Meet the Alligators

Audrey Laine
Cypress
Sally
Kitty
Laura
Johnny
Okefenokee Joe
Obadiah
Doc
Rambo
BDE
BEI
BDL
BIN
BEN
BKL
BMO
BIP
BOP
CJM

BKL

Name: BKL
Sex: Male
Species: American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
Stage of Life: Adult
Length: 2.97m / 9ft’ 10”
Estimated Weight: 118kg / 260lbs
Tail Tag: Red 140
Tail Notches: BKL
Tagged Date: Sat Tag 11/8/2021
Tag Status: Active
Tagged Location: Okefenokee Adventures, Folkston, GA
Sponsors: UGA

alligator basking

Description: Notch code BKL is an adult male alligator from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge who measures 9’10” (3m) long and weighs roughly 260lbs (118kg)! BKL is the 5th animal to be incorporated into the satellite tag study from Okefenokee Adventures. Based on previous observations and communications with staff at Okefenokee Adventures, we believe that this animal may be a dominant male in this area. BKL has an interesting distinguishing feature as one of the teeth on his lower jaw has grown up through the upper jaw and is visible when his mouth is closed. This phenomenon is unusual but has been documented before, even by our field team. It does not affect his ability to survive in any way and he most likely doesn’t even notice it now that it is healed. 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.

BKL Overall Map

This Map shows the movements of BKL over the 10 months (November 2021 – Current) that he has had a satellite tag. BKL has a fairly small home range in one of the prairies in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. His territory is close to a few other alligators we have tagged and seems to overlap slightly with alligator BEN.

BMO

Name: BMO
Sex: Male
Species: American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
Stage of Life: Adult
Length: 3.05m / 10ft’ 0”
Estimated Weight: 118kg / 260lbs
Tail Tag: Orange 42
Tail Notches: BMO
Tagged Date: Sat Tag 04/07/2022
Tag Status: Active
Tagged Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Folkston, GA
Sponsors: UGA

alligator being released

Description: Notch code BMO is an adult male alligator that was captured within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. He measures 10ft long and we estimate that he weighs approximately 260lbs! BMO was in great health and had no major injuries. He appeared to be an older alligator as the majority of his scutes were worn and smooth. BMO is the 8th alligator to be tagged within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the 17th alligator to be tagged as part of this study! 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.

BIP

Name: BIP
Sex: Male
Species: American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
Stage of Life: Adult
Length: 2.46m / 8ft’ 1”
Estimated Weight:  45kg / 100lbs
Tail Tag: Red 126
Tail Notches: BIP
Tagged Date: Sat Tag 08/04/2022
Tag Status: Active
Tagged Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Folkston, GA
Sponsors: John and Kristin Hoog

BIP the alligator face

Description: Notch Code BIP is the smallest male that we have been able to attach a satellite tag to. In order to attach a satellite tag to an animal, the minimum size we target is around 8ft. This is because the tag has to be able to fit between their nuchal scutes (scutes on the back of the neck). While BIP is at a size where he is sexually mature, he is most likely not contributing to the population yet. This is because while he is capable of reproducing, he is not yet large enough to actually compete for territory and mates. At this stage in his life, BIP is most likely searching for a territory he can call his own that does not have a large male in it. BIP is the 9th alligator to be tagged within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the 19th alligator to be tagged as part of this study! 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.

BOP

Name: BOP
Sex: Male
Species: American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
Stage of Life: Adult
Length: 3.07m / 10ft’ 1″
Estimated Weight: 127kg / 280lbs
Tail Tag: Red 148
Tail Notches: BOP
Tagged Date: Sat Tag 07/22/2022
Tag Status: Active
Tagged Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Folkston, GA
Sponsors: UGA

Bop the alligator's release

Description: Notch code BOP is an adult male alligator measuring 10’1″ and is estimated to weigh around 275lbs! BOP is a very healthy alligator as indicated by his body and tail girth measurements. His tail girth was 2.5 feet around and his body girth was 4 feet around! The only notable injury that we could see on BOP was that his left eye was covered in scar tissue, and he could not see out of it. Notch code BOP was a bit odd in terms of the capture location as he was captured in a roadside ditch within the National Wildlife Refuge. BOP is the 8th alligator to be tagged within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the 18th alligator to be tagged as part of this study! 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.

BOP Overall Map

This map shows the movements of BOP over the 2 months (July 2022 – Current) that he has had a satellite tag. Due to the short period of time that he has a satellite tag it is hard to speculate on his territory. However, BOP was caught on the edge of the swamp so we will be interested to see how it compares to some of the alligators who are father out in the swamp.

CJM

Name: CJM
Sex: Female
Species: American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
Stage of Life: Adult
Length: 2.66m / 8ft’ 9”
Estimated Weight:  79kg / 175lbs
Tail Tag: NA
Tail Notches: CJM
Tagged Date: Sat Tag 08/26/2022
Tag Status: Active
Tagged Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Fargo, GA
Sponsors: John and Kristin Hoog

CJM full body

Description: CJM is an adult female that was captured at Stephen C. Foster State Park, the western entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. She is the first alligator that we have attached a satellite tag to from the western side of the swamp. CJM is 8’9″ long and we estimate that she weighs roughly 175lbs! She is a reproductive female, and she had a nest that hatched in September of 2022! CJM is a very healthy individual, but she does have a few injuries that distinguish her. She has an old boat prop injury on her tail, but it does not affect her mobility. In addition to that, she is also blind in her left eye as a result of accidentally being hooked by a stray fishhook. Despite these injuries, CJM has displayed that she is an excellent mother and will defend her nest from humans and other wildlife. 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 refuge

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All photos by University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, unless otherwise noted.