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Hundreds of crocodiles make their home in a network of canals in southern Florida. These channels also happen to carry water that cools a nearby nuclear power plant.
But don't worry — these crocodiles aren't mutants, monstrous or radioactive. In fact, the reptiles are thriving in these waters. American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) were formerly edging toward extinction, but their numbers have multiplied enough to elevate their federal status from "endangered" to "threatened" in 2007.
Crocodiles - Turkey - Point - Canals - CBS
Several hundred crocodiles now inhabit Turkey Point canals, CBS Miami reported. To ensure the crocodile population's continued growth and success, FPL biologists visit the canals every year between January and April to build nesting sites for crocodile mothers. Months later, hatchlings are caught, measured and microchipped, and then are redistributed among the canal network — which spans 168 miles (270 kilometers) — which offers the babies a better chance of survival than being released together in the same spot, according to the AP.
Since the conservation and monitoring program began, the "Croc Team" has tagged more than 7,000 crocodiles, FPL representatives reported. In addition to microchipping hatchlings, scientists also construct ponds to protect the young from predators, and conduct surveys to track the health and growth of the canal-dwelling crocodiles, according to FPL.
Crocodiles - Florida - Part - Range - Regions
American crocodiles are native to southern Florida, which is the northernmost part of their range; they are also found in coastal regions in South and Central America, and in the Caribbean Sea. These reptiles can grow to be 20 feet (6 meters) long and weigh more than 2,000 lbs. (907 kilograms), though individuals in U.S. breeding populations tend to be somewhat smaller than that, according...
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