Louisiana gators thrive, so farmers' return quota may drop

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Once-endangered alligators are thriving in the wild, so Louisiana authorities are proposing another cut in the percentage that farmers must return to marshes where their eggs were laid.

The big armored reptiles don't breed well in captivity, so farmers are allowed to collect eggs from wild nests, as long as they return a percentage as youngsters too big for most other animals to eat.

When alligator farming was approved in 1986, that was set at 17%, based on wild survival estimates.

After several reductions, that's now 10%.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission decided Wednesday that that could be cut to 5%.

The commission is taking comments on the proposal until Jan. 4.

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