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Biological Status Reviews

Biological Status Reviews

The FWC adopted a management system in September 2010 to conserve threatened species. In addition to significant conservation provisions, the system includes measurable criteria that are used to determine those species that should be on Florida's list, which are species facing a high risk of extinction. Biological review groups appointed by the Commission evaluated 61 species (listed below) grandfathered on the FWC's imperiled species lists in fall 2010. Groups of FWC staff and external experts completed a biological status review (BSR) for each of these species.

The groups specifically reviewed:

  • population size and trends;
  • distribution and range;
  • threats to the species;
  • published population viability models; and
  • specific aspects of the species' life history that may influence the range-wide and Florida-specific status of the species.

The biological status reports were completed in December 2010 and sent out for peer review.

Based on the status reviews and other information, staff recommended that 40 of the species be included on Florida's Threatened list in addition to the three species (gopher tortoise, Miami blue butterfly and Panama City crayfish) that were reviewed in the past decade. Staff recommended that 16 species be removed from the existing list. Three of these are currently classified as threatened species, and 13 are classified as species of special concern. Based on the FWC's listing criteria, evidence indicated that species recommended for removal from the list are not facing a high risk of extinction.

The final reports with staff recommendations were presented to the Commission at the June meeting in St. Augustine. The Commission voted to agree with staff's recommendations and directed staff to continue working on management plans. The changes to a species' listing status will not be made until management plans are presented and approved by the Commission, which may take a few years for some of the species.

Note: There are provisions in FWC rules to ensure that species that are delisted in Florida thrive and that their status does not decline to the point where they need to be re-listed. Before the species can be removed from FWC's threatened or species of special concern lists, staff must develop a management plan, with input from stakeholders and the public, and the Commission must approve the plan.

For more detailed information on reading BSR reports, please refer to the presentations on How to Read a BSR  and the BSR training Presentation.

Summary table of listing recommendations