Conservation and Wildlife News
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to know the attitude of the public regarding the possession and management of venomous reptiles by zoos, as well as individual residents in their homes. FWC Captive Wildlife staff was directed by the Commission in November 2015 to evaluate existing regulations and develop a range of regulatory options for the Commission’s consideration. In order to effectively receive information and direction from the public, the agency has developed an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/VR-Rule, and will be accepting survey responses and recommendations through July 27, 2016.
Gainesville, Fla., Jan. 14, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 115 high-impact projects across all 50 states, including Florida, will receive more than $370 million as part of the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program, administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service .
The program’s public-private partnership enables companies, communities and other non-government entities to further conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife on a regional scale. Partners provide matching funding, with the total budget to be spent in five years.
The House passed a bill (H.R.5069) in November that would increase the price of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps-better known as Ducks Stamps-from $15 to $25. Duck Stamps are permits required to hunt waterfowl in the United States, and the revenue collected from their sale goes straight to wetland conservation through land purchases and easements. Many National Wildlife Refuges were funded in part or in full by Duck Stamp revenue.
“Be a Hero!” by getting decals that help with the research, rescue, rehabilitation and management of Florida’s endangered manatees and sea turtles.
People can receive a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manatee or sea turtle decal, and show their support for saving these iconic Florida species, with a donation of $5.
Rescues of manatees and sea turtles that are injured, ill or otherwise in distress are one of the many FWC conservation activities supported by decal donations.
The new editions of the decals are originally designed works of art, and available now at local tax collectors’ offices across the state and at MyFWC.com.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requests the public’s help in locating three species of rare birds during their breeding seasons. The southeastern American kestrel, the burrowing owl and the painted bunting are rare and declining species that are often overlooked by traditional monitoring programs such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey.
Audubon Florida has a detailed synopsis of the 2014 Florida legislative session with regards to wildlife and conservation issues.
"From the beginning of session and all throughout, we heard that next year will be the year for water policy issues as the incoming leadership prefers to address those important topics at the 2015 Session. "
"The 2014 Legislative Session brought out many new supporters as Senators and Representatives alike began to understand the need to address some of the state’s critical water quality problems.
Meeting today at the Florida Public Safety Institute near Tallahassee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recognized wildlife scientist Joan Berish with the 2013 Louise Ireland Humphrey Achievement Award.
Berish, who has worked for the FWC more than 33 years and lives in Gainesville, has been at the forefront of work involving conserving and managing gopher tortoises, a listed species in Florida. Berish’s work has benefited not only gopher tortoises but also a host of other species that live in and are dependent on active gopher tortoise burrows to survive.
In March, the President released his request for FY 2015 federal budget levels. Over the next several weeks, Congress will consider this request and develop spending bills to fund the government in FY 2015.
The majority of wildlife and natural resources conservation programs received stable or increased funding in the President's budget, with increases to the overall budgets of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Geological Survey. However, a few critical programs did not. For example, the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program (SWG) would see a 15% decrease in funding from the FY14 level of $58.7 million to only $50 million under the President's budget. This key program has, for ten years, provided states and tribes the resources to support and implement wildlife conservation programs to keep non-game species off of the endangered species list.
Audubon continues to define Everglades success as bringing back the birds and wildlife that were so naturally abundant in the River of Grass. These species serve as an indicator for all of the other benefits to the natural environment, aquifer recharge, and economic prosperity that restoration can also produce.
The recent operationalizing of the Tamiami Trail bridge and the C-111 Spreader Canal project bring us closer to mimicking the natural water flow patterns that have been altered by human infrastructure.