Hundreds of crocodiles have settled in a canal network in southern Florida, and the canal canal also delivers cooling water to a nearby nuclear power plant.
Scientists want to remain in this state. A team of Florida Power & Light experts recently collected 73 baby crocodiles from a canal near the FPL Turkey Point nuclear power plant in Biscayne National Park. It is reported that biologists will implant microchips in crocodile cubs to help researchers continue to monitor the health of crocodile populations.
Alligators are native to southern Florida, which is the northernmost end of their range of activity; they also exist in coastal areas of South and Central America and the Caribbean Sea. These reptiles can grow to 20 feet (6 meters) long and weigh more than 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms), but, according to the Fish and Wildlife Administration (FWS), American crocodiles bred in the United States are usually smaller.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Administration says female crocodiles usually lay 20 to 60 eggs, but few of them reach adulthood: most defenseless young are eaten by fish, gulls, wading birds and crabs. Fortunately for crocodiles in the Turkish Cape Canal, it is reported that they do not have to worry about being preyed on by humans in this area, which is relatively remote and can protect crocodiles from hunters.
But how safe is the water in those cooling pipes? In March, the NRCs Board of Atomic Safety and Licensing reportedly said it would hear debates about whether the canals containing ammonia would harm crocodiles or other endangered animals that inhabit them.
Studies show that tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, also appears to be rising in this channel, which may be flowing into the nearby Biscayne Bay.
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