Rare Crocodile Nest Discovered on Virginia Key in Florida

2 Aug

IMAGE SOURCE: Miami Herald

IMAGE SOURCE: Miami Herald

By Jenny Staletovich from the Miami Herald

August 2, 2015

To the surprise of biologists, a Virginia Key beach restored to lure sea turtles has become an incubator to some unlikely babies: rare American crocodiles.

Last month, the baby crocs hatched from the first nest ever documented on the urban island that links the city of Miami to Key Biscayne. After incubating for 84 days, a team from theUniversity of Florida and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science helped tag 13 crocs on July 26.

“To get a nest where we’ve never had one before is very cool,” said UF biologist Frank Mazzotti, who plans to alert U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials.

Home to the county’s oldest wastewater treatment plant, the island has been an ongoing battleground between developers, who want to spruce up the old Marine Stadium, host an international boat show and build a parking garage, and conservationists, who have been working to restore the island’s native habitat.
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