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'UNIVEPiITY of 'FLOFIJDA
. ll. ,,l- L. .
In Memory of
Wildlife Officer Ray Lynn Barnes
Sept. 24, 1956- Nov. 21, 1987
Wildlife Officer Ray Barnes, who died
in the line of duty in Walton County, spent
the last four years of his life protecting the
northwest Florida wildlife that had so
deeply enriched his youth. His untimely
death was a tragic loss to the Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission and to all
who knew him. The year he died, Officer
Barnes had earned the distinction of being
one of five statewide nominees to be
honored as Wildlife Officer of the Year.
Barnes had a great love for wild creatures
and the wilderness where they live. We,
his co-workers, miss him deeply.
Table of Contents
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ............................. 3
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES....... 4
DIVISION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT............... 7
DIVISION OF FISHERIES ............................ 1
DIVISION OF WILDLIFE ........................... 16
OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES ........ 25
OFFICE OF INFORMATIONAL SERVICES........28
THOMAS L HIRES. SR.
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The Division of Administrative Services provides support services to
all Commission program functions. These services include budgeting,
data processing, accounting, personnel, property, purchasing and
general office operations such as maintenance, printing, word
processing, central files, mail room and storeroom.
Data Processing System Support The system support
function for the Commission was expanded to include the
creation of the Information System Review Committee (ISRC).
The ISRC consists of data processing representatives from all
divisions and offices. Quarterly meetings are held to discuss
current topics and plan future data processing directions. The
ISRC has begun establishing standards for microprocessor
software, data communications and hardware purchases.
In addition to the ISRC, an in-house training program has been
established. Microprocessor training programs are taken to the
regional offices, completing two training classes per month.
The Commission has more than 60 microcomputers installed.
Outdated systems are being replaced and new systems purchased.
Approximately 20 new systems were installed this year.
Hundreds of inquiries come in each year
concerning employment opportunities
with the Commission.
Personnel The Personnel Office provides support
services for employment, recruitment, equal employment
opportunity/affirmative action, pay administration,
classification, training, insurance, leave maintenance,
retirement processing, disciplinary and promotional
coordination, counseling, union contract administration,
and serves as a conduit between employees and managers.
Training presentations and the coordination of training
workshops statewide were begun this year. Workshops
have been presented in such areas as performance
appraisals, supervision and computer software operation.
This area will be expanded to include manager training,
discipline training and other essential training needs.
Plans are in final stages to allow the sharing of most of
the personnel records and information with the divisions
and offices through the use of personal computers. This
will enable managers and supervisors to better manage their
Office Operations The functions of the Bureau of
Office Operations include the property office, records
management, word processing center, office services (mail
room, supply room, print shop and building maintenance)
and the purchasing section, which recently was placed
under this bureau. This bureau also administers the motor
pool, switchboard, security and custodial contracts for the
Tallahassee office, and the bureau chief acts as coordinator
for interagency programs, such as energy and safety.
In response to the increased number of contracts
generated by the Commission, a new comprehensive
contract manual was developed for use by employees in
The Personnel office maintains files for
the Commission's 852 employees
Accounting The Accounting Section has the
responsibility of recording and maintaining documentation
of all revenue and disbursement activities of the
Commission. General revenue funding is the largest single
revenue source and is used primarily for law enforcement
operations. Hunting and fishing license, permit and stamp
sales, federal program cost reimbursements and
miscellaneous revenue sources also are used to finance
Commission operations. Salaries are the largest single item
in the expenditure budget, followed by expenses of
operations and costs of purchasing equipment.
Accounting information is produced to assist
Commission management personnel in monitoring financial
activity and controlling the operating budget, while
financial records are maintained on a fund accounting basis.
In a separate fund, the Nongame Wildlife Program is
financed by new residents' auto tag fees and by donations.
The Commission also maintains restricted trust funds to
pay rewards for the arrests and convictions of endangered
and threatened species law violators and to finance the
acquisition of land for wildlife habitat.
GENERAL OPERATING FUNDS*
July 1, 1986 -June 30, 1987
(Preliminary Year-End Amounts)
Available Fund Balance July 1, 1986 $ 1,676,622
General Revenue Fund (Operations) 15,993,328
Licenses and Stamps 11,842,771
Intergovernmental Revenue 5,999,533
Other Revenue 1,793,683
Total Funds Available 37,372,758
Expenditures and Commitments
Law Enforcement 14,992,225
Wildlife Management 6,282,877
Fisheries Management 5,938,603
Informational Services 1,673,213
Environmental Services 639,494
Fixed Capital Outlay Appropriations 782,857
Non-operating Transfers 1,173,373
Total Expenditures and Commitments 35,188,738
Available Fund Balance June 30, 1987 $2,184,020
FISCAL YEAR 86-87 Total Funding for
*General Revenue Fund and State Game Trust Fund
NONGAME WILDLIFE TRUST FUND
July 1, 1986 -June 30, 1987
Available Fund Balance July 1, 1986
Total Funds Available
Expenditures and Commitments
Total Expenditures and Commitments
Available Fund Balance June.30, 1987
FISCAL YEAR 1986-87
TOTAL FUNDING FOR OPERATIONS $35,401,787
Budgeting For a state agency to operate from year to
year, it must be able to project revenues and expenditures.
