News Releases

FWC seeks input on conserving Florida burrowing owls in urban landscapes

News Release

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Media contact: Diane Hirth, 850-410-5291; Carol Lyn Parrish, 850-556-2269

Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: External Website

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold a public meeting in July to provide information and gather input on the agency’s development of Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for the Florida burrowing owl.

 The burrowing owl meeting is scheduled for July 6, 6 to 9 p.m., Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium Field House, 3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311. The meeting will be an open-house format so members of the public are welcome to come and go at any time.

 In January, the listing status of the Florida burrowing owl changed from Species of Special Concern to state Threatened, as part of rule changes implementing the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Plan approved in November 2016.

 The meeting will focus primarily on the process for developing permitting guidelines and on interim permitting processes for Florida burrowing owls in urban areas. The burrowing owl’s habitat was once native dry prairies, but today this owl is as likely to be found in open areas of urban and suburban landscapes. They dig their own burrows, but also may move into the burrows of other species, such as the gopher tortoise, or occasionally inhabit manmade structures such as pipes and drains.

“The FWC is inviting the public to meet with us, ask questions and offer input about permitting guidelines and the regulatory process for burrowing owls,” said Craig Faulhaber, the FWC’s avian conservation coordinator.

FWC staff at the meeting will provide information on the protections that apply to burrowing owls, the process of developing Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines, and the interim permitting process until guidelines for this species are in place.

 The Florida burrowing owl lives primarily in peninsular Florida and is the only burrowing owl east of the Mississippi River. As one of 57 species in the Imperiled Species Management Plan, the burrowing owl has a Species Action Plan that describes its biology, habitats and the FWC’s goals and actions for conserving this threatened species.

 Learn more about the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Plan at

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