The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain, becoming the United States of America, they defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War in alliance with others. Members of American colonial society argued the position of "no taxation without representation", starting with the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, they rejected the authority of the British Parliament to tax them because they lacked members in that governing body. Protests escalated to the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the burning of the Gaspee in Rhode Island in 1772, followed by the Boston Tea Party in December 1773, during which Patriots destroyed a consignment of taxed tea; the British responded by closing Boston Harbor followed with a series of legislative acts which rescinded Massachusetts Bay Colony's rights of self-government and caused the other colonies to rally behind Massachusetts. In late 1774, the Patriots set up their own alternative government to better coordinate their resistance efforts against Great Britain.
Tensions erupted into battle between Patriot militia and British regulars when the king's army attempted to capture and destroy Colonial military supplies at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The conflict developed into a global war, during which the Patriots fought the British and Loyalists in what became known as the American Revolutionary War; each of the thirteen colonies formed a Provincial Congress that assumed power from the old colonial governments and suppressed Loyalism, from there they built a Continental Army under the leadership of General George Washington. The Continental Congress determined King George's rule to be tyrannical and infringing the colonists' rights as Englishmen, they declared the colonies free and independent states on July 2, 1776; the Patriot leadership professed the political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism to reject monarchy and aristocracy, they proclaimed that all men are created equal. The Continental Army forced the redcoats out of Boston in March 1776, but that summer the British captured and held New York City and its strategic harbor for the duration of the war.
The Royal Navy blockaded ports and captured other cities for brief periods, but they failed to defeat Washington's forces. The Patriots unsuccessfully attempted to invade Canada during the winter of 1775–76, but captured a British army at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777. France now entered the war as an ally of the United States with a large army and navy that threatened Britain itself; the war turned to the American South where the British under the leadership of Charles Cornwallis captured an army at Charleston, South Carolina in early 1780 but failed to enlist enough volunteers from Loyalist civilians to take effective control of the territory. A combined American–French force captured a second British army at Yorktown in the fall of 1781 ending the war; the Treaty of Paris was signed September 3, 1783, formally ending the conflict and confirming the new nation's complete separation from the British Empire. The United States took possession of nearly all the territory east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes, with the British retaining control of Canada and Spain taking Florida.
Among the significant results of the revolution was the creation of the United States Constitution, establishing a strong federal national government that included an executive, a national judiciary, a bicameral Congress that represented states in the Senate and the population in the House of Representatives. The Revolution resulted in the migration of around 60,000 Loyalists to other British territories British North America; as early as 1651, the English government had sought to regulate trade in the American colonies. On October 9, the Navigation Acts were passed pursuant to a mercantilist policy intended to ensure that trade enriched only Great Britain, barring trade with foreign nations; some argue that the economic impact was minimal on the colonists, but the political friction which the acts triggered was more serious, as the merchants most directly affected were most politically active. King Philip's War ended in 1678, much of it was fought without significant assistance from England.
This contributed to the development of a unique identity from that of the British people. In the 1680s, King Charles II determined to bring the New England colonies under a more centralized administration in order to regulate trade more effectively, his efforts were fiercely opposed by the colonists, resulting in the abrogation of their colonial charter by the Crown. Charles' successor James II finalized these efforts in 1686, establishing the Dominion of New England. Dominion rule triggered bitter resentment throughout New England. New Englanders were encouraged, however, by a change of government in England that saw James II abdicate, a populist uprising overthrew Dominion rule on April 18, 1689. Colonial governments reasserted their control in the wake of the revolt, successive governments made no more attempts to restore the Dominion. Subsequent English governments continued in their efforts to tax certain goods, passing acts regulating the trade of wool and molasses; the Molasses Act of 1733 in particular was egregious to the colonists, as a significant part of colonial trade relied on the product.
