Chinese Alligator

Basic Information:

Scientific Name: Alligator sinensis

Habitat: : Although their range was once much larger, today the Chinese alligator can only be found in the lower Yangtze River Basin in China. Here, they are found in slow-moving rivers and streams, lakes, ponds, and swamps. However, since available habitat is limited, they are more often found in irrigation ditches and ponds on agricultural land.

Diet: Chinese alligators eat Ssnails, insects, fish, frogs, and small mammals and birds if available.

Size: 4.9 to 6.9 feet long

Weight: 79 to 99 pounds

Lifespan: 50 years in the wild. Up to 70 years in human care.

Distribution Map:

I.U.C.N. Conservation Status:

What does this mean?

Critically Endangered – a species determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) to possess an extremely high risk of extinction as a result of rapid population declines of 80 to more than 90 percent over the previous 10 years (or three generations), a current population size of fewer than 50 individuals, or other factors (such as severely fragmented populations, long generation times, or isolated habitats).

Our Chinese Alligators:

Bizi (Male) – Born August 8, 1988

Ling (Female) – Born August 3, 1985

Did You Know?!

  • There are thought to be less than 150 Chinese alligators left in the wild today due to habitat loss.
  • Historians believe that the mythical dragons found in Chinese art and literature are actually Chinese alligators.
  • There are only two living species of alligator; The Chinese alligator and the American alligator. The Chinese alligator is much smaller than the American alligator; Their average length is about 4 ½ to 5 feet. Males are usually larger than females.
  • Female alligators will care for their young for several weeks, sometimes even several years! They protect their
    young, help them hatch, and carry them from their nesting site to the water.
  • Chinese alligators are known to dig extensive tunnels with multiple chambers. They stay in their tunnels during the day, as they are primarily nocturnal, and during the cold winter months.