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Media Statement: FWC approves rule changes to protect state from high-risk invasive species

Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459 Release Date: 02-21-2019   All Articles Tags:

Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: https://flic.kr/s/aHskwzza7p

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today approved rules that will proactively protect the state from invasive species not yet established here. The new rules will add high-risk nonnative animals to the Prohibited list and clarify rule language by defining key terms. The rules also include provisions for people currently in personal or commercial possession of these species.

Using recent risk assessments and screenings, staff determined these species present a high level of risk to the state and will therefore be added to Florida’s Prohibited list:

  • Mammals: meerkats/mongoose, raccoon dog, dhole, brushtail possum, flying foxes.
  • Birds: red-whiskered bul-bul, dioch, Java sparrow, pink starling.
  • Reptiles: brown tree snake, yellow anaconda, Beni anaconda, Deschauensee’s anaconda

Background:

Invasive species are animals not native to Florida that cause economic or environmental harm or pose a threat to human safety. More than 500 nonnative species have been reported in Florida.

The public can help the FWC control nonnative invasive wildlife by reporting sightings to the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IveGot1 (888-483-4681), online at IVEGOT1.org or by using the free smartphone app IVEGOT1.

To learn more about nonnative species in Florida, visit MyFWC.com/Nonnatives.