Louisiana's Alligator Management Program

Inventory methods, harvest regulations, tagging requirements, reporting requirements, and a computer program were established to regulate and monitor the harvest of surplus alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Louisiana and yet distribute the kill in proportion to existing populations over the area open for harvest. Ten seasons were authorized for the taking of alligators between 1972 and 1983. In 1972, only 1 parish was open for hunting; the hunt area was gradually expanded until in 1981 it was statewide. During the 10 alligator seasons, 5,337 licensed hunters harvested 100,712 skins averaging 2.11 m (6 feet 11 inches) in total length. The value of all skins taken was $9.8 million. Skins, meat, and other parts were followed through commercial channels with no evidence of illegally-taken skins or parts entering the legal traffic. An alligator nuisance complaint removal program initiated in 6 parishes in 1979 and 1980 was expanded statewide in 1981.

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