Oklahoma Wants More Information About Alligators

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation officials are seeking more information about alligators in the southeast part of the state.

Oklahoma Wants More Information About Alligators

A study in Oklahoma is aimed at finding out more about the state's alligator population, establishing a baseline and determining locations.

Biologists will partner with those from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant and Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas, for the two-year research study. If you didn’t know Oklahoma has alligators, you’re not alone. They’re located primarily in the 5,814-acre Red Slough Wildlife Management Area in southeast Oklahoma. The WMA is on the Red River, which serves as the border with Texas, and not far from southwest Arkansas. Texas and Arkansas have healthy populations of alligators. It is believed the southeast population in Oklahoma is the edge of their westernmost range.

The research project includes trapping and tagging alligators with transmitters. That way they can be found later to determine habitat changes, movement and for further data-gathering.

At the moment, state officials said, determining to have or set an alligator hunting season is not part of the research project. The study is to find out more about the population, numbers, maybe establish a baseline and determine locations. Alligators have been found in Oklahoma for years, mostly in the Red and Little river systems in the southeast part of the state. But no study ever has been conducted like this one.

Alligator nests were first discovered in 2005 on Red Slough WMA, which is a series of reclaimed rice farms and other river-bottom habitat.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.