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Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program

About the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program

The FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP). The goal of SNAP is to proactively address alligator threats in developed areas, while conserving alligators in areas where they naturally occur. 

People concerned about an alligator should call our toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). Generally, an alligator is deemed a nuisance if it is at least 4 feet in length and the caller believes it poses a threat to people, pets or property. There are situations when smaller alligators wind up in places that are not acceptable, such as swimming pools, garages, etc., and must be removed.  When someone concerned about an alligator in any of these situations calls the Nuisance Alligator Hotline, we will dispatch one of our contracted nuisance alligator trappers to resolve the situation.

SNAP uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers throughout the state to remove alligators from locations where they are unwanted or unwelcome. If a complaint meets the qualifying criteria, SNAP will issue a permit to a contracted nuisance alligator trapper authorizing the removal of the animal.

Complainants must be able to grant legal access to the property on which the alligator is located. SNAP does not permit the removal of nuisance alligators from private or publicly managed property without first obtaining permission from the property owner or management authority.

What is a nuisance alligator?
Generally, an alligator may be considered a nuisance if it's at least 4 feet in length and believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property. If you’re concerned about an alligator, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286), and we will dispatch a contracted nuisance alligator trapper to resolve the situation.

Alligators less than 4 feet in length are not large enough to be dangerous to people or pets. However, you should never handle an alligator, even a small one, because it's dangerous and illegal. If there's an alligator under 4 feet in your swimming pool, on your porch or in a similar situation, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

Why does the FWC not relocate nuisance alligators in Florida?
Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population. We have about 1.3 million alligators in Florida. Alligators live in all 67 counties, and they inhabit all wild areas of Florida that can support them. The removal of nuisance alligators does not have a significant impact on our state's alligator population.

Relocated alligators often try to return to their capture site. They can create problems for people or other alligators along the way. If an alligator successfully returns, capturing it again would be necessary and likely more difficult the second time.

To avoid creating a problem at the release site, nuisance alligators would need to be relocated to remote areas where they would not encounter people. These remote areas already have healthy alligator populations, and the ones that already live there have established social structures. The introduction of a new alligator to these areas would likely cause fighting, possibly resulting in the death of a resident alligator or the introduced alligator.

Read A Guide to Living with Alligators (brochure)

Create awareness of the possible presence of alligators in ponds and canals with these signs.

Living with Alligators PSA

To report nuisance alligators call: 866-FWC-Gator (866-392-4286)

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

FWC Alligator Research Publications