiana State University Agricultural Center; Ruth M. Elsey, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

ABSTRACT: Since 1986, ranching programs in Louisiana have required the release of juvenile alligators raised from eggs collected from wild nests to maintain alligator populations throughout the state. Over the years, the proportion and size of released ranched alligators has been modified, based on harvest data and preliminary survival estimates. This project assessed long-term data (1991-2014) from the release program to estimate survival from harvested alligators released as part of the program. Specifically, the management objective of this project was to determine the impact of release length on survival, based on harvested farm-release marked alligators. First, wildlife and fishery harvest models and general survival models were evaluated to determine best fit to the data. Estimates of annual instantaneous survival based on release length were 0.89 (female), 0.87 (male), and 0.88 (all). Second, once the best fitting model for overall release length-survival of the farm-released alligators was established, environmental data including precipitation and temperature from alligator release areas were added into the models to investigate their influences on survival estimates. Male alligator survival was higher in warmer and wetter years. Female alligator survival was higher in wetter years, and longer release length enhanced survival over time. Alligator survival in response to additional environmental variables and market value data will continue to be evaluated to give a better understanding of the effects of economic factors and extreme weather events on future management of American alligators in Louisiana.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 10:20am - 10:40am
Riverview B

Attendees (8)