Alligators – no longer endangered thanks to well-organized conservation programs.

Alligator leatherWhile on the one hand, the trade in exotic leather goods is much appreciated by lovers of luxury and refinement, on the other hand there are some leading questions and doubts raised by those who care about the environment, nature and the animals that inhabit it, which cannot be ignored.

Many people fear that the trade in exotic leather goods endangers certain animal species which, according to public opinion – not necessarily well informed – could be in danger of extinction.

In the face of these criticisms, we at Gleni, who have been dedicating our business to this matter for years, do not avoid the issue.  We would rather try to share and promote understanding of our point of view. We believe that the legalized and regulated marketing of these leathers, not only protects those species that were once considered endangered, but also promotes the recovery of such species, also ensuring a range of economic benefits for the maintenance and preservation of adequate natural habitat.

Below is a summary of an article published in a 2001 issue of the “National Geographic” magazine, specifically looking at alligator skin.

A wildlife biologist working at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, asked whether alligator should be considered an endangered species or not, definitively answered in the negative, providing the following careful explanations that we would like to share with all of you.

There are a number of reasons why the controlled alligator harvest can be considered as an effective conservation tool.

First of all much more attention and care is given to the general environment. In fact, the existence of a number of conservation programs for the preservation of wetlands and the natural environment and habitat where the alligator lives and reproduces, are considered fundamental to the maintenance and protection of the species.

Generally most wetlands are privately owned, and, given the high economic benefits the owners potentially gain, they are very concerned with preserving these lands, which otherwise might be converted to other uses.Alligator skin

Taking into consideration the Louisiana case, with its Alligator Marsh to Market program, these are the figures that specialists reported: there are around 3.5 million acres (1.4 million hectares) of coastal wetlands in Louisiana that qualify as alligator habitat. Nearly 75 percent of that habitat is owned by private landowners, and with a few small exceptions, virtually every piece of land that qualifies is enrolled in the (alligator) program.

In this way, bearing in mind the economic rewards they can obtain from their land, landowners are motivated to keep their properties wet and natural, rather than draining the land for crops, cattle grazing or development.

It took several years for biologists to study and analyze the life cycles of alligators, but in the end, with the organization of management and harvesting program plans, they succeeded in regulating alligator hunting, especially stopping poaching.

In June and July, alligator eggs are harvested from the nesting sites of wild alligators throughout the state. The eggs are sold to alligator farmers, who incubate them and grow the hatchlings in tanks housed in buildings. After a year or two, when the alligators reach about 3 to 4 feet (about 1 meter) in length, they are sold, mostly overseas.

To maintain alligator populations in the wild at sustainable levels, about 17 percent of the alligators hatched in captivity are released back into the wild as one- or two-year-olds—a total of 35,000 to 40,000 alligators a year, experts say. Moreover, every harvested wild alligator is tagged, enabling tanners around the world to show that the hides were legally acquired.

This is why, when you buy an alligator product, you are effectively supporting the conservation of wetlands and the preservation of critical habitat, and thus also supporting the protection of the alligator and of all the other animals that share the same environment.

For further information, we recommend reading the article in the following link:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/10/1022_Ally_1.html

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