Results of Alligator Survey by Fish & Wildlife Commission
Much to my dismay, the results of the survey I asked everyone to take (in September) about the treatment of alligators in Florida, show, according to the Fish & Wildlife Commission, that we need to be "empowered" to kill more alligators. As the report says, "There are indications that the [current alligator management] program may not be going far enough to provide recreational access to the resource . . . "
In case you’re wondering, "the resource" is alligators. Translation? The current program doesn’t allow enough people to kill enough alligators.
According to the summary of the survey, which was completed by only 638 people in the state of Florida, (population: 18,000,000) and "was not designed to be statistically valid" (p. 7 of attached report [Download alligator.pdf]), changes are being proposed to the alligator management program. Here are some:
- Additionaly hunting opportunities statewide (relaxation of legal hunting hours AND METHODS OF TAKE for recreational users).
- Less restrictive participatiom requirements for both recreational and commercial users (ELIMINATION OF SIZE AND QUOTE RESTRICTIONS).
- A full range of alligator mangement options on private lands (Read: You can kill them on your property without a license. And on other private lands without a license.).
The FWC plans to take the changes to stakeholders (that’s us) in the next 3 months to refine them.
- Based on a survey that so few people even knew about and 3 millionths of the population completed, the FWC believes it has enough input from stakeholders to plan the slaughter of more alligators.
That’s the bottom line. But here’s my question: Let’s just say that enough Animal People had filled out the survey and the results were the polar opposite.
- The FWC would likely say (and rightfully so): So few people completed the survey, that these results couldn’t possibly have an impact on our existing "resource" management program. It would be irresponsible. Perhaps we should plan a re-test that would be preceded by a comprehensive outreach and public relations effort to LET THE PUBLIC KNOW THAT WE ARE DOING THE TEST. And that the results can only impact current policy if there is a statistically significant number of respondents.
Ah, but that’s all hypothetical. Our next possible opportunity to do something about this is during the next 3 months. Let’s see how difficult the FWC makes it to turn this thing around. I’ll be on top of the case, but the average alligator-respecting person doesn’t even know that the FWC has made it this far, so what are the odds those people will know enough to show up in defense of the alligators?
Tell your friends. Send them to Animal Person. Send them to the survey results. Do something kind for alligators.