The taxes damaged the N
The Canada goose is a large wild goose species with a black head and neck, white cheeks, white under its chin, a brown body. Native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, its migration reaches northern Europe, it has been introduced to the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Argentina and the Falkland Islands. Like most geese, the Canada goose is herbivorous and migratory. Successful at living in human-altered areas, Canada geese have proven able to establish breeding colonies in urban and cultivated areas, which provide food and few natural predators; the success of this common park species has led to its being considered a pest species because of their depredation of crops and their noise, aggressive territorial behavior, habit of begging for food. The Canada goose was one of the many species described by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae, it belongs to the Branta genus of geese, which contains species with black plumage, distinguishing them from the grey species of the genus Anser.
Branta is a Latinised form of Old Norse Brandgás, "burnt goose" and the specific epithet canadensis is a New Latin word meaning "from Canada". According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first citation for the'Canada goose' dates back to 1772; the Canada goose is colloquially referred to as the "Canadian goose". The cackling goose was considered to be the same species or a subspecies of the Canada goose, but in July 2004, the American Ornithologists' Union's Committee on Classification and Nomenclature split them into two species, making the cackling goose into a full species with the scientific name Branta hutchinsii; the British Ornithologists' Union followed suit in June 2005. The AOU has divided the many subspecies between the two species; the subspecies of the Canada goose were listed as: Atlantic Canada goose, B. c. canadensis Interior Canada goose, B. c. interior Giant Canada goose, B. c. maxima Delacour, 1951 Moffitt's Canada goose, B. c. moffitti Aldrich, 1946 Vancouver Canada goose, B. c. fulva Dusky Canada goose, B. c. occidentalis Lesser Canada goose, B. c. parvipes The distinctions between the two geese have led to confusion and debate among ornithologists.
This has been aggravated by the overlap between the small types of Canada goose and larger types of cackling goose. The old "lesser Canada geese" were believed to be a hybrid population, with the birds named B. c. taverneri considered a mixture of B. c. minima, B. c. occidentalis, B. c. parvipes. The holotype specimen of taverneri is a straightforward large pale cackling goose however, hence the taxon is still valid today and was renamed "Taverner's cackling goose". In addition, the barnacle goose was determined to be a derivative of the cackling goose lineage, whereas the Hawaiian goose originated from ancestral Canada geese. Thus, the species' distinctness is well evidenced, A recent proposed revision by Harold C. Hanson suggests splitting Canada and cackling goose into six species and 200 subspecies; the radical nature of this proposal has provoked surprise in some quarters. The black head and neck with a white "chinstrap" distinguish the Canada goose from all other goose species, with the exception of the cackling goose and barnacle goose.
The seven subspecies of this bird vary in size and plumage details, but all are recognizable as Canada geese. Some of the smaller races can be hard to distinguish from the cackling goose, which overlap in mass. However, most subspecies of the cackling goose are smaller; the smallest cackling goose, B. h. minima, is scarcely larger than a mallard. In addition to the size difference, cackling geese have a shorter neck and smaller bill, which can be useful when small Canada geese comingle with large cackling geese. Of the "true geese", the Canada goose is on average the largest living species, although some other species that are geese in name, if not of close relation to these genera, are on average heavier such as the spur-winged goose and Cape Barren goose. Canada geese have a 127 -- 185 cm wingspan. Among standard measurements, the wing chord can range from 39 to 55 cm, the tarsus can range from 6.9 to 10.6 cm and the bill can range from 4.1 to 6.8 cm. The largest subspecies is the B. c. maxima, or the giant Canada goose, the smallest is B. c. parvipes, or the lesser Canada goose.
