Habitat and Species Conservation
Our mission: To ensure healthy populations of all native wildlife and their habitats on a statewide basis.
The Division integrates scientific data with applied habitat and species management to maintain stable or increasing populations of fish and wildlife. Conservation integration efforts focus on the ecosystem or landscape scale to provide the greatest benefits to the widest possible array of fish and wildlife species. Accomplishing this mission requires extensive collaboration and partnering with local, state and federal agencies to maintain diverse and healthy fish and wildlife populations for the benefit of all Floridians and visitors. Doing so provides direct ecological, economic, aesthetic, scientific and recreational benefits.
The Division has over 600 staff and is organized into 9 work units including Florida’s Wildlife Legacy Initiative, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration, Office of Conservation Planning Services, Species Conservation Planning, Imperiled Species Management, Wildlife Impact Management, Invasive Plant Management, Public Access Services Office.
Melissa Tucker is the Division Director.
What We Do
- Manage aquatic habitat for marine, estuarine and freshwater systems to benefit the widest possible array of fish and wildlife.
- Manage natural plant communities on public lands for diversity of wildlife species while providing quality recreational experiences.
- Work in partnership with landowners to provide for a diversity of species.
- Provide support and assistance for habitat-related issues to private and public sector landowners, including local, state and federal governments, to inform and influence land- and water-use decisions affecting wildlife habitat management.
- Develop and implements species management plans that serve as conservation blueprints for managing threatened species, and implements conservation programs that are designed to maintain Florida’s unique wildlife diversity.
- Coordinate nonnative species management and research to protect native species in Florida, focusing on prevention, early detection and rapid response to introductions of nonnatives.
- Implement conservation programs for imperiled species such as manatees, Florida panthers and sea turtles to increase populations of these imperiled species.
- Direct, regulate and fund the control of invasive plants on public conservation lands and in public water bodies for the protection of native plant and animal life, human health, safety, recreation and property.
- Provide services to enhance visitors' experiences on Florida's wildlife management area system, promotes wildlife-focused tourism and engages volunteers to participate in the agency’s conservation mission