Alligator eggs to hatch soon

Alligator eggs hatch in August or early September.

Mating occurs in April and May, and nest building and egg laying in June and early July. The female builds the nest using vegetation and mud found in the immediate vicinity. Many nests in the swamps tend to be less bulky and have much mud and a few sticks. The eggs are laid in a hole toward the top of the nest and covered with nesting material.

Louisiana and Florida have the largest alligator populations – there are more than one million wild alligators in each state. They occur in a wide variety of aquatic habitats including rivers, streams, lakes and ponds but are most abundant in swamps and marshes.

During the late 1980s, a new management program for alligators was initiated. Licensed alligator farmers collect eggs from nests found in the wild and then hatch them in captivity.

These hatchlings are then raised in heated houses until they are about 4 feet long. Some of the alligators are returned to the landowner where the eggs were collected for release into the wild. The rest are sold for meat and hides.

Learn more about the wild alligator management program from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries: