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FWC launches new technology for Wildlife Alert

For immediate release: October 14, 2011
Contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

FWC launches new technology for Wildlife Alert

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.