FWC approves listing status changes and new guidelines for 8 species

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today approved Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for eight of the more than 50 species in the agency’s Imperiled Species Management Plan.

Based on thorough scientific review, FWC staff determined that the eastern chipmunk, harlequin darter, Homosassa shrew, southern fox squirrel and the Monroe County osprey population no longer warrant listing. The Suwannee alligator snapping turtle will now be listed as State Threatened, while two other species of alligator snapping turtle will no longer be listed.

“Delisting of a species is positive news,” said Kipp Frohlich, director of the FWC’s Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. “It means the species is doing well and no longer needs critical action for its survival.”

The species guidelines are designed to be a tool for landowners, consultants, agency partners and other interested parties on how to conserve these species. Additionally, rule changes were made to further ensure protection of these species.

The guidelines offer options for avoidance, and minimization and mitigation of take for listed species. For species being delisted, guidelines outline recommended conservation practices that will maintain the status 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.
Permitting options.

Over the past several months, FWC staff worked with stakeholders on several occasions to discuss and get input on the development of the species guidelines.

For an overview of how Florida conserves imperiled species, go to MyFWC.com/Imperiled.