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Conservation at the landscape level requires collaborative planning and implementation at broad ecosystem scales. Thus, partnerships with state agencies, NGOs, private landowners, and others are imperative to the success of landscape conservation implementation. Below is information and resources that can be used to aid in the adoption and implementation of landscape conservation in Florida.

Learn more about Landscape Conservation. 


Landscape Conservation Science Tools & Resources

Implementing large-scale collaborative conservation requires utilization of shared science tools and resources among partners, along with a shared vision for success. Tools used to implement landscape conservation are built on the best available science and provide guidance on where to direct efforts to generate the best conservation outcomes. Below are a few tools and resources the FWC and our partners use to prioritize our conservation actions.

Florida Conservation Planning Atlas (CPA)

The CPA is a science-based collaborative platform where conservation planners and managers can view, retrieve, and perform analyses on spatial information and access associated information to use in addressing specific conservation goals. The CPA is home to all the tools below, with the exception of the State Wildlife Action Plan.

Florida Conservation Blueprint (Blueprint)

The Blueprint is a conservation planning tool that was created collaboratively with a suite of conservation partners. This tool allows for spatial conservation planning of Florida’s terrestrial, freshwater, and estuarine ecosystems through identification of shared priorities across the state. It also provides planners and managers throughout the conservation community the opportunity to align their efforts to protect fish and wildlife habitat, while improving quality of life for people. The Blueprint can also be accessed directly by going to its gallery on the CPA.  

Florida Marine Blueprint

The Marine Blueprint was created to aid in the prioritization of Florida’s coastal and offshore ecosystems. It uses a variety of natural resource datasets to identify habitats that are critical for the recovery of many threatened and endangered species, while providing recommendations on areas that should be prioritized for conservation.

Fire Map Viewer

This web map allows users to view and explore the footprints of fires occurring across the state of Florida. Fire data includes prescribed and wildfires on public and private lands from 1994 – 2019. These fire footprints can be queried against multiple datasets, including land cover, species habitat, and management ownership. The fire data can be accessed directly from the Florida Fire map viewer or the CPA, which also provides a user’s guide, metadata and a downloadable data link.

Florida Springs Dashboard Tool

The Florida Springs Watershed Dashboard and Prioritization Tool allows users to explore and visualize landscape contributions and risks to Florida’s spring-containing watersheds. In the tool, users can develop weighted regression models to aid in springs management and conservation planning.

State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP)

Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan is an award winning comprehensive, statewide plan that not only outlines which of Florida’s native species and natural resources are in the greatest need of conservation, but also what we as a conservation community plan to do to conserve these vulnerable species and their habitats. Florida’s Wildlife Action Plan is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and 5 U.S. territories to develop action plans and qualify for federal funding through the State Wildlife Grants Program. 

Proactive Planning

Forward-thinking and adaptive strategies to address future conditions (e.g., climate change, land use change) are an integral component of landscape conservation implementation. Florida’s unique landscapes and species are vulnerable to climate change impacts (including sea level rise, and changes in storm intensity, temperature, and precipitation) which may result in degradation of habitat suitability and population declines. The conversion of natural habitats and low-use agricultural areas to urban development can result in fragmentation of habitat. This can result in negative impacts such as water pollution, disturbance to species dynamics and predator-prey relationships. Thus, it is important to consider future conditions during conservation planning. Below are a few resources that can be used to guide these forward-looking and strategic efforts.

Climate Adaptation Explorer

The Climate Adaptation Explorer provides a starting point to address the predicted impacts of climate change on Florida’s fish, wildlife, and ecosystems. It serves as a resource in understanding potential impacts and to help in the development of adaptation strategies that could be implemented by the FWC and our conservation partners. Its purpose is to provide tools to better integrate actions that address climate adaptation into broader policies and programs; this Explorer serves as a toolkit (including scenario planning and vulnerability assessments) to help natural resource managers and others to address the current and future impacts of climate change on Florida’s ecosystems.

