Where Do Alligators Live in the US: Top Places to See Them

The American alligator is one of the most famous animals in the US. People are often fascinated by alligators because of their prehistoric appearance. They also know how important gators are for the ecosystem.

Most people only see alligators in the zoo. But there are several reports of gators appearing in unusual places. There was one baby gator swimming in a backyard pool in New York. Some locals in Chicago also found a five-foot alligator in a park.

The news of alligator sightings in cities in New York was shocking. It’s because these animals are only found in a few states.

Where Do Alligators Live in the US?

Alligators are only found in two countries – the United States and China. There are less than 200 hundred Chinese alligators still alive. They’re found in the lower Yangtze River basin. The American gator population is larger. They’re found in the following areas:

  • Louisiana

Louisiana is home to over two million wild alligators. It’s a hotspot for these scaly reptiles because of its massive wetlands. The state’s warm climate is another reason alligators thrive in the Louisiana Bayou.

Louisiana also has a lot of alligator farms. There are more than a million gators on these farms. Alligator farming is a thriving industry. It generates millions of dollars for the state.

  • Florida

Here are some interesting facts about alligators. The Sunshine State has the second-largest population of alligators in the country. This reptile is so prevalent it’s now Florida’s state reptile. Florida’s swamps, marshes, and lakes are home to 1.3 million gators. They’re also known to appear in urban areas.

  • Texas

Texas is famous for cowboys, cattle, and the rodeo. The state also has its fair share of alligators. Around 400,000 to 500,000 gators are living in Texas. The Lone Star state has the third largest gator population. These reptiles live along the Gulf Coast and near the Rio Grande.  The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department manages the population.

  • Georgia

Georgia isn’t in the running of most alligators in the US. But there are still a lot of gators living in this state. Data shows 200,000 to 250,000 gators live in Georgia’s coastal marshes, lakes, and rivers.

  • North and South Carolina

Around 100,000 alligators are making South Carolina their home. They’re often found in the area’s coastal marshes, lakes, and rivers.

North Carolina has almost the same gator population numbers as its Southern counterpart. Most of these animals are south of Albermarle. Visitors can also see them in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Alabama

People are often surprised to find that Alabama has alligators. But around 70,000 gators are living in the southern part of the state. They’re often found in Alabama’s rivers and wetlands. Visitors often see them along the Gulf Coast and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta.

  • Mississippi

Mississippi is famous for its waterways and wetlands. These places are home to 50,000 alligators. It’s because the Mississippi River is a suitable habitat for them. Alligators are now thriving in the Mississippi Delta and the Pascagoula River Basin.

Why are Alligators Thriving in These States? 

Several factors influence the gator’s choice of habitat. The temperature is one of the key factors. Gators are ectothermic. External sources control their body temperature. It’s why they thrive in places with warmer climates. The southeastern US is an ideal environment because it has a subtropical climate.

Animals also thrive in places where there’s a lot of available food. Alligators need a large supply of food. An abundant food source makes it easier for them to maintain their large size and energy. Swamps and lakes give alligators a lot of options. They can prey on fish, birds, and smaller animals.

Alligators also have specific breeding needs. They need nesting sites with access to water. Wetlands and marshes are ideal for nesting gators. They’re close to the water. They can also find what they need to build their nests.

Before You Go

Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures shows a different side of the Sunshine State. You can explore Florida’s wetlands with us. We’re one of the top airboat tour operators. We’ll give you a thrilling adventure during your one-hour boat ride. You’ll see alligators, snakes, and rare birds.  We also ensure the safest and most memorable ride. You can give us a call at 352-643-0708. You can also book a tour here.