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Florida Burrowing Owl Incidental Take Permits

Three burrowing owls

The Florida burrowing owl, a state-Threatened species, inhabits open areas such as dry prairies, pastures, agricultural fields, golf courses, airports, and vacant lots in some urban areas. Activities such as residential and commercial development can result in destruction of burrows or harassment of breeding pairs of burrowing owls. Please refer to the burrowing owl Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines (Guidelines) for additional guidance on obtaining a permit. Incidental take permits currently are referred to as migratory bird nest removal permits in the online permitting system. Applicants should include the Burrowing Owl Supplemental Application with their online application materials. Once the permit is received the burrowing owl report form should be returned via the online permitting system.

Incidental take permits for burrowing owls often involve scoping and excavating burrowing owl burrows. Permittees or their designated agents must meet minimum qualifications to scope or excavate a burrow as part of an incidental take permit. Training videos necessary to complete minimum qualifications are available on our Online Training site. The videos are designed both to provide a refresher for experienced applicants and to provide training for those with less experience.

Mitigation options and the categories in the tables below are described in the burrowing owl Guidelines. If mitigation involves a financial contribution, current mitigation contribution amounts, effective February 8, 2018, are in the table below and will be adjusted over time to keep pace with inflation. Please refer to the Guidelines to determine the mitigation category that is applicable for a particular project or activity. Tying changes to the Consumer Price Index will ensure mitigation contributions are adjusted relative to actual price increases or decreases. The FWC will use the “All Urban Consumers Price Index” (CPI-U), which reflects the highest percentage of the population, and the CPI-U for the Southeast region. Information on the Consumer Price Index is available online at bls.gov/cpi.

Mitigation Options

Category 1: Mitigation for project activities that do not involve changes in foraging habitat (per burrow destroyed or breeding pair harassed)

Option Mitigation Activity Contribution Amount
1

Financial contribution alone

$1,900
2

Financial contribution with 2-offsite starter or 1-artificial burrows

$600
3

2-Onsite starter or 1-artificial burrows

$0

Category 2: Mitigation for project activities with changes in foraging habitat but no significant habitat modification (per burrow cluster- one or more burrows within 150 ft. of each other)

Option Mitigation Activity Contribution Amount
1

Financial contribution alone

$1,900
2

Financial contribution with minimum 2-Onsite starter burrows

$850
3

Financial contribution with minimum 2-Onsite artificial burrows

$600
4a

Financial contribution with minimum 2-Offsite starter burrows + conditions a-c on item 4, pg. 17 of the Guidelines

$850
4b

Financial contribution with minimum 2-Offsite artificial burrows + conditions a-c on item 4, pg. 17 of the Guidelines

$600

Category 3: Mitigation for project activities that result in significant habitat modification

Option Mitigation Activity Contribution Amount
1

Evaluated on a case-by-case basis -- please see the Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for mitigation options

Case-by-case

Mitigation options for projects that do not fit in any of the three categories

Option Mitigation Activity Contribution Amount
1

Evaluated on a case-by-case basis -- please contact the FWC's Protected Species Permitting Office for assistance

Case-by-case