An exceptionally large male of race B. c. maxima, which exceed 8 kg, weighed 10.9 kg and had a wingspan of 2.24 m. This specimen is the largest wild goose recorded of any species; the male Canada goose weighs 2.6–6.5 kg, averaging amongst all subspecies 3.9 kg. The female looks identical, but is lighter at 2.4–5.5 kg, averaging amongst all subspecies 3.6 kg, 10% smaller in linear dimensions than the male counterparts. The female possesses a different, less sonorous, honk than the male; this species is native to North America. It breeds in the northern United States in a wide range of habitats; the Great Lakes region maintains a large population of Canada geese
The Santee River is a river in South Carolina in the United States, is 143 miles long. The Santee and its tributaries provide the principal drainage for the coastal areas of southeastern South Carolina and navigation for the central coastal plain of South Carolina, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean 440 miles from its farthest headwater on the Catawba River in North Carolina; the Santee River is the second largest river on the eastern coast of the United States, second only to the Susquehanna River in drainage area and flow. Much of the upper river is impounded by the expansive, horn-shaped Lake Marion reservoir, formed by the 8-mile -long Santee Dam; the dam was built during the Great Depression of the 1930s as a Works Progress Administration project to provide a major source of hydroelectric power for the state of South Carolina. The Santee is formed in central South Carolina 25 miles southeast of Columbia by the confluence of the Wateree and Congaree rivers, it flows southeast for 5 miles before entering the northwest corner of Lake Marion, which stretches in a long wide arc to the southeast for 30 miles to Santee Dam.
A navigable diversion canal first built in the 1970s at the southern tip of the lake connects to Lake Moultrie, a reservoir on the nearby Cooper River. The modern canal is operated by Santee Cooper as part of the larger hydroelectric project on both rivers; the dam was finished in 1941. Downstream from the reservoir it flows east southeast, forming the northeast boundary of Francis Marion National Forest. 10 miles from its mouth it bifurcates into two channels, called the North Santee and South Santee, that flow parallel and separated by 2 miles, creating Cedar Island. The two channels reach the ocean at Santee Point 15 miles south of Georgetown, not far from the mouth of the Pee Dee River; the river was named by early English settlers after the Santee tribe, which inhabited areas on the middle part of the river. The first European contact was by a Spanish party led by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526; the Spaniards called the river the Jordan in honor of the Jordan River. After suffering a defeat by the English and their allies during the Yamasee War in 1715–1716, the Santee were relocated.
Many were shipped as slaves to the West Indies, opening up the river for British settlement as part of the Carolina Colony. Most of the Siouan peoples had migrated into the upper Midwest before European encounter. In the late 18th century, the upper river was the site of the homestead of Francis Marion, a patriot of the American Revolutionary War; the original site of his homestead has been flooded by Lake Marion, named in his honor. Construction of the 22-mile -long Santee Canal, linking the river to the Cooper, was begun in 1793 and finished in 1800, it allowed direct water transportation between the Upcountry of central South Carolina and Charleston, at the mouth of the Cooper and the harbor. The canal operated for 50 years before being made obsolete by the introduction of railroads. During the Great Depression, the state of South Carolina created the Santee Cooper power utility; the main source of electric power for the utility came through federal construction during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt of a hydroelectric project inland from Charleston.
Starting in 1939, the Santee River was dammed, forming lakes Marion and Moultrie, diverting the river's flow into the Cooper River through a hydroelectric plant at Pinopolis. The WPA project was completed in 1941. Though the project succeeded in providing cheap electricity to modernize rural South Carolina, unintended consequences were changes to the character of both the Cooper and Santee rivers below the project. Deprived of most its water flow, the Santee River became more saline and its ecosystem changed below the dam; the Cooper River received more of the freshwater and sediment loads that used to flow into the Santee and carried them downstream. This has resulted in increasing the dredging costs to keep Charleston Harbor operating as a port. In the 1980s, the Army Corps of Engineers built a "rediversion" canal to send most of the water back into the Santee mitigating this problem; this is a partial list of crossings of the Santee River Lake Marion Railroad bridge between Lone Star and Rimini.
