News Releases

Plan to conserve dozens of imperiled species updated

News Release

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459, and Diane Hirth, 850-251-2130

Florida’s Imperiled Species Management Plan (ISMP), a combination of species-specific actions and broader conservation strategies, is being updated to reflect both new scientific knowledge and significant input from the public.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its meeting June 24 in Sarasota heard about changes to the draft ISMP, which is the FWC’s first comprehensive approach to managing multiple listed species. The newly drafted ISMP can be viewed at by clicking on “Wildlife and Habitats,” then “Imperiled Species” and looking for “Read, Review, and Comment” in the right-hand column.

“This work goes back more than a decade and focuses on safeguarding Florida’s state listed species,” said FWC Vice Chairman Brian Yablonski.

Earlier this year, the FWC received over 500 comments on the original draft of the Imperiled Species Management Plan.

“That level of interest and expertise from our partners, stakeholders and the public has been invaluable,” said Laura Barrett, the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Plan coordinator. “The latest draft of the ISMP reflects their thoughtful input, as well as changing conditions for wildlife out in the natural world.”

While a full presentation of the ISMP will occur at a later Commission meeting, FWC staff today presented the following key changes to the plan:

  • Three species federally listed since the ISMP was first developed were removed from the plan: Atlantic sturgeon, Florida bonneted bat and pillar coral. 
  • New information led to re-evaluation of the status of two species: the Eastern chipmunk and alligator snapping turtle. Eastern chipmunk was preliminarily recommended for removal from the list, pending peer review. Staff also recommended maintaining Species of Special Concern status for the alligator snapping turtle until a Biological Review Group can assess new studies   indicating there may be three species of alligator snapping turtle in Florida and determine if they warrant listing.
  • Species guidelines are being prepared for all 57 species in the ISMP and will include conservation measures and permitting standards when applicable.

FWC Facts:
Florida's American shad are the smallest on the East Coast of the United States. In Florida, shad average 2 to 3 pounds; the state record is 5.19 pounds.

Learn More at AskFWC