Date of this Version
The recovery of alligators from centuries of exploitation, coupled with a burgeoning human population in Florida has resulted in an increasing number of problem animals and alligator attacks. In response to this problem, the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission implemented a nuisance alligator control program in 1978. A mean of 2513 nuisance alligators per year was harvested during the period 1978 to 1988. The number of alligator complaints, nuisance alligators harvested, and alligator attacks increased significantly over the period (P=0.0003, P=0.0001, and P=0.04). The value of alligator meat remained stable at about $5.00/pound over the same period, while the price paid for alligator hides has varied from $8.52 to $42.72/linear foot. The high economic value of this resource coupled with a commensurate license and tag fee structure has resulted in a program for removal of nuisance alligators that is relatively self-sufficient.