Goal: Acquire information necessary to conserve Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), to establish measurable objectives for these species, and to monitor achievement of the objectives for the species.

Objective: By 2018, move fifteen priority SGCN* up at least one level in the Knowledge Level Table

*as determined by Goal Team members and species matter experts

Description: Table 1 identifies eight steps or levels for monitoring progress toward acquiring knowledge (i.e., filling data gaps) on priority species.  Priority species are those deemed most important for receiving research and management attention based on their conservation need, imperilment, or other agency priority. Levels may be skipped if the required information is unnecessary or its acquisition is infeasible. Least Tern NestlingsThis objective is used for simplicity, to facilitate evaluation of the agency's progress toward the goal, and because wildlife diversity conservation might be better served by moving one high priority species one level than by moving multiple lower priority species one or more levels.

Table 1. Levels of knowledge for assessing progress toward achieving the Data Gaps Goal Objective (adapted from Enge et al. 2003).




Knowledge Level Description


Status of the taxon is unknown.


We know enough about the degree to which the taxon has differentiated from its nearest relatives and the taxon's systematics is sufficiently understood to determine its conservation priority.


The taxon's distribution in Florida is sufficiently known to predict (either from direct knowledge or based on known habitat associations) where it occurs.


We confidently know the trend in population size of the taxon in Florida.


If the taxon is known or thought to be declining or the population is low, we know why.


If the taxon's population is low or declining and we know why, we know what is needed to develop management recommendations to improve population status.


We know enough about the biology of the taxon to establish meaningful, measurable population objectives.


Meaningful population objectives are established and monitoring programs are in place that document progress toward their achievement.

Supporting Document:

Hypotrichia Spissipes Female Dorsolateral C-DT - Almquist

Enge, K. M., B. A. Millsap, T. J. Doonan, J. A. Gore, N. J. Douglass, and G. L. Sprandel.  2003.  Conservation plans for biotic regions in Florida containing multiple rare or declining wildlife taxa.  Final Report.  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, USA. 146 pp.

From the Action Plan:

See the Key Conservation Challenges section in the Introduction for the basis of the Data Gaps goal.

For more information, please contact Yasmin Serajfar.

FWC Facts:
Florida is a peninsula, which contributes to the number of invasive species affecting our ecosystem.

Learn More at AskFWC