Climate Smart Conservation

The Climate Smart Conservation guide from the National Wildlife Federation can be used to help conservationists and resource managers incorporate climate change considerations into their work. The report offers an approach to adaptation planning and implementation that breaks the process into discrete and manageable steps. The guide can help practitioners and policymakers understand what constitutes “good” climate adaptation, how to recognize those characteristics in existing work, and how to design new interventions when necessary.

Florida 2070

The Florida 2070 and Water 2070 reports are joint projects of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, University of Florida Geoplan Center and 1000 Friends of Florida. These reports help foster informed discussions on how public policy and personal choices we make today will impact future generations. Both studies include Alternative 2070 scenarios featuring more compact development patterns, increased conservation lands, and in the case of Water 2070, modest water conservation.


The SLEUTH Projected Urban Growth Model predicts increases in urban extent for the Southeast including highlighting areas where ecosystem fragmentation is likely. It complements population-driven models but focuses on spatial pattern and extent. This model can be used by managers and decisions makers to explore how urban sprawl (if it continues) may affect their goals and plans for the landscape. SLEUTH is named after the spatial components included in this model: Slope, Land cover, Excluded regions, Urban land cover, Transportation, and Hill-shade.

Private Lands Conservation

With approximately 70% of lands in Florida under private ownership, development and sustainment of strong partnerships with private landowners is imperative to successful landscape-scale conservation. Private landowners can contribute to the preservation and enhancement of wildlife habitat through technical and financial assistance programs, incentives programs, and liability protections, a few of which are described below.  

Florida Wildlife Conservation Guide: The Florida Wildlife Conservation Guide is a collaborative online resource developed to inform effective land use planning, site assessments, and project designs to assist in the conservation of wildlife in Florida.  

FWC programs that support conservation on private lands include: 

Land Use Planning

Provides technical assistance to private landowners, developers, environmental consultants, local governments, and other agencies that are planning land use or land management change within Florida.

Landowner Assistance Program

Can provide technical assistance and conservation plan preparation at no cost to private landowners to blend the landowners’ desired uses with best practices that benefit wildlife.

Land Conservation and Planning

This group within FWC assists in land and easement acquisition, and land management plans and reviews. 

Gopher Tortoise Program

The gopher tortoise recipient site program provides an opportunity for landowners (both public and private) that meet program criteria to establish a recipient site on their property. The program helps restore and maintain gopher tortoises and their habitat in Florida, while providing financial incentives to landowners.

Incentive Programs

There are a wide variety of programs available from the FWC and partners that provide financial incentives to landowners for implementing management practices on their property that improve habitat for wildlife.

Liability Protections

Florida’s Safe Harbor Program

This voluntary conservation incentive plan for private landowners provides assurances that landowners will not be penalized by endangered species laws when they manage their land to conserve listed species.  

Wildlife Best Management Practices

Wildlife Best Management Practices for Forestry and Agriculture - These voluntary, non-regulatory programs provide practical and meaningful conservation measures that balance sustainable use and conservation of natural resources on Florida farms and timberlands

Tracking Conservation Action Progress

Tracking landscape conservation action progress is essential to informing whether we are successful. Understanding progress made on actions, particularly if conservation targets are established and agreed upon among partners, allows us to measure our conservation successes. Conversely, we can also use this tracking information to identify where more effort is needed, and adapt our practices and priorities based on emerging needs.

Florida Ecological Report Cards

The report cards provide broad habitat-based frameworks to evaluate current condition and desired future condition (quality, quantity, location, and spatial configuration) of a set of conservation assets. There are two report cards, one for terrestrial and freshwater systems, and one for estuarine and marine systems. A set of measurable indicators were chosen for each conservation asset to evaluate their respective current conditions, and a target was set for each indicator for a desirable future condition. Report cards, their technical reports, and associated indicator spatial data can be found on the CPA.

Florida Conservation Action Tracker (CAT)

The Florida CAT is designed to facilitate sharing information about past, current, and future conservation actions on the landscape. It can help identify shared priorities across organizations and result in better coordination among organizations responsible for conservation efforts across the landscape.