Endangered crocs flourish at Florida plant

27 July 2007

[FPL, CBS, 24 July] Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) Turkey Point nuclear power plant has played a crucial role in saving the endangered American crocodile ( crocodylus acutus). The plant, thanks to its cooling system, has become the main breeding ground for the crocodiles, which were on the brink of extinction 30 years ago. The plant's cooling system, consisting of over 100 km of canals, has created the ideal breeding environment for the animals, which can grow up to 14 feet (4.25 m) long and live for 50-60 years. The reptiles prefer the plant's cooling water canals because the constant water level within the system eliminates the problem of nest flooding and protects the nest from predators. Turkey Point has become home to one-quarter of the USA's entire population of American crocodiles. About nine-tenths of the Turkey Point property remains in its natural state of mangroves and fresh water wetlands. There are more than 60 known species of birds and animals that inhabit the property. Of these, 17 are endangered. FPL protects the crocodile and conducts research by counting crocodile nests annually to record population changes. More than 3000 crocodiles have been marked and released.

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