Florida WC Launches New Technology for Wildlife Alert

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The Wildlife Alert Reward Program has helped the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) catch thousands of violators through phone calls and online submissions from the public. Now, it is employing an additional method: text messaging.

The nonprofit, reward-based program was created 30 years ago to encourage citizens to report fish and wildlife law violations. The program offers rewards in exchange for information leading to arrests. Members of the public can call the Wildlife Alert Hotline or go to MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert to report known or suspected violations. Now, they can also text Tip@MyFWC.com. Most cell phones now allow users to send text messages directly to an email address; standard usage fees may apply.

"The text messaging option makes it more convenient for the public," said Col. Jim Brown, director of the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement. "We also hope it will make Wildlife Alert even more effective in catching poachers and other violators."

When submitting information via text message, the FWC encourages including as much information as possible, such as the specific violation and the location. Once a report is initiated, FWC dispatch has the ability to respond via text message to the reporting party to gather additional details.

The FWC is committed to protecting Florida's fish, wildlife and people. However, FWC officers can't always do it alone.

"While we make every effort to be conscious of any threats to our valuable natural resources and people, we often rely upon support and tips from members of the public," Brown said.

The FWC encourages people to report any known or suspected illegal activity, such as illegal hunting, taking saltwater game fish out of season, taking protected wildlife species, boating under the influence and more.

To report violations by phone, call 888-404-FWCC (3922). For more information, visit MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert. The Wildlife Alert Reward Program relies upon donations from the public and other nonprofit organizations. To contribute, mail your donation to the FWC at 620 S. Meridian Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600 c/o Olivia Townsend.

Comments

numbnutz's picture

With the texting craze that

With the texting craze that has swept our country this new tool makes a lot of sence. I like all the way people down in Florida have to report wildlife violators. It's important for the public to be involved with catching these criminals. The police can't be everywhere there just isn't enough police to keep an eye on everything. Other than my fishing spots I don't have phone service so this wouldn't work out to well for me if my state had the same program. I would still have to mark the location and description of the people breaking the law and report it when I had service again. Good job Florida for  making the reporting easier for the people.

Retired2hunt's picture

  Great job Florida on your

 

Great job Florida on your efforts to catch poachers!  And to all states that have similar programs in place to make it as simple as possible to have the general public involved in ensuring the overall efforts in eliminating those people that would break the laws just to take a wild animal or fish outside of the regulations.