Former US 15 and US 301 bridge at Santee Interstate 95, US 15 and US 301 bridge at Santee Lower Santee Highway 52 bridge Railroad bridge near St. Stephen ALT US 17 bridge and adjacent railroad bridge US 17 bridge over North Santee River and South Santee River List of South Carolina rivers South Atlantic-Gulf Water Resource Region South Carolina Dept. of Health and Environmental Control: Santee Basin Santee Nation History Santee Cooper Lake System Old Santee Canal Park Carolina Living: History of the Carolina Lakes Santee Canal U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Santee River
Clarendon County, South Carolina
Clarendon County is a county located below the fall line in the Coastal Plain region of U. S. state of South Carolina. As of 2010, its population was 34,971, its county seat is Manning. This area was developed including textile mills. Clarendon County boasts one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States, Lake Marion, completed in 1941 as a New Deal project, it was planned as part of a national rural electrification initiative. Since the late 20th century, the dam's generation of hydroelectric power has stimulated economic development and industry in the region; the South Carolina state legislature established racial segregation of public facilities by state law in the late 19th century. During the Civil Rights Movement, Clarendon County was the site of the Briggs v. Elliott trial challenging segregation of public schools; this case was one of five combined with what came to be known as Brown v. Board of Education, under which the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that racial segregation of public schools was unconstitutional.
Clarendon County was established in 1785, shortly after the American Revolutionary War, when the legislature divided Camden District into seven counties. One was Clarendon County, it was named after Edward Hyde, a Lord Proprietor and earl of Clarendon. During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Half Way Swamp was fought in December 1780; that was one of the many Revolutionary battles. Others in this area were the following battles: Richbourg’s Mill, Nelson’s Ferry, Fort Watson/Santee Indian Mound, Tearcoat; the Swamp Fox Murals Trail has been established as an historical landmark depicting the American Revolution and General Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox". The first European settlers in Clarendon County were ethnic French Huguenots, who traveled by boat up the Santee River, their ancestors had earlier settled in Charleston after leaving France in the late 17th century to escape religious persecution. Transportation of goods by land was difficult, so canals were constructed to carry boat traffic around rapids in the river.
The first notable canal was the Santee Canal, constructed in 1793. But due to the development of the railroads in the mid-1800s and construction linking major markets, the canal was superseded and ended operations some years later. In 1798, the state legislature combined three counties - Clarendon and Salem - to form Sumter District for ease of administration. On December 19, 1855, a legislative act was passed establishing the Clarendon District, with the same boundaries as defined for the county in 1785. During the antebellum period, the county was developed as large plantations to cultivate commodity crops short-staple cotton, by the labor of enslaved African Americans. Cultivation of this crop was made profitable by development of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney, which made processing more labor-efficient. By the time of the Civil War, the population of the county was majority black. In 1855, Captain Joseph C. Burgess was selected to determine the geographical center of the county, the preferred location for the county seat, so that a courthouse village could be built.
The commissioners decided on the site. Manning was developed as the county seat. Captain Burgess deeded six acres to the state, providing sites for the courthouse and jail, in addition to streets 75-feet-wide on four sides. In 1865, toward the end of the American Civil War, a body of General Sherman's Union troops under command of General Potter raided Clarendon county, they destroyed a large portion of Manning, including the court house. The raid took place a few days before Gen. Robert E. Lee´s surrender at Appomattox; the county recovered from the Civil War due to its reliance on agriculture, which suffered a long depression. The State Constitution of 1868 renamed the districts as counties. Agriculture continued as the mainstay of the economy through much of the 19th century, planters had to adjust to a free labor economy, they relied on a system of African-American tenant farmers and sharecroppers. Lumber and related mills and industries became important, with towns developed along railroad lines in the aarea.
