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With all the nuisance alligators being relocated to Holly Shelter Game Lands, are they becoming overpopulated there?

Gareth McGrath
StarNews
Jimmy English from Wildlife Removal Service captured an alligator in the Mallory Creek subdivision of Brunswick County on June 8, 2011. The gator was released later that day in Holly Shelter.     StarNews photo by Matt Born.

Jimmy English from Wildlife Removal Service captured an alligator in the Mallory Creek subdivision of Brunswick County on June 8, 2011. The gator was released later that day in Holly Shelter. StarNews photo by Matt Born.

Robbie Norville, biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, said there are a number of reasons why nuisance alligators are moved to Holly Shelter Game Lands in Pender County.

One of the most important is that the protected lands near Hampstead, pocketed with creeks and wetlands, are prime gator habitat.

But Norville admits that means the game lands already have a healthy population of alligators too.

And what happens when the local animals interact with their new neighbors?

“Yes, there are a lot of unknowns out there,” Norville said. “But in some cases, that’s the only avenue we have left.”

That’s because as more people crowd the coast, they’re moving into areas where gators have been for millions of years – but not people.

Along with those interactions, we’re often building prime gator habitat in the form of stormwater detention ponds and drainage ditches that are perfect areas for alligators to set up shop and migrate between habitats.

And alligator numbers are probably increasing too, benefiting from the continued protections offered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

That includes prohibitions from killing or disturbing the prehistoric reptiles.

Finally, Norville said alligators are known to range far and wide, especially mature animals, in searching out mates and new habitat.

That means that even though the alligator might get what’s supposed to be a free one-way ticket to the game land, he might not be hanging around there for very long.

User-contributed question by:
Billy

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4 Responses to “ With all the nuisance alligators being relocated to Holly Shelter Game Lands, are they becoming overpopulated there?”

  1. On May 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm John Kennedy wrote:

    The middle of Holly Shelter is about as isolated as North Carolina offers. If the Wildlife Commission loses the right to relocate alligators to Holly Shelter, then nuisance alligators will have to be humanely destroyed and buried in a landfill. I’m sure the Commission would welcome a legitimate alternative suggestion. Thanks.

  2. On May 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm dilligaf2u wrote:

    Solution: New menu item, Holland’s Shelter Creek Fish Camp, Gator nuggets with cole slaw, fries and some Cajun seasoning! In the meantime, take an extra paddle in case yours gets chomped off by one of the 12+ footers that has an attitude after being moved.

  3. On May 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm deborah beckner wrote:

    We are thinking of moving to NC and would like to know where are aligators located in NC. Thank You

  4. On July 31, 2010 at 7:39 pm Darlene wrote:

    Nuisance Alligators eh? Maybe the Gator’s see us (humans) as a Nuisance. People have caused more problems for Gators then the Gators have for us. You know they have been around a lot longer then humans.



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