FWC to present a new system for conserving Florida's threatened species
Friday, July 30, 2010
Media contact: Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130
Floridians value and love their precious and unique
fish and wildlife, particularly those that are imperiled. As the
state's wildlife managers, the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) used the public's concern, in
combination with science, to create a process that will lead to the
FWC's desired future, where no Florida species ever goes extinct
because of human action or inaction. The FWC engaged stakeholders
in the revision of its imperiled species listing process and
created a plan that will ensure Florida's fish and wildlife will be
here for future generations to enjoy.
The FWC began the revision because of confusion
over how imperiled species were listed. After two and a half years
of public meetings and workshops with stakeholders, the process of
listing endangered and threatened species in Florida has been
streamlined, while continuing to protect these species in Florida.
Commissioners will consider the final rules at their September
meeting in Pensacola Beach.
"If approved, these rules will set a solid
foundation for Florida's endangered and threatened species while
still allowing modification of the process as we implement the
plan," said Dr. Elsa Haubold, leader of the FWC imperiled species
listing team. "The FWC is pleased that representatives from all
interested stakeholder groups had a voice in creating the new
process. We addressed many stakeholder concerns in crafting
this system. We will continually review the process, making
changes when necessary to address resource needs and concerns of
the public while keeping science at the forefront of all
"We recognize and appreciate the fact that hunters
and anglers are some of our strongest partners for conservation,"
Haubold said. "While conserving threatened species, the new
rules do not change traditional opportunities for sport and
recreation in the state."
Under the new system, all state-listed species will
remain on Florida's list and will be called "threatened."
Federally listed species will automatically go on the federally
designated endangered and threatened species list. If the rules are
approved, FWC biologists, partnering with independent biologists,
will conduct scientific reviews of all species currently on the
list. Their findings will be provided to the Commission to
determine if species should remain on the state threatened list.
The next step will be a public process to create management plans
that contain all the necessary strategies to ensure the status of
threatened species in Florida improves. Throughout the
process, the FWC will consider and be responsive to public needs
and concerns related to the proposed management as the plans are
The proposed final rules will be posted at
MyFWC.com on Monday, Aug. 2. As with all issues that come before
the Commission, the public can make comment on the final rules at
the meeting Sept. 1-3 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, 12
Via de Luna Dr., Pensacola Beach. The meetings start at 8:30 a.m.
(CDT) each day.