Projects: Alligator Egg Hunters
Every year in Florida, the Public Lands Alligator Egg Collection Program, a partnership between the state and the alligator farming industry, collects thousands of eggs from nests on Lake Okeechobee.
Because alligators and their eggs are a state owned resource that is regulated by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, it is up to those in the commission's alligator management program to permit and supervise the egg collection by the farmers each year. Since they have to supervise the collection, they also help with it and collect scientific data.
Eggs collected from the annual hunt make up a large percentage of the stock on the various alligator farm ranching operations where they raise the animals until they are about four or five feet long, and then slaughter them for their hide and meat.
The farming industry pays $10 per egg collected to cover state and private harvest costs. The eggs are then divided among 30 farms participating in the program.