The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is seeking information from the public about its list of threatened species.
In September, new rules were adopted for conserving threatened species in Florida. The commission began compiling information about 61 threatened species that have never had biological reviews completed or the reviews were done so long ago that the information is outdated.
The group is looking for information in regard to population size and trends, distribution and range, and threats to the species.
“There are a lot of closet scientists out there who might have information collected over the years that we should include in these evaluations,” said Elsa Haubold, leader of the FWC’s Species Conservation Planning Section. “We’re looking for information about things like whether populations are increasing or declining. We’re looking for geographical ranges — where critters occur.”
Keith Laakkonen, Fort Myers Beach environmental science coordinator, said public input for this kind of statewide project can be valuable.
“One thing scientists sometimes overlook is anecdotal information,” he said. “But anecdotal information can be very important. The public may be seeing trends in something scientists might not be looking at.”
Responses will be accepted until Nov. 1.