Following Reconstruction, white Democrats regained control of the state legislature, passing laws for segregation of public facilities, Jim Crow and a new constitution of 1895 that disfranchised most blacks in the state. This exclusion from the political system was not ended until after decades of activism by African Americans, who gained passage of federal civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s to enforce their constitutional rights. In November 1941, Lake Marion was created as a reservoir by construction of the Santee Dam by the United States Corps of Engineers; the dam was built across the Santee River to generate hydroelectric power for rural electrification, one of the major infrastructure projects initiated under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal federal investments during the Great Depression. Lake Marion and the Santee Dam were part of the Santee-Cooper Navigation Project. Two notable court cases in Clarendon County in the mid-20th century were part of challenges by the Civil Rights Movement to racial segregation of public facilities.
This was concluded in law by the United States Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which declared that separate but equal schools were unconstitutional; the court learned that the separate school were underfunded in most Southern states and equal. These cases were Levi Pearson v. Clarendon County Board of Education, Briggs v. Elliott. Clarendon
The red-shouldered hawk is a medium-sized hawk. Its breeding range spans eastern North America and along the coast of California and northern to northeastern-central Mexico. Red-shouldered hawks are permanent residents throughout most of their range, though northern birds do migrate to central Mexico; the main conservation threat to the widespread species is deforestation. Males weigh on average 550 g. Females are larger at 47 to 61 cm in length and a mean weight of 700 g; the wingspan can range from 90 to 127 cm. Adult birds can vary in mass from 460 to 930 g. Among standard measurements, the wing bone is 28–35 cm long, the tail is 16–24 cm long and the tarsus is 7.5–9 cm. Adults have brownish heads, reddish chests, pale bellies with reddish bars, their tails, which are quite long by Buteo standards, are marked with narrow white bars. Red "shoulders" are visible; these hawks' upper parts are dark with pale spots and they have long yellow legs. Western birds may appear more red, while Florida birds are paler.
The wings of adults are more barred on the upper side. Juvenile red-shouldered hawks are most to be confused with juvenile broad-winged hawks, but can be distinguished by their long tails, crescent-like wing markings, a more flapping, Accipiter-like flight style. In direct comparison, it is larger and longer proportioned than the broad-wing, though is smaller and more slender than most other common North American Buteo species; this bird is sometimes confused with the widespread red-tailed hawk. That species is larger and bulkier, with more even-sized, broad wings, is paler underneath, with a reddish tail apparent; the red-tail is more to soar with wings in a slight dihedral. The red-shouldered hawk is a member of the genus Buteo, a group of medium-sized raptors with robust bodies and broad wings. Members of this genus hawks in North America. Five subspecies of Buteo lineatus are recognized, which vary in range and in coloration: B. l. lineatus B. l. alleni B. l. elegans B. l. extimus B. l. texanus An eastern population ranges west through southern Canada from southern New Brunswick and Ontario to the eastern edge of the U.
S. Great Plains, south to Florida, the Gulf Coast, eastern Mexico. Only northernmost populations are migratory. A western population breeds west of the Sierra Nevada from northern California to northern Baja California, has expanded into Oregon and Arizona, east of the Sierra Mountains in California. Eastern populations winter from southern Wisconsin, Oklahoma and southern New England south to the Gulf Coast throughout breeding range. In winter, they are reported south to Veracruz, Mexico. Western populations are nonmigratory. Throughout its winter range, this species avoids higher elevations. Eastern birds wander west in migration. In the east, individuals from the northern half of the species’ range are migratory. In the west, most populations are local. Red-shouldered hawks are short- to moderate-distance migrants, with most individuals traveling distances between 300 km and 1,500 km each way; the species follows leading lines, migrating along inland coastlines. Larger numbers of red-shouldered hawks are counted at coastal watchsites than at inland sites.
