FWC approves state listing of striped newt as threatened

At its Nov 30-Dec. 1 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) gave final approval to add the striped newt to the state’s threatened species list. New Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines, the Species Action Plan and updates to the Imperiled Species Management Plan were all approved as part of the listing process.

Significant population declines have been documented throughout the range of this native salamander since 2000. Striped newts face a variety of threats, including:

Habitat loss and alteration,
Disease,
Off-road vehicle impacts,
Land use changes and
Changes in climate.

The FWC received the most recent request to evaluate the striped newt in 2019 and staff completed the Biological Status Review Report in 2021 with the recommendation to list the species as threatened, per Rule 68A-27.0012 F.A.C. Commissioners approved the initial staff recommendation at their May 2021 Commission meeting, pending development of a management plan.

Found primarily in southern Georgia and northern Florida, striped newts use both wetlands and dry upland habitats that surround their breeding ponds. Fire is essential for maintaining habitat conditions for striped newts within breeding ponds and surrounding uplands. These breeding ponds lack predatory fish and allow the eggs and larvae to develop into their later life stages.

Efforts have been made to boost the population of these salamanders with repatriation research and restoration of documented breeding ponds.

You can improve the health of striped newt populations by reporting the presence of disease. Report sick or dead striped newts or other amphibians by contacting your FWC Regional Office. If you suspect that someone is illegally capturing or selling wild striped newts, or to report off-road vehicle damage to breeding ponds, contact the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

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