Conservation Comeback: The American Alligator

The recovery of the American alligator is considered one of the greatest endangered species success stories. By the 1950s, decades of overhunting, critical habitat lost, and pollution from pesticides brought the gator dangerously close to extinction. The tide finally began to turn in 1962 when Florida lawmakers outlawed gator hunting in the state. The species was granted federal protection soon after, in 1966. These measures paid off: today there are an estimated 5 million American alligators thriving once again in the southeastern United States.

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