Juveniles precede adults on migration in autumn, whereas adults precede juveniles in the spring. Red-shouldered hawks migrate alone, although they sometimes form small flocks of three or more birds; the species avoids crossing large bodies of water. While migrating, red-shouldered hawks are observed in soaring and flapping flight Red-shouldered hawks are forest raptors. In the east, they live in bottomland hardwood stands, flooded deciduous swamps, upland mixed deciduous–conifer forests, they tend to live in stands with an open subcanopy. They are not birds of deep forest, though. In the west, they live in riparian and oak woodlands, in eucalyptus groves and some residential areas. Red-shouldered hawks search for prey while perched on a treetop or soaring over woodlands; when they sight prey, they kill it by dropping directly onto it from the air. They may cache food near their nest for consumption; when in clearings, they sometimes fly low to surprise prey. Red-shouldered hawks, like most raptors, have sharp vision and reasonably good hearing, with talons capable of killing animals at least equal to their own size.
Small mammals are the most important prey rodents. Voles, mice and chipmunks may locally be favored based on abundance. Larger mammals, such as rabbits and tree squirrels, are occasionally preyed on. Other prey can include amphibians, birds and large insects, they will attack birds up to the size of a Ruffed Ring-necked Pheasant. Blue jays, a potential prey species, sometimes habitually imitate the call of the red-shouldered hawk and are known to be difficult to distinguish on voice alone. During winters, red-shouldered hawks sometimes habituate to preying on birds found at bird feeders. In some areas where they are common, crayfish can be important prey for this species. Unusual food items recorded for the
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of protected and managed federal lands in the United States. National Forests are forest and woodland areas owned collectively by the American people through the federal government, managed by the United States Forest Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture; the National Forest System was created by the Land Revision Act of 1891, signed under the presidency of Benjamin Harrison. It was the result of concerted action by Los Angeles-area businessmen and property owners who were concerned by the harm being done to the watershed of the San Gabriel Mountains by ranchers and miners. Abbot Kinney and forester Theodore Lukens were key spokesmen for the effort. In the United States there are 155 National Forests containing 190 million acres of land; these lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States, an area about the size of Texas. Some 87 percent of National Forest land lies west of the Mississippi River in the mountain ranges of the Western United States.
Alaska has 12 percent of all National Forest lands. The U. S. Forest Service manages all of the United States National Grasslands, around half of the United States National Recreation Areas. There are two distinctly different types of forests within the National Forest system; those east of the Great Plains in the Midwestern and Eastern United States were acquired by the federal government since 1891, may be second growth forests. The land had long been in the private domain and sometimes logged since colonial times, but was purchased by the United States government in order to create new National Forests; those west of the Great Plains in the Western United States, though established since 1891, are on lands with ownership maintained by the federal government since the U. S. acquisition and settling of the American West. These are lands that were kept in the public domain, with the exception of inholdings and donated or exchanged private forest lands. Land management of these areas focuses on conservation, timber harvesting, livestock grazing, watershed protection and recreation.
Unlike national parks and other federal lands managed by the National Park Service, extraction of natural resources from national forests is permitted, in many cases encouraged. However, the first-designated wilderness areas, some of the largest, are on National Forest lands. There are management decision conflicts between conservationists and environmentalists, natural resource extraction companies and lobbies, over the protection and/or use of National Forest lands; these conflicts center on endangered species protection, logging of old-growth forests, intensive clear cut logging, undervalued stumpage fees, mining operations and mining claim laws, logging/mining access road-building within National Forests. Additional conflicts arise from concerns that the grasslands and forest understory are grazed by sheep, and, more rising numbers of elk and mule deer due to loss of predators. Many ski resorts and summer resorts operate on leased land in National Forests. List of U. S. National Forests United States National Grassland National Forests of the United States topics State forest National Forest Management Act of 1976 Protected areas of the United States USDA Forest Service USDA Forest Service - The First Century 100 Years of Federal Forestry
An alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. The two living species are the Chinese alligator. Additionally, several extinct species of alligator are known from fossil remains. Alligators first appeared during the Oligocene epoch about 37 million years ago; the name "alligator" is an anglicized form of el lagarto, the Spanish term for "the lizard", which early Spanish explorers and settlers in Florida called the alligator. English spellings of the name included allagarta and alagarto. An average adult American alligator's weight and length is 360 kg and 4 m, but they sometimes grow to 4.4 m long and weigh over 450 kg. The largest recorded, found in Louisiana, measured 5.84 m. The Chinese alligator is smaller exceeding 2.1 m in length. Additionally, it weighs less, with males over 45 kg. Adult alligators are black or dark olive-brown with white undersides, while juveniles have contrasting white or yellow marks which fade with age. No average lifespan for an alligator has been measured.
