The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds the public that their comments are welcome on the draft Florida Imperiled Species Management Plan, an innovative, integrated and comprehensive approach to conserving multiple imperiled species.
The deadline for public comment on the plan is Wednesday, Jan. 20. People can go online to read the plan at MyFWC.com/Imperiled and offer feedback by email, using Imperiled@myfwc.com. Staff will review public comments to see how they could be used to improve the plan, and the Commission is scheduled to make a final decision on the plan at its April meeting.
Within the plan, the conservation needs of 57 imperiled species are addressed in Species Action Plans, along with larger-scale strategies addressing how to help multiple fish and wildlife species thrive and survive in the habitats they share. Stakeholder involvement has been important throughout the plan’s development.
The following native Florida species are included in the plan:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Amphibians: Florida bog frog, Georgia blind salamander; gopher frog and Pine Barrens treefrog.
- Fish: blackmouth shiner, bluenose shiner, crystal darter, harlequin darter, Lake Eustis pupfish, key silverside, mangrove rivulus, saltmarsh top minnow and Southeastern tessellated darter.
- Invertebrates: Black Creek crayfish, Florida tree snail and Santa Fe crayfish.
More information on the plan is at MyFWC.com/Imperiled.
Photos available on FWC’s Flickr site: Go to https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDPURZb
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