Imperiled Native Wildlife Species
11/19/15: Florida plan conserving 57 imperiled fish and animals ready for public comment
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was presented today at its meeting in Panama City with the draft of the Florida Imperiled Species Management Plan (ISMP), an innovative, integrated and comprehensive approach to conserving multiple imperiled species.
Unlike anything attempted before in Florida, the plan combines managing the specific needs of 57 imperiled species with larger scale strategies addressing how to help multiple fish and wildlife species thrive and survive in the habitats they share.
The plan’s key objectives include working on filling data gaps and identifying more systematic, coordinated approaches to imperiled species management. The FWC designed the plan to make more efficient use of its staff resources in order to achieve measureable goals on important conservation priorities.
The public is invited to read and comment on the draft of the plan, with the opportunity to provide feedback over the next 60 days. It is available online at MyFWC.com/Imperiled.
The FWC first committed itself to this new conservation model in 2010, and creating the plan has been a continuing collaborative effort. Recently, the public and stakeholders submitted more than 500 comments on improving an earlier draft of the plan released in February 2015.
“From the tiny blackmouth shiner to the towering Florida sandhill crane, the Imperiled Species Management Plan will conserve 57 species that reflect the diversity and beauty of our state’s wildlife. Floridians’ input, support and actions are also critical to making the plan a success,” said Claire Sunquist Blunden, stakeholder coordinator for the ISMP. “Once the plan is approved in 2016, the FWC will need many committed partners, both individuals and organizations, to help make this plan a living, working document to conserve these imperiled species for future generations.”
Important things to know about the Imperiled Species Management Plan:
•It includes one-page summaries for each species, including a map of its range in Florida and online links to its Species Action Plan. Species Action Plans contain specific conservation goals, objectives and actions for all 57 imperiled species.
•It also has Integrated Conservation Strategies that benefit multiple species and their habitats, and focus implementation of the plan on areas and issues that yield the greatest conservation benefit for the greatest number of species.
•The 57 species in the plan include (* indicates it is coming off the list of imperiled species):
o 8 Mammals: Big Cypress fox squirrel, Eastern chipmunk*, Everglades mink, Florida mouse*, Homosassa shrew, Sanibel rice rat, Sherman’s fox squirrel and Sherman’s short-tailed shrew
o21 Birds: American oystercatcher, black skimmer, brown pelican*, Florida burrowing owl, Florida sandhill crane, least tern, limpkin*, little blue heron, Marian’s marsh wren, osprey (Monroe County population), reddish egret, roseate spoonbill, Scott’s seaside sparrow, snowy egret*, snowy plover, southeastern American kestrel, tricolored heron, Wakulla seaside sparrow, white ibis*, white-crowned pigeon and Worthington’s marsh wren
o12 Reptiles: alligator snapping turtle, Barbour’s map turtle, Florida brown snake (Lower Keys population), Florida Keys mole skink, Florida pine snake, Key ringneck snake, peninsula ribbon snake* (Lower Keys population), red rat snake* (Lower Keys population), rim rock crowned snake, short-tailed snake, striped mud turtle* (Lower Keys population) and Suwanee cooter*
o4 Amphibians: Florida bog frog, Georgia blind salamander; gopher frog* and Pine Barrens treefrog*
o9 Fish: blackmouth shiner, bluenose shiner, crystal darter, harlequin darter, Lake Eustis pupfish*, key silverside, mangrove rivulus*, saltmarsh top minnow and Southeastern tessellated darter
o3 Invertebrates: Black Creek crayfish, Florida tree snail* and Santa Fe crayfish
•Among the plan’s 57 species, 14 were listed as state Threatened prior to the plan and will remain listed as state Threatened; 23 will change listing from Species of Special Concern to state Threatened; 5 will remain Species of Special Concern; and 15 will be removed from the imperiled species list but continue to be included in the plan for guidance in monitoring and conserving them.
Find out more about the plan at MyFWC.com/Imperiled.
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