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I often see Mangrove and Cypress swamps on T.V. and I think it might be fun to explore one in a canoe. My wife thinks we might get eaten by Alligators if we try it. I have no knowledge about alligators, so I suppose the best solution is to find a Mangrove and Cypress swamp that does not have Alligators.

Are there Mangrove and Cypress swamps in the United States that don't have Alligators (or Crocodiles)?

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Mangroves no, because if you compare this map of the distribution of mangroves to this map of the distribution of alligators in the United States,

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there aren't any places with mangroves that don't also have alligators.

On the other hand, there are places on this map of cypress swamps that extend farther north than the range of alligators.

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The range of American Crocodiles is even more limited than that of American alligators.

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  • I imagine alligators extend beyond that as well, i know they have been seen in a lake that is in a suburb of dallas in far north texas, which is not shaded on that map. – Nate W Apr 3 '18 at 17:53
  • @NateW urban alligators outside the range of their natural habitats are likely former pets. – StrongBad Apr 4 '18 at 17:23
  • @NateW and these released former pets tend to die from the cold, during the winter en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewer_alligator#Contemporary_accounts – James Jenkins Apr 5 '18 at 11:42
  • i realize that, but i don't think that is the case here. they're seen almost every year and it has been said by the army corp of engineers that several live in the area. Lewisville lake in TX if you want to look it up. The "Range of American Alligator" image looks quite old as well so i would not be surprised if they have expanded some. – Nate W Apr 5 '18 at 15:08
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Taking a literal definition of US and not restricting the answer to the continental US, there is a mangrove swap on Heeia in HI and the list of reptiles in HI does not include crocodiles or alligators. There are also 9 mangrove areas in Puerto Rico and the list of reptiles in PR does not include alligators or crocodiles (although I found some conflicting news reports).

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I see that Charlie has already shown that there may be a few cypress swamps that don't have alligators if you go far enough north and inland.

However, being in a canoe gives you considerable protection. Alligators aren't going to attack the canoe somehow. In the unlikely event that one will get curious and come too close for your comfort, you have paddles that you can use to convince the alligator that it's time is better spent elsewhere.

That all said, if you capsize and end up in the water, it can be dangerous and you have to be very vigilant. Even then, it's not guaranteed you see the alligator in time.

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Alligators won't bother you. They will chill out on the floor of the water feature in question and patiently wait for you to pass by. I've skied on the Mississippi River before, as well as in other riverine regions in the South, and have as such spent considerable time bobbing in the water, waiting for the boat to circle back and pick me up.

I've also spent quite a bit of time kayaking and canoeing in similar areas as what you mention, with almost no interaction with alligators. I've seen them sunning on the beach or on a log (for very small specimen), but other than that, they have always left me alone. They are the most chill creatures. Nothing like we humans.

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