These projections are consolidated into the legislative
budget process for both operations and fixed capital outlay.
During FY 86-87, legislative budgets were prepared for FY
The 1987-89 legislative budget requests were prepared in
conjunction with the development of the Commission's
strategic and operational plans. Individual budget requests
submitted by divisions and offices were approved and
included in the legislative budgets only when a correlation
could be established between the budget requests and goals
and objectives outlined in the plans.
u~mssE^s^s$ ".,*, ,_ sese~ ssssisssassns
Appropriations by Division S8SS55$$$. $$$5$. '., *". $'s SS
$8.$.35.%$8 .* .. $g.I$5, $5..SS$$$$
$$$$$SS$.?$$$. S4 @ ..,$5$.Ss.
Percent $;.$$.?, `. 2 ggiggggg
Division Amount of Total $:$$$ $$$$ 1 *,7% ., ,
8 ss$^ ^$j$,. .... $ ,.ji$$$$', $$$$$$$
Law Enforcement $15,390,190 43.5% $.$$$S? $~S$...5. /. .... '' g ., '
Fisheries 6,250,780 17.7% $$$$SSS SS$$$$ :, 7.. L ', v .'.*..,S,,8 fgSl g
Executive Director & 8 ,*S S$$.'. .$,. ,'.q,~:$ ...gg.$ yS$""
Administrative Services 6,037,624 17.0% $$S$$S.$$$.S;$$.$$$S.$$$$$5.5$- $$5$$$$$$.$$f$ $$$U^$$
Wildlife 7,723,193 21.8% S.y$$$$$ $$ ,$$g3$JSSE. $$$. $.$, Si ggg y $$$$$$
Appropriations by Catego
Other Personal Services
Payment of Rewards
$-$$S$$88553$$S.$$SS$-$.$ SS.$$.$85 85855$S$ $$.$ $$$$SS$
,$_.,.. 8 $S '1.;ss..... ...sss. s
-,' .?MS-5 85 s7.,s C *SS S s .SSS tSS
)97,848 $$$$$$$$ $$ '..$$$
406,277 $.~t ,$$.S .i 8.2% ... $$$$$ $S
01,979 $$$ .$$ S s ,/. 'A w$
192,780 $$8 ..:.,$ $. :.. r i : $ $$$$$$$$s
0oo,ooo00 '..,SS S$ S.. .- ,$$8 8$$S .
248,934 $$ lw$$S$$, s...' '''. -... $$8 $$ $$
248,969 $$$t$$$$.?$ SS.S.,$$$$SSS$ $$$$$$S$$S$S. gS$$$$$l$$a$$5
5,000 $.i .. SS ? $
Revenue Sources 4S$ .~ ,,.$. .$.. -$$, ..; *'; 55555
soss.sssssasse! -.;> sssssssgssns
SSSSi. SSS$... ...., ,.: :. $ SSSSS$$$$$$$
SS 8. $.. .. S ..$..
