Several threatened species' statuses changed by FWC

- Steps have been put into place by FWC to protect and conserve 57 species in the sunshine state. 

The plan is called the Imperiled Species Management Plan and, along with conservation, aims to restore habitats essential to the long-term survival of multiple fish and wildlife species.

FWC's chairman said the state is, "charting an ambitious new path for wildlife conservation success on a statewide scale." 

As part of updates to conservation efforts, FWC said 15 species will no longer be listed as "imperiled species" because conservation successes improved their status. Those include: eastern chipmunk, Florida mouse, brown pelican, limpkin, snowy egret, white ibis, peninsula ribbon snake (lower Keys population), red rat snake (lower Keys population), striped mud turtle (lower Keys population), Suwannee cooter, gopher frog, Pine Barrens tree frog, Lake Eustis pupfish, mangrove rivulus and Florida tree snail. 

Meanwhile, 23 species are newly listed as threatened species in the state. Those include: Sherman's short-tailed shrew, Sanibel rice rat, little blue heron, tricolored heron, reddish egret, roseate spoonbill, American oystercatcher, black skimmer, Florida burrowing owl, Marian's marsh wren, Worthington's marsh wren, Scott's seaside sparrow, Wakulla seaside sparrow, Barbour's map turtle, Florida Keys mole skink, Florida pine snake, Georgia blind salamander, Florida bog frog, bluenose shiner, saltmarsh top minnow, southern tessellated darter, Santa Fe crayfish and Black Creek crayfish. 

Threatened species have populations that are declining, have a very limited range or are very small.

14 species will stay ton the state threatened status, including: Everglades mink, Big Cypress fox squirrel, Florida sandhill crane, snowy plover, least tern, white-crowned pigeon, southeastern American kestrel, Florida brown snake (lower Keys population), Key ringneck snake, short-tailed snake, rim rock crowned snake, Key silverside, blackmouth shiner and crystal darter.

Five species remain species of special concern, including: Homosassa shrew, Sherman's fox squirrel, osprey (Monroe County population), alligator snapping turtle and harlequin darter.

These species have significant data gaps, and the FWC plans to make a determination on their appropriate listing status in the near future.

Learn more about the plan at MyFWC.com/Imperiled.

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