Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

A Florida panther
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region

Thanks to people who buy a special Florida license plate, $150,000 is going toward the effort to figure out what’s causing a debilitating disorder in wild bobcats and endangered panthers.

A Florida grasshopper sparrow perches on a bush at White Oak.
White Oak Conservation

A new $140,000 grant will be used at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee to try and prevent the extinction of North America’s most endangered bird, the Florida grasshopper sparrow.

Fla. Senate Poised To Back Move Of Law Enforcement Officers From FWC To DEP

Apr 17, 2019
The Florida Senate

A shift of 19 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission law-enforcement officers to the Department of Environmental Protection, a change sought by Gov. Ron DeSantis, was teed up Wednesday by the Senate for a final vote.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Department of Health in Duval County (DOH-Duval) announced Thursday morning that there has been an increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in the area.

hunter with gun seen from the back
m01229 via Flickr

Florida may proclaim itself the “fishing capital of the world,” but wildlife officials say they need more anglers to help cover costs of running state programs.

The same goes for hunters.

Allie George / WJCT News

On a small beach below the iconic stripes of St. Augustine’s lighthouse, a small crowd gathered in July to cheer on a rehabilitated sea turtle as it was finally returned to the wild.

The Sea Turtle Hospital officially opened its doors at the Whitney Laboratory, just south of St. Augustine, late last year. Since then, it’s served around 100 patients, suffering from injuries ranging from boat strikes to fishing line entanglements.


Law enforcement officers would need "reasonable suspicion" to stop and inspect boats sporting state safety stickers, under a measure that sailed through its final House committee last week.
 
The Economic Affairs Committee voted 12-3 to approve the proposal (HB 703), which would revise a state law about reckless and careless operations of vessels.
 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA research permit #15488

North Atlantic right whales have begun to appear in the calving grounds off the coasts of Florida and Georgia.

According to the Marineland right whale team, two mother-calf pairs were spotted recently, one of them close to shore at Ponte Vedra Beach.

And wildlife officials saw an injured right whale Sunday near Georgia’s Jekyll Island.  They say the whale’s injuries probably came from getting tangled up in something like a fishing net.  She’s also very thin and is missing part of her lip.

A humpback whale has also been spotted near Flagler Beach.

bear sleeping
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via Flickr

Florida wildlife officials Thursday called last month's bear hunt a success, with 304 bears killed in two days and few hunters cited for violations — but critics called it a slaughter, saying most of the bears were killed on private land, where state regulations could be more easily skirted.

In a report released Thursday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said 304 bears were killed — 16 short of the so-called "harvest objective" of 320 that was set for the state's first bear hunt in 21 years.

Pat Gaines via Flickr

Protesters are running out of time to stop Florida’s first legal black bear hunt in more than twenty years. More than 2,500 hunting permits have been sold for the week-long bear season that starts Saturday.

Jacksonville activist Adam Sugalski says teams of people will be going into the woods during the hunt to monitor the hunt. They also want to check the stomach contents of dead bears to see how many were shot in the wild and how many were baited.

Pat Gaines via Flickr

With Florida black bear hunting season scheduled to start next month, a conservation group is asking a judge to block it. But a veteran wildlife lawyer says the group’s chance of success is slim.


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Gov. Rick Scott will not use executive authority to block the state's first bear-hunting season in more than two decades, despite pleas from animal-rights groups.

While anti-hunt groups have been collecting petitions and planning protests across the state on the eve of next month's hunt, the governor's office said Scott has left the issue up to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which has already voted to proceed.

http://www.beachsidekeywest.com/

The president of a Key West real-estate development company has been named to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, replacing the former chairman who announced last week he is stepping down after 12 years on the board.

The appointment late Friday of Robert Spottswood by Gov. Rick Scott came three days after Richard Corbett, whose term on the board was scheduled to expire in January 2018, submitted his resignation to Scott.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Conservation groups want a judge to shoot down the return of bear hunting in Florida and to halt the pending sale of bear-hunting permits.

With permits for this fall's hunt going on sale Monday, the Seminole County-based group Speak Up Wekiva filed a lawsuit in Leon County circuit court Friday challenging the constitutionality of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-approved bear hunt.

"There is no evidence to support the supposition that hunting bears in remote wildlife management areas will reduce conflicts in suburbia," the lawsuit contends.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Rules for the state's first bear hunt in more than 20 years have been published as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is expected next month to give final approval to the hunt.

The posting of the rules came as the Humane Society has reached out to Gov. Rick Scott to halt the pending hunt because the commission has yet to determine how many bears are in Florida.

"This is very premature," said Kate MacFall, the Humane Society's Florida director. "They haven't even finished the count. They don't even know about the bear population."

Keith Ramos / Flickr

Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are encouraging people to be especially mindful of manatees this month.

Peter Haden / WJCT

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the University of North Florida have teamed up to learn more about the lives of sea turtles.

Craig ONeal / Flickr

Reports of a wild boar terrorizing an Arlington subdivision has citizens around the city wondering if this could happen where they live.

National Geographic spoke with David Telesco, coordinator of the Bear Management Program for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, on why attacks by bears on humans appear to be up in the state.

Stand Your Ground criticized in Congress, giant shrimp off Jax coast, and a federal court filing by a state Death Row inmate are in the headlines today.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Sightings of giant tiger prawn are growing more numerous along the coastlines of Duval and St. Johns Counties.

The prawns, also known as Black or Asian Tiger Shrimp, can grow longer than a foot and weigh as much as a pound-and-a-half.

The fact that the shrimp aren’t native to the U.S. concerns ecologists, according to Carli Segelson with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.