It appears that Georgia's alligator population recovery is an unheralded conservation success story. Nearly hunted out of the state, the population has risen to an estimated 222,0000 today and allows 850 hunting permits per year.
The Augusta Chronicle  has a detailed story on the recovery of the Georgia Gator.
Before 1900, alligator populations were abundant across the southeastern U.S., including the coastal plain of Georgia. However, unregulated harvests and poaching reduced their numbers, and a low point was reached in Georgia in the 1960s, when the species was listed as federally endangered. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources first estimated the total alligator population in 1973 at just 29,954. By 1982, the population was estimated at 101,644. Today's estimated 222,000 animals includes a population in most areas where they once thrived, the management plan said.