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Frequently Asked Questions

I have a nuisance wildlife problem.  What should I do?  You should check out the Commission's web site called Critter Questions, which offers technical assistance in dealing with problem animals.  If it's a nuisance alligator, check out our nuisance alligator page.  To learn how to avoid having problems with alligators, see our Living with Alligators brochure.  If you know of an area where the feeding of alligators is occurring or may occur, and you have authorization to do so, you can print and post this sign.


How do I contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission?  The Commission is administered out of five regional offices.  You should contact the office which covers the county in which you reside.


How many alligators are there in Florida?  Counting animals in the wild is without a doubt one of the most formidable challenges to wildlife scientists.  There never is an easy way to answer this question, but here's what we know.  Based on known amounts of suitable alligator habitat statewide and conservative estimates of alligator densities in those different types of habitat, we believe there are more than one million wild alligators in Florida!


Is the American alligator an endangered species?  Historically, alligators were depleted from many parts of their range as a result of market hunting, poaching, and loss of habitat. In 1967, the alligator was listed as an endangered species (under a law that preceded the Endangered Species Act of 1973), meaning it was considered in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The Endangered Species Act prohibited alligator hunting, allowing the species to rebound in numbers in many areas where it had been depleted. Alligators were downlisted from endangered to threatened in 1977, and, in 1987, the American alligator was reclassified by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened due to similarity of appearance.  This designation does not imply that alligator populations are threatened; it's purpose is to afford protection to endangered crocodilians, such as the American crocodile and the black caiman (which occurs in South America), by regulating the management of alligators and the legal trade in alligator products.


Do other crocodilians occur in Florida? Florida is also home to the American crocodile.   The American crocodile lives in coastal saltwater wetlands in extreme southern Florida.  This crocodile is listed as an endangered species and, as such, is protected by State, Federal, and international laws and treaties.  For more information about the American crocodile, visit the US Fish & Wildlife Service website.


What is CITES?  The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna is a treaty ratified by the US Senate in 1975 that protects endangered plants and animals from unregulated international trade.  As a result of this treaty, all alligator hides that are bought, sold, and/or exported must be affixed with a CITES tag that validates that the hide was legally acquired and is not from an endangered crocodilian listed in the treaty.  For more information, visit the US Fish & Wildlife Service's CITES website.


If you haven't found an answer to your question, send us a message.


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