Taxpayers Fund Alligator Studies for $725,265 – Sleep, Eat, and Nest
If you have ever wondered about an alligator’s sleeping, eating, and nesting habits, a new project monitoring those in the Florida Everglades may whet your appetite.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is giving researchers $145,053 this year to study the scaly creatures and up to $725,265 for the duration of the project.
The grant offering says that monitoring the status of alligators is important because the reptiles are an ecological indicator of how the Everglades are holding up.
“The Florida Everglades is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles occur,” the grant summary says. They “are indicators of ecosystem health and restoration success, because at all life history stages, crocodilians integrate biological impacts of hydrologic conditions.”
These predators are dependent on prey density, so their status provides a surrogate for the status of many other species, the grant says.
Dry nests and wet trails and holes are conditions created by “ecosystem engineers” like alligators, providing habitats for plants and animals that otherwise could not survive, the grant states.
The study will collect data and help form an understanding of the alligator population and their body conditions, including looking at their long-term patterns of nesting.
However, the biggest thing gobbled up in this study is taxpayer dollars – nearly three-quarters of $1 million!
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.