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Photo courtesy of Keith Kleppinger

American crocodiles, always rare in Florida, were further impacted by human population growth and development of the coastal areas where they live. In 1975, the American crocodile was federally listed as endangered. At that time, annual nesting had fallen to 10 to 20 nests, and it was estimated that there were less than 300 crocodiles in Florida.

American crocodiles are a species in recovery. Today, nesting has increased to more than 100 annually, and it is estimated that there are between 1,500 and 2,000 crocodiles in the state, not including hatchlings. The crocodile is state listed as threatened and its federal listing has been downgraded to threatened, due to the progress of the crocodile's recovery.

With increasing numbers of crocodiles in areas where people also live, Florida is experiencing a growing number of complaints about nuisance crocodiles.

US Fish & Wildlife Service - Species Profile