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Florida adds texting to wildlife alert system

From Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

-- Florida's Wildlife Alert Reward Program has helped catch thousands of violators through phone calls and online submissions from the public. Now, it's adding 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.

To report known or suspected violations, the public can call the Wildlife Alert Hotline or report online at http://myfwc.com/contact/report/wildlife-alert/.

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 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, citizens are asked to include 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 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)404-3922. For more information, visit http://www.myfwc.com/WildlifeAlert.

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