Invasive Species: Nile Crocodile 

Nile CrocodileThe Everglades isn’t just home to alligators, it’s home to crocodiles, as well. There are many different types of crocodiles in the Everglades, but there is one species of crocodile that is invasive: The Nile Crocodile. Nile crocodiles are from Africa.  

A University of Florida herpetologist said he isn’t sure how the Nile crocodile got into the Everglades. Obviously, the crocodile couldn’t swim all the way over itself from Africa.  

Nile crocodiles have been captured in the Everglades in 2009, 2011, and 2014. Locals reported strange looking alligators, so this scientist and his colleagues captured and tested the crocodiles. After some DNA testing, it was determined these crocodiles were Nile crocodilesHowever, they were not matched to any of the Nile crocodiles in any of Florida’s licensed Florida attractions, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 

These Nile crocodiles could have been brought over to the area illegally by an unlicensed reptile collector, or they could have escaped or have been let go. It is believed the crocodiles found may have escaped from Predator World, and that no one released them, but they escaped, according to officials at the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

A male Nile crocodile: 

  •  Can be more 16 feet long and weigh more than 1,600 pounds.  
  • Has a bronze/brown/yellow coloring.  
  • Is more aggressive than the American crocodile or American alligator.  

This crocodile is not good news for the Everglades’ ecosystem if it starts growing in numbers. These crocodiles can live and survive in Florida‘s climate for many years and they can grow and populate quickly. It is believed that cross-breeding between the American crocodile and the Nile crocodile could create even larger crocodiles in the area, which could endanger the smaller breads of crocodiles and the purity of the American breed. 

For now, Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission officials aren’t worried, and believe they have captured all the Nile crocodiles in the area – there have been no other confirmed sightings. These officials conduct regular routine inspections and surveys to look out for exotic and invasive species.  The agency also doesn’t believe these crocodiles mated with any native crocodiles in their time in the wild, because of dissimilar habitat and behavior. 

Explore the Everglades 

Come down to the Everglades and see some native alligators and crocodiles – they are a fan favorite of things to see in the Everglades and on an airboat tour.  

A great way to explore the crocodile’s habitat is with an airboat tour. Call Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours at 800-368-0065  or visit our Everglades Airboat Tours page. Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).