The handling and removal of nuisance alligators in Texas on private lands has been an ongoing challenge for wildlife managers. But now it looks like Texas landowners will have the ability to contract directly with nuisance alligator hunters under new rules adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
The new protocol will authorize a permitted alligator control hunters to contract directly with a landowner or landowner’s agent (including a political subdivision, governmental entity, or property owner’s association) for a fee or other compensation for the removal of nuisance alligators.
By allowing control hunters to contract directly with landowners, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) hopes to simplify the process and allow permittees to retain captured alligators and process or sell them. The new protocol would allow alligators to be released in suitable habitat with the approval of the department and the landowner of the property where the release would take place.
During the past 20 years, once imperiled alligator populations in Texas have rebounded spectacularly. Increased suburban, exurban, an industrial development in an adjacent to coastal counties, particularly along the mid- and upper coast, has resulted in increasing number of nuisance alligator complaints, especially in areas biologically characterized by diminishing or little to no habitat.
Each nuisance alligator control hunter must complete a certification process that includes (1) an application to TPWD, (2) a department administered nuisance alligator control course, (3) a written exam on nuisance alligator control, and (4) a live alligator handling exam. Additionally, an annual permit fee of $252 is required. No one in Texas is excluded from having a valid nuisance control permit issued by TPWD Alligator Program for the capture and release of American alligators, including local animal control officers.
Persons interested in the nuisance alligator hunting control program can request information by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prospective permittees can also contact Amos Cooper at 409.726.3625 (office) or 409.293.2836 (cell) to receive an application in the mail. All applications must be returned by June 30 to the Alligator Program, 10 Parks and Wildlife Drive, Port Arthur, Texas 77640.
The next scheduled nuisance alligator removal classes are set for August 15-16 depending on the number of applicants. For information on the rules and regulations governing alligator go the TPWD website.