Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Controversial alligator hunt approved for Loxahatchee refuge - via Herp Digest

By David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel
11:05 a.m. EST, March 6, 2014
A controversial alligator hunt has been approved for the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in western Palm Beach County as part of a general expansion of hunting at wildlife refuges around the United States.
Opposition to the gator hunt came from around the world, with the vast majority of more than 1,300 letters and emails to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saying it was incompatible with the concept of a wildlife refuge.
But the service said hunting is a traditional activity long been allowed at wildlife refuges and that the refuge's alligator population was thriving and unlikely to be harmed by a modest amount of hunting.
"Hunting and fishing are time-honored ways to enjoy the outdoors and teach people to value nature," said Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Our National Wildlife Refuge System has millions of acres of public land and water to provide quality hunting and fishing experiences. We hope these expanded hunting and fishing programs will allow more Americans to experience this connection with nature."
Initial plans call for permits to be issued to 11 hunters, with each allowed to kill two alligators. If that goes well, the hunt will be expanded.

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