The fourth and final group of draft action plans to conserve dozens of Florida fish and wildlife species is ready for public inspection and input, including plans to protect pillar coral and the Southeastern American kestrel. Since February, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has shared plans to conserve 60 species listed now as state-threatened or species of special concern. While listing status may change for some species once a final Imperiled Species Management Plan is approved by the Commission, all 60 species will be managed by the FWC to maintain or grow their populations to preserve Florida’s wildlife legacy for future generations.
In this final group, FWC is releasing draft action plans for 13 species. In addition to pillar coral and kestrel, there are plans for the limpkin, crystal darter, Black Creek crayfish, Santa Fe cave crayfish and seven reptiles that reside in the Florida Keys. The reptiles are the Key ringneck snake, rim rock crowned snake, Florida Keys mole skink, as well as lower Keys populations of Florida brownsnake, Peninsula ribbon snake, red rat snake and striped mud turtle.
The public is invited to go to http://myfwc.com/Imperiled to read and comment on the plans for these 13 species, with the last day for public comment being June 21.
USDA NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE WELCOMES NEW STATE CONSERVATIONIST FOR FLORIDA
NRCS News Release, Gainesville, FL., May 15, 2013– On May 20th Russell Morgan will take over the reins as State Conservationist in Florida for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, also known as the NRCS.
Morgan will lead the agency's 163 employees in 50 offices across the state. In Florida, where total farmland equals 27% of the state and agriculture is considered the second most important industry, NRCS helps farmers and ranchers on voluntary conservation projects designed to protect natural resources on farms, ranches and private, non-industrial forests. Morgan will oversee significant federal conservation funding administered by the NRCS through technical assistance and conservation programs in the Farm Bill. In 2012, they totaled about $103.7 million in cost share, stewardship and easement payments. The funds help farmers and ranchers improve air and water quality, irrigation efficiency and water quantity, rangeland health, fish and wildlife habitat, and many other resource concerns.
Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and programs is available on the web at http://www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov/ or at your local USDA - NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to your telephone directory under “U. S. Government, Department of Agriculture”, or http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
May 21-23, 2013; Gainesville, FL. This is a two day symposium to present an array of practical applications regarding the use of GPS, satellite imagery, high resolution aerial stereo imagery, LiDAR, radar, and sonar technologies in natural resource management. Sessions will develop practical applications of these tools for terrestrial and aquatic systems management; including uses for forest inventory, fire and fuels management, invasive species management, aquatic habitat assessment, and land use analysis and planning tools such as GIS. Given the broad subject matter, we expect a large turnout. Registration will be limited to 200 attendees. Advanced registration is $175 and is available on Eventbrite: http://springsymposiumgeomatics.eventbrite.com/
FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF PANTHER, CHIPMUNK, and MINK SIGHTINGS
Report chipmunk sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/chipmunk/getlatlong.aspx
Report panther sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/PantherSightings/getlatlong.aspx
Report mink sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/mink/getlatlong.aspx
COYOTES VS BOBCATS: WHAT ARE THEY EATING?
Over the next 3 years (2012-2014), the University of Florida will be conducting a study of coyote and bobcat diets in Florida. Of particular interest is the importance of popular wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, turkeys, and bobwhite quail, livestock, and pets in the diet of these predators. Diets will be determined by examining the stomach contents of coyotes and bobcats legally harvested or obtained in Florida. We are asking for your help in obtaining legally acquired coyote and bobcat carcasses, with or without pelts. We will also accept coyote and bobcat stomachs and intestines if you cannot store the whole carcass. If you have at least 5 animals that you would like to provide us, you can contact Lauren Watine (352-846-0558; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bill Giuliano (352-846-0575; email@example.com) at the University of Florida to arrange for pickup. If you have fewer than 5 animals or are going to be coming through Gainesville, arrangements can be made to get carcasses from you at the University or combine your animals with others in your area for a pickup. Carcasses or stomachs and intestines should be frozen in a suitable bag or container, and include the name of contributor, animal sex, date harvested/obtained, and location harvested/obtained. We have obtained a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for this project, and will keep information provided by you for this project anonymous to the extent possible by law. We greatly appreciate your help with this valuable study!
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
ONLINE EVENTS / EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS