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No more alligator tears?

No more alligator tears?

Having pulled itself back from the brink of extinction, theAmerican alligator is no longer officially considered an endangered species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials announced recently. The animal--after 20 years of protection under the Endangered Species Act--is now listed as "threatened by similarity of appearance,' based on its resemblance to the still-endangered American crocodile. The reclassification allows alligator hunting under regulations that protect the crocodile while ensuring that alligators will remain plentiful. Estimates of the number of alligators in the United States are incomplete, according to the federal agency. But statewide studies indicate at least a 10-fold increase in Alabama and South Carolina since the mid-1970s, a reptilian abundance that has led to alligator harvesting in some areas.

While the alligator has disappeared from the "help needed'list, other creatures have not been so fortunate. Since the beginning of 1987, 37 additional species have joined the ranks, making a total of 449 endangered species in the United States. While presence on the endangered list may help, it is no guarantee of recovery. Last month, the world's last dusky seaside sparrow died in Florida, despite years of effort by wildlife specialists.
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Title Annotation:American alligator no longer considered an endangered species
Publication:Science News
Date:Jul 11, 1987
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