Description: Notch code BDE is an adult male American alligator living in the Okefenokee Swamp. He was the first alligator to be integrated into our satellite tagging study from the Okefenokee Adventures entrance in Folkston Georgia. For the most part this male appears to have a relatively small primary home range and hangs out right around where he was captured. He did however exhibit a large move in early March 2021 where he left his normal range and traveled more than three miles out into a different part of the swamp. He explored around this new area for about three weeks before he again made a three mile move back to his normal territory. It is unclear what caused this large move, but we can speculate that because the move happened in March he was most likely moving in response to larger alligators moving around looking for mates.
Before he was captured and fitted with a satellite tag, BDE was always hanging around boats and people, specifically fishermen. While this may seem cool, BDE displayed classic begging behavior. He had learned that fishermen can often lead to an easy meal because they gut their fish and discard the scraps in the water. Now some fishermen may have been trying to feed him and others were just doing this absentmindedly, but it is still a great example that can be used to educate the public on the dangers of feeding alligators, even if it may be unintentional. The reason that feeding can be so dangerous to both humans and alligators is that it creates bold alligators that approach people because they offer food. This can easily lead to someone being bit if they get too close which not only results in the injury of a person but also the death of the alligator as it would have to be euthanized. In order to protect the animals located in the National Wildlife Refuge, we do not name or disclose any locations of the alligators located within the federal boundaries of the wilderness areas.
BDE Overall Map
BDE was the first alligator from Okefenokee Adventures to be fitted with a satellite tag. This map shows the year (July 2020-July 2021) that he had a satellite tag attached. Overall BDE had a fairly small territory as he usually stayed close to the boat basin, but he did make a 3+ mile move in the summer of 2021.
BDE Large Move Map
During the summer of 2021 BDE variated from his normal territory and traveled more than 3+ miles from the boat basin out into the refuge and back again.