The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today approved Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for eight state-threatened species that are among the 57 species in the agency’s Imperiled Species Management Plan.
Each of the eight species – Barbour’s map turtle, Big Cypress fox squirrel, Black Creek crayfish, blackmouth shiner, Florida burrowing owl, Florida pine snake, saltmarsh topminnow and Santa Fe crayfish — now has its own Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines.
The species guidelines are designed to be a tool for landowners, consultants, agency partners and other interested parties on how to conserve these eight imperiled species.
“Landowners will have predictability, can avoid pitfalls and can avoid the taking of wildlife,” said Chairman Bo Rivard. “These guidelines will really help.”
The guidelines offer options for avoidance, minimization and mitigation of take of the species. They provide species-specific information on key issues relevant to real-world conservation, including:
- Essential behavioral patterns,
- Survey methods,
- Recommended conservation practices,
- Exemptions or authorizations for take,
- Coordination with other regulatory programs, and
- Permitting options for achieving conservation or scientific benefit.
During 2017, the FWC reached out to stakeholders on multiple occasions, through meetings, workshops and webinars, to discuss and get input on the development of the species guidelines.
“Our goal is to keep all of these species around for current and future generations,” said Brad Gruver, who leads the FWC’s Species Conservation Planning Section. “These guidelines will greatly benefit our efforts in doing so.”