Removing Nuisance Wildlife
Nuisance wildlife refers to an animal or animals exhibiting behavior that:
- causes (or is about to cause) property damage,
- presents a threat to public safety, or
- causes an annoyance within, under or upon a building.
Wildlife may create nuisance situations ranging from minor property damage to significant economic loss. While an individual animal may create a nuisance, we must be careful not to assign that label to an entire species. All of Florida's native wildlife species serve important ecological roles. The simple presence or sightings of wildlife, even when in urban areas should not be considered a nuisance. Many species of wildlife in Florida have adapted to survive in urban and suburban areas and can often coexist with humans without creating conflicts.
Although relocation is sometimes necessary, trapping and relocating or killing native wildlife should be a last resort and only when all other proactive measures have failed and an animal meets the nuisance criteria. Removing or killing native wildlife to resolve conflict should be carefully considered and a plan should be in place prior to attempting to trap, with care taken to target the individual animal causing damage. Complete eradication of a native species from a property is not recommended and is generally an ineffective method to address conflict. Before removing nuisance native wildlife, please be familiar with the nuisance wildlife regulations. Any native animals killed as part of nuisance wildlife removal efforts must be done so in accordance with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals.
Take of nuisance alligators, deer, bears, bats, bobcats, all birds protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, or state-listed or federally-listed species of special concern, threatened or endangered species is prohibited or may require additional permits.
Protected Fish and Wildlife
FWC permits are required to remove any state listed species. Protected fish and wildlife include endangered, threatened or species of special concern. FWC rules prohibit activities that may have a negative effect on protected fish and wildlife without a permit. Most regulations for wildlife are found in Ch. 68A of the Florida Administrative Code.