Percent S ...SS.$ .Sss .' '.. jiS.tG- $$$$$SSS$$
Source Amount ofTotal ~M$9$$s$s s.;s 33. ,: ?. .S$$$$$$$$$$
$8.9S8S3:8SC.I 4 $%t A^$S.S$$$$SS$$
General Revenue $15,993,328 44.8% $$$$$$$$$$$$$SSS.,. .: $$$$$$$$$$$$
License & Permit Revenue 11,842,771 33.2% $$$SS8$$$ $ 5 ---: ''.,-5.5$s$$$$$$$$$$!$
Intergovernmental Revenue 5,999,533 16.8% $S$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$1$$
Other Revenue 1,860,504 5.2% :$S$$$$$$$S$$$$$$$SS $SS$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$S$$$$ S$$$
The Division of Law Enforcement is charged with protecting
fish and wildlife resources on the state's 37 million acres of land
and fresh water. Protection is accomplished through preventive
patrols of urban, rural and wilderness lands and freshwater
areas and by arrests of persons violating conservation and
environmental laws. The division's responsibilities include
enforcement of fishing, hunting and littering laws; regulation of
the commercial wildlife trade; enforcement of boating safety
regulations, endangered species laws, and environmental laws
(including pollution, chemical dumping and dredge and fill);
maintenance of public order during natural disturbances and
civil emergencies; and assisting local and state law enforcement
Sixty wildlife management areas consisting of nearly 5 million
acres are open to public hunting, hiking, fishing, camping,
birdwatching and picnicking. The division provides uniformed
patrols to ensure these lands are adequately protected and
maintained for public use. The division also provides uniformed
patrols to ensure the protection of environmentally endangered
lands and assists other public agencies concerned with
conservation and the enforcement of Florida's environmental
Officer Law Enforcement Patrol Wildlife
officers serve as "wilderness police" as they patrol the
state's land and water to provide protection for wildlife,
freshwater aquatic life, the environment, and vast numbers
of outdoor recreational users. Wildlife officers protect
human life and property as they go about their
conservation tasks. Officers must patrol rural and
wilderness areas with specialized equipment such as four-
wheel drive vehicles, swamp buggies, half-tracks,
helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, airboats and other
Wildlife officers must respond to citizen demands for
services in the wake of Florida's rapidly expanding
population. This demand is acute in the areas of pollution,
nongame wildlife, nuisance animal calls, alligator
complaints, and violation reports. Since no new wildlife
officer positions have been received in the past three years,
the division has been forced to devise ways to do more
with less. A field planning concept was developed to allow
officers to get together quarterly to formally plan patrol
strategies. This provides for more effective "directed
patrol" to problem areas rather than "random patrol."
Improved communications equipment
has increased the range of wildlife
This year, wildlife officers responded to 7,005
complaints from the public, issued 7,290 warnings and
made 13,437 arrests. They worked 563,309 hours,
patrolled 6.5 million miles and checked 566,921 resource
users. Arrests for nongame and endangered species law
violations totaled 273, and warnings totaled 152. This
division continued its efforts to protect the Florida panther
by enforcing speed zone restrictions on designated highways
where panthers regularly cross the roads in extreme south
Florida. Collisions with vehicles are a significant cause of
panther mortality so nighttime speeds in these areas are
limited to 45 m.p.h. This year, wildlife officers made 745
speeding arrests and issued 51 warnings. This makes a
total of 2,183 arrests and 409 warnings since the
program began in September of 1985.
Recently two individuals were fined in federal court for
killing an endangered species. A joint investigation by the
Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service into
the killing of red-cockaded woodpeckers at the Oak Run
Residential Development near Ocala began in July 1986.
The company president eventually was fined $300,000 and
the vice-president $1,000. An earlier settlement with the
company resulted in a $75,000 donation to the
Commission. Development and Construction Corporation
of America (DECCA), the company which owns the
development, also purchased 150 acres of red-cockaded
woodpecker habitat in Marion County and donated the
land to the Commission. Total fines and penalties
amounted to $1 million for DECCA and three years
probation for the president of the company.
Environmental violations are acute statewide but are
especially serious in south Florida. During March, officers
in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties worked for 10
days on a "saturated patrol" of illegal dump sites on state
lands. In some of these areas old tires were stacked 10 feet
', ~ ~sL...,
high, covering hundreds of acres. A helicopter, fixed-wing
aircraft and unmarked patrol vehicles helped to apprehend
102 violators during the 10-day detail. Other violations
included an arrest for car stripping and possession of a
stolen all-terrain cycle. A human body (apparently a suicide
victim) also was found.
More than 6,784 nuisance alligator complaints were
received this year. Of these, 3,634 nuisance alligators were
taken by licensed trappers.
On April 17, at 9 p.m., a wildlife officer was fired upon
while patrolling the L-8 Levee in Palm Beach County. At
the time of the shooting the officer was following a vehicle
that was shining a light in an attempt to take wildlife. The
subjects shot at the officer's vehicle after illuminating it
with a light. A .22-caliber bullet did not fully penetrate the
windshield. Had it done so, it would have struck the officer
in the head. Six juveniles subsequently were apprehended
and five weapons were recovered. Three of the juveniles
were charged with aggravated assault and shooting into an
occupied vehicle. All six were charged with attempting to
take wildlife at night with gun and light.
The division is charged with enforcing boating safety
laws on Florida's 22,759 miles of rivers, streams and canals
and 1.5 million acres of lakes. Waterways are becoming
more crowded and boating accident investigations,
checking boaters driving under the influence of alcohol,
and search-and-rescue activities on the water are consuming
a great deal of officers' time. This year, 47,539 hours were
dedicated to boating safety work, and 4,633 citations and
warnings were issued.
The Communications section provides a
24-hour lifeline for wildlife officers
patrolling Florida's wilderness areas.
Aviation The primary responsibility of the Aviation
Section is to provide law enforcement coverage in
wilderness areas. Aviation activities include patrol,
surveillance and search-and-rescue missions.
