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The Nation

Alligators once were threatened with extinction in Florida, but now they are all over the place and will be subject to legal hunting this fall for the first time in 26 years. The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission agreed to hunting in 28 selected areas after its staff conducts an alligator census in the swamps and lakes. The commission plans to allow 15% of the adult alligators in each area to be harvested. Alligators, given national endangered species status in 1973, have made a comeback. Rough guesses of the statewide population range from 1 million to 6 million. Biologists say there is evidence the reptiles are outgrowing their habitat and some may starve if the population is not reduced.


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