The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing to amend regulations concerning American alligators by revising provisions pertaining to interstate and foreign commerce.
The proposed rule would amend regulations by eliminating provisions requiring that any American alligator specimen may be sold or otherwise transferred only in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state or Tribe in which the sale or transfer occurs.
The Service proposes these changes to increase clarity and eliminate unnecessary regulation while maintaining what is necessary and advisable for the conservation of this and other crocodilian species under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended.
“The American alligator is an iconic U.S. animal with a history of both drastic decline and complete recovery. As a result of state and federal cooperation, its recovery is one of the most prominent successes of the nation’s endangered species program,” said Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The proposed changes illustrate the Trump Administration’s commitment to enhance our conservation program using common-sense regulation that will continue to result in sustainable trade of alligators as the population continues to flourish.”
The American alligator is currently listed under the ESA as threatened due to similarity of appearance to the American crocodile in the United States and foreign countries and other ESA-listed crocodilians.
The Service initiated a review of the regulation after the Secretary of the Interior received a petition in the form of a letter dated December 9, 2019, from the State of Louisiana titled, Petition for Rulemaking to Correct the American Alligator Regulations at 50 C.F.R. § 17.42(a) Pertaining to the Sale of Hides. The state requested that the Service consider this change in regulatory language.