FWC working to stop illegal trapping of Florida’s native songbirds

At its February meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) directed staff to move forward with a draft rule to help protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal capture.

To prevent the continued illegal taking of native birds, staff recommend creating a new rule within Chapter 68A-16, F.A.C. (Rules Relating to Birds) to include regulations for bird traps. The proposed rule includes regulations regarding the use, placement, possession and transport of bird traps.

This rule would provide an additional tool to law enforcement officers to help stop the poaching of these birds, while still allowing for lawful uses of bird traps.

The public can provide feedback on the proposed rule via e-mail at Imperiled@MyFWC.com. Staff will bring the rule before the Commission for final approval at a future Commission meeting.

The illegal trapping of native birds has long been a concern in the state, particularly in south Florida, where trapping is believed to be widespread. Birds are lost from the wild population and, in many cases, are seriously mistreated, as birds are killed or injured when illegally trapped.

Please report any instances of illegal trapping to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (FWCC) or by email or text to Tip@MyFWC.com.