The American alligator is a large reptile native to the southeastern united states Previously the American alligator was a federally listed endangered species. In the early 1900s the alligator was hunted close to extinction which brought it to be listed under the Endangered Species Act. The hunting of these animals was prohibited, and their habitat was protected. In the 1980s the species had recovered enough to be removed from the endangered species list. Today, however, the large reptile is still protected due to its similar appearance to the American crocodile which is currently protected due to low population numbers (they are on the rise though!) Hunting of the American alligator is currently allowed, but it is regulated.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have statistics that show alligator attacks have actually increased from around 6 per year in 1971-1986 to around 10 per year from 1987-2017. This is likely due to human population increasing in the areas that alligators call home. Another source showed that human population was positively correlated with alligator attacks - more people, more likely the chance of an encounter. Humans also increase their chances of conflict by feeding alligaors (intentionally or unintentionally - throwing fish off the dock when alligators are present in the area can produce a similar association as feeding the gators), swimming in bodies of fresh water which gators are present in, allowing pets or children to play or drink from open bodies of fresh water, and generally approaching alligators fro photographs or not giving the animals space. The best way to mitigate conflicts with alligators are to simply leave them alone.
More information on American alligators can be found:
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