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Nile Crocodile Latest Invasive Threat In Florida Everglades

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Researchers say the Nile crocodile could become the Everglades' latest invasive top predator.

They say they have caught three from the wild in south Florida.

University of Florida researchers say two Nile crocodiles were captured in the Everglades and a third on a Miami residential porch between 2000 and 2014.

Researcher Frank Mazzotti says it's too soon to know what impact the species will have in Florida, home to the world's largest number of invasive animals.

"Now is the time to do something about it because if you wait until it's established and breeding, if you wait until it's spread, if you wait until it causes impacts it's too late."

It is not known how the Nile crocodiles ended up in the wild here. Mazzotti says there are probably more out there.

The animals can grow up to 15 feet, larger than the American crocodiles native to the Everglades. The watershed is the only place on Earth where crocodiles and alligators co-exist.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.