In 1937, an adult specimen was brought to the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia from Germany. It is now at least 80 years old. Although no valid records exist about its date of birth, this alligator named Muja, is considered the oldest alligator living in captivity. †Alligator mcgrewi †Alligator mefferdi †Alligator olseni †Alligator prenasalis Alligators are native to only the United States and China. American alligators are found in the southeast United States: all of Louisiana. According to the 2005 Scholastic Book of World Records, Louisiana has the largest alligator population; the majority of American alligators inhabit Florida and Louisiana, with over a million alligators in each state. Southern Florida is the only place where both crocodiles live side by side. American alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, wetlands, rivers and swamps, as well as in brackish water; when they construct alligator holes in the wetlands, they increase plant diversity and provide habitat for other animals during droughts.
They are, considered an important species for maintaining ecological diversity in wetlands. Farther west, in Louisiana, heavy grazing by coypu and muskrat are causing severe damage to coastal wetlands. Large alligators feed extensively on coypu, provide a vital ecological service by reducing coypu numbers; the Chinese alligator is found in only the Yangtze River valley and parts of adjacent provinces and is endangered, with only a few dozen believed to be left in the wild. Indeed, far more Chinese alligators live in zoos around the world. Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in southern Louisiana has several in captivity in an attempt to preserve the species. Miami MetroZoo in Florida has a breeding pair of Chinese alligators. Large male alligators are solitary territorial animals. Smaller alligators can be found in large numbers close to each other; the largest of the species defend prime territory. Alligators move on land by two forms of locomotion referred to as "sprawl" and "high walk"; the sprawl is a forward movement with the belly making contact with the ground and is used to transition to "high walk" or to slither over wet substrate into water.
The high walk is an up on four limbs forward motion used for overland travel with the belly well up from the ground. Alligators have been observed to rise up and balance on their hind legs and semi-step forward as part of a forward or upward lunge; however they can not walk on their hind legs for long distances. Although the alligator has a heavy body and a slow metabolism, it is capable of short bursts of speed in short lunges. Alligators' main prey are smaller animals they can eat with a single bite, they may kill larger prey by dragging it into the water to drown. Alligators consume food that cannot be eaten in one bite by allowing it to rot, or by biting and spinning or convulsing wildly until bite-sized chunks are torn off; this is referred to as a "death roll". Critical to the alligator's ability to initiate a death roll, the tail must flex to a significant angle relative to its body. An alligator with an immobilized tail cannot perform a death roll. Most of the muscle in an alligator's jaw evolved to grip prey.
The muscles that close the jaws are exceptionally powerful, but the muscles for opening their jaws are comparatively weak. As a result, an adult human can hold an alligator's jaws shut bare-handed, it is common today to use several wraps of duct tape to prevent an adult alligator from opening its jaws when being handled or transported. Alligators are timid towards humans and tend to walk or swim away if one approaches; this has led some people to the practice of approaching alligators and their nests in a manner that may provoke the animals into attacking. In Florida, feeding wild alligators at any time is illegal. If fed, the alligators will lose their fear of humans and will learn to associate humans with food, thereby becoming both a greater danger to people, at greater risk from them; the type of food eaten by alligators depends upon their size. When young, alligators eat fish, snails and worms; as they mature, progressively larger prey is taken, including larger fish such as gar and various