Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Carolina
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

South Carolina Project

South Carolina Alligator Adaptive Management Strategies: Population Dynamics, Habitat Utilization and Conservation Threats

July 2012 - March 2019


Participating Agencies

  • South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit
American Alligator with satellite tag

The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is an iconic species in South Carolina, of ecological and economic importance. This study is investigating alligator population ecology using multiple analytical methods to establish an adaptive management framework for harvest decision-making. The primary study objectives are to (1) improve the study design of alligator monitoring programs to best reflect annual variation in alligator specific size-class abundance, (2) identify factors that influence said variation, and (3) evaluate the influence of alligator habitat-use patterns on management decisions.

Research Publications Publication Date
Lawson, A.J., Clinton T. Moore, Thomas R. Rainwater, Frances M. Nilsen, Philip M. Wilkinson, Russell H. Lowers, Louis J. Guillette Jr., K.W. McFadden, and Patrick G.R. Jodice. 2020. Nonlinear patterns in mercury bioaccumulation in American alligators are a function of predicted age. Science of the Total Environment 707:135103. | Download March 2020
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Lawson, Abigail J. 2019. Reducing uncertainties in conservation decision-making for American alligators. Dissertation. Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA. 233 pp. May 2019