Florida's State Wildlife Action Plan

FWLI Action Plan CoverFlorida’s State Wildlife Action Plan (Action Plan, originally the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy) is a comprehensive, statewide plan for conserving the state's wildlife and vital natural areas for future generations. It outlines what native wildlife and habitats are in need, why they are in need and, most importantly, what we are going to do about it. Florida’s Action Plan is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and 5 U.S. territories to develop action plans and qualify for federal funding through the State Wildlife Grants Program.

Prescribed fire
Prescribed fire is a key component of
terrestrial habitat management

To meet the intent of the State Wildlife Grants Program and to foster the Action Plan, the FWC created Florida’s Wildlife Legacy Initiative (Initiative). Through the Initiative, thousands of experts and stakeholders have participated and provided input to develop and implement the Action Plan. These partners, including representatives from other state and federal agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals, will continue to be integral to meeting the conservation needs of Florida.


Download the entire 2012 State Wildlife Action Plan Adobe PDF


Highest Priority Statewide Threats:

Alterations of the physical environment

Degradation of water resources

Incompatible fire management

Introduced plants and animals

Download individual chapters: Adobe PDF

Foreword & Executive Summary (including Guiding Principles of Initiative and the State Wildlife Action Plan and the Table of Contents)

Introduction provides information about Florida’s natural resources, including climate and landscape, people and economics, wildlife and ecosystems, and approach to conservation. This chapter introduces the highest priority statewide threats and key conservation challenges as identified in the Action Plan.

Florida’s First Five Years of Action Plan Implementation describes how the FWC worked with partners to establish goals to guide implementation of the Action Plan since its inception.


insect collecting

An insect-collecting apparatus is prepared for sampling the insect population of this scrub habitat


Divers count fish

Divers count the diversity and abundance of fish in an assessment of the health of this spring run

Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) lists 1036
species in Florida that are imperiled or at risk of becoming
imperiled in the future. The process and criteria used to
identify these species are presented, along with a table
listing all of the SGCN.

Florida Adapting to Climate Change provides a short
synthesis of climate science in relation to Florida, a
vulnerability assessment on focal species, and recommendations for adaptation actions. Sea level rise is the main theme throughout the sections and is highlighted as one of the most important threats to Florida from effects of long-term environmental changes.

Basin Approach to Conserving Florida’s Freshwater Habitats and Species outlines how basins were evaluated and ranked based on three criteria; species diversity, threats to the habitat, and future condition. Twelve highly ranked basins were identified as the basis for freshwater implementation efforts in the Action Plan.

Habitats describes 45 terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitat categories that comprise the state of Florida. Eighteen habitats have been identified as being under the
greatest overall threat and generally were associated with
coastal, wetland, upland pine, reef, and seagrass

Check out our web-based mapping tool, featuring the habitats from the State Wildlife Action Plan and data layers from the Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP) - the science behind the Cooperative Conservation Blueprint.

Multiple Habitat Threats and Conservation Actions details 32 priority threats that address multiple habitats. Each threat description lists the habitat categories to which it applies, summarizes the highest priority conservation actions addressing that threat, and then presents tables of specific recommended and ranked actions.


Additional Sections: Adobe PDF

High Priority Actions:

The following broad actions are discussed repeatedly in the Action Plan and are considered high priority to abate multiple threats within terrestrial and aquatic systems statewide:

Development of voluntary, incentive-based programs for conservation

Acquisition and protection of important lands and waters

Coordination of conservation efforts through partnership development

Public education and awareness of conservation issues

Research and monitoring of species and habitats

Conservation planning (species assessments and systematic, landscape-based efforts)

Acknowledgments – 2012 Revision
References/Literature Cited
Glossary of Acronyms
Glossary of Terms
Appendix A: Conservation Education Objectives in Florida
Appendix B: Stress and Sources of Stress Categories
Appendix C: GIS Data Tables
Appendix D: Analysis Used to Rank Freshwater Basins
Appendix E: Road Map to the Eight Required Elements


Download individual habitat sections
(grouped by ecosystem and listed alphabetically):Adobe PDF

Marine Habitats

Annelid Reef
Artificial Structure
Bivalve Reef
Coral Reef
Hard Bottom
Mangrove Swamp
Salt Marsh
Tidal Flat

Freshwater Habitats

Aquatic Cave
Calcareous Stream
Canal / Ditch
Coastal Tidal River or Stream
Large Alluvial Stream
Natural Lake
Reservoirs and Impoundments
Seepage / Steephead Stream
Spring and Spring Run Stream
Softwater Stream

Terrestrial Habitats

Bay Swamp
Beach / Surf Zone
Bottomland Hardwood Forest
Coastal Strand
Cypress Swamp
Disturbed / Transitional
Dry Prairie
Freshwater Marsh & Wet Prairie
Grassland / Pasture
Hardwood Hammock and Forest
Hardwood Swamp
Industrial Pineland
Mixed Hardwood-Pine Forest
Natural Pineland
Pine Rocklands
Shrub Swamp
Terrestrial Cave
Tropical Hardwood Hammock

Key Conservation Challenges:

Public awareness- conservation of Florida’s fish and wildlife ultimately depends upon the commitment of Floridians to their protection

Information management- the capacity to share the most accurate, updated information on species and habitats

Data gaps- information and management needs for all species and habitats

Partnerships- cooperation is key to solving Florida’s wildlife conservation challenges that do not traditionally work together

Florida’s Action Plan is a strategic vision of the integrated conservation efforts needed to sustain the broad array of wildlife in the state. Support provided by the State Wildlife Grants Program will enable coordination and implementation of many projects through Florida’s Wildlife Legacy Initiative. The Action Plan is an adaptive plan that will continually be updated, revised, and improved based on the input and deliberations of all those interested in wildlife conservation. Working together, Floridians can shape a future that is filled with the abundant wildlife resources that define the state and provide for the enjoyment, recreation, sustenance, and livelihood of its citizens and visitors.

burrowingowl_F_Nancy_Douglass.jpg Burrowing Owl

Legacy_balloon.jpg Deployment of a helium-filled balloon for aerial photography




If you are unable to download these files or would like an electronic copy of the 2012 Action Plan on CD, please contact:

Allie Perryman
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian St
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

To view the 2005 State Wildlife Action Plan or learn more about the 2011 revision, please visit the Archive.

Documents are in PDF Adobe PDF format. You will need Adobe Reader External Website to see them. Viewers can also convert the pdf document to html through Adobe.

FWC Facts:
Florida is a peninsula, which contributes to the number of invasive species affecting our ecosystem.

Learn More at AskFWC