THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR IS A SIGNIFICANT PART OF FLORIDA’S NATURAL HISTORY AS WELL AS AN INTEGRAL COMPONENT OF THE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM OF OUR STATE. IT’S ALSO A SOURCE FOR NUTRITIOUS MEAT AND DURABLE, HIGH-QUALITY LEATHER.
The Florida Alligator was removed from the endangered species list in 1987 and since 1988, Florida’s statewide alligator harvest has been recognized both nationally and internationally as a model program for the sustainable use of this valuable natural resource. Over 1 million alligators inhabit Florida’s lakes, rivers, swamps and marshes and due to very strict management practices the wild alligator populations are heavily monitored and the instances of alligator poaching has decreased. These efficient and successful programs are funded by licensing fees paid by alligator farmers, hunters and trappers.
Alligator farming helps take pressure of the wild alligator population while meeting the high demand for alligator products. Some Florida Alligator farms maintain adult breeding stock that produce all the eggs needed for the farming operation while other farms rely on eggs collected from the wild under a permit issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.