Alligators are a conservation success story in Florida. Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population, which is estimated at 1.3 million and consists of alligators of every size. Alligators occur in all 67 counties, inhabiting all wetlands where they can be supported. They prefer fresh water lakes and slow-moving rivers and their associated wetlands, but they also can be found in brackish water habitats. Anywhere there is standing water, an alligator might be found. Alligators are an important part of Florida’s ecosystem. They help keep aquatic animal populations in balance and keep water holes open for other fish and wildlife.
Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida. FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property. People with concerns about an alligator should call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). When someone concerned about an alligator calls the Nuisance Alligator Hotline, we will dispatch one of our contracted nuisance alligator trappers to resolve the situation. FWC also works diligently to keep Floridians and visitors informed, including providing tips for co-existing with alligators. Visit MyFWC.com/Alligator and click on “Living with Alligators.”