A secondary responsibility is to assist the divisions of
wildlife and fisheries in conducting studies. Environmental
surveys also require aircraft. Flights provide a means of
collecting data on Florida panthers, black bears, sandhill
cranes, colonial nesting birds and other protected species.
This year, the Aviation Section expanded its capabilities
by increasing manpower and equipment. The section now
employs eight full-time pilots operating a total of eight
aircraft. This year, a Piper Aerostar was added to the fleet.
Equipment has been upgraded with the addition of GE
Delta SX programmable radios and Northstar Loran Cs in
all aircraft, making the fleet an invaluable tool for both
research and law enforcement patrol.
Pilots checked 16,704 wildlife resource users this year;
were responsible for 480 arrests (an increase of 505
percent over last year); issued 193 warnings and logged
3,683 hours of total flight time (169 percent increase over
Wildlife Inspections Wildlife inspectors are
responsible for the regulation of Florida's wildlife trade.
Inspectors monitor zoos, game farms, tropical fish farms,
wildlife importers, alligator farms, venomous reptile
dealers, personal pet owners, pet shops, private hunting
preserves and falconers to ensure they comply with state
and federal laws governing their operations and activities.
This reporting period, 3,682 inspections of commercial
and private establishments were conducted by this section.
Included were inspections of 290 wildlife exhibits, 892 pet
shops, 466 personal pet enclosures, 66 wildlife
rehabilitation centers and 59 taxidermy shops.
A total of 319 illegally-imported freshwater fish were
seized including electric catfish,-stingrays, walking catfish
and tilapia. One hundred sixty-seven illegally-possessed
wild creatures were seized, including monkeys, cougars,
lions, cobras, bears, alligators, foxes and many other
A continued emphasis was placed on endangered and
threatened species protection (619 hours) and obtaining
accurate inventories on all alligators held in captivity. There
are 36,000 alligators maintained by wildlife exhibits and
commercial alligator farms and facilities. Inspections of
such facilities help protect the wild alligator population
from illegal capture and sale.
A total of 498 violations were acted upon by the
Inspections Section this year.
Training And Records The Bureau of Training
and Records is charged with the development and
coordination of the division's basic and in-service law
enforcement training as well as the storage and retrieval of
all of the division's records.
Twenty-one individuals were selected to attend the 18th
Wildlife Officer Training Academy. They satisfactorily
completed an intense three-month selection process which
included interviews, medical assessment, fitness testing and
exhaustive background investigations. Eighteen of 21
trainees successfully completed 560 hours of basic law
enforcement training and were assigned to fill existing
wildlife officer positions throughout the state.
Field training officers for this year's recruit class received
indoctrination and refresher courses on how to continue
the training process and provide the necessary "bridge"
between basic recruit training and solo law enforcement
In-service training for the division's sworn personnel
included PR-24, flashlight and kubutan defensive tactics.
Regional spring and fall firearms training was completed.
The Roger's Tactical Firearms Course, which is state of the
art officer survival training, was attended by the regional
training officers and two of the staff training officers. This
valuable instructor training will be incorporated in
upcoming officer firearms survival programs.
This year's hurricane exercise was unique. For the first
time, a hurricane scenario was encountered where it was
necessary to evacuate six Commission aircraft out of the
path of the storm. Several new methods of coordinating the
evacuation of agency aircraft as well as multi-agency aircraft
missions have been developed.
Our First Responder Program continues to grow with 18
new first responders added to the rolls with the recent
recruit graduates. This fiscal year, first responders rendered
emergency medical aid 22 times with six lives saved due to
the quick action and professional care rendered by our first
A five-year program of one-on-one, ride-along driver
training was initiated this fiscal year. When time permits,
the regional training officers (RTOs), who are certified
driving instructors, ride with officers for a day. During this
time, the RTOs give valuable instructional and driving
technique advice while evaluating the officers' driving skills
under varying conditions.
A video production titled "The Greatest Management
Principal in the World" has been purchased. This program
will be presented regional to all regional division
supervisors. It will help supervisors understand why some
people have a pattern of only average performance. The
program demonstrates how supervisors can improve their
performances and thereby improve the performances of
A video program on aviation weather, communications,
navigation, charts and flight safety was produced and
presented at the pilots' refresher training held in March.
Preparations and procedures for the anticipated anti-
nuclear weapons demonstrations at Cape Canaveral were
completed. The response was made up of two elements.
The first was officers assigned to secure the western
boundary of the Kennedy Space Center complex along the
Banana River in small boats and air boats. The second
element was made up of officers on three- and four-wheel
all-terrain vehicles assigned to patrol the beach and dunes
to interdict any protesters who might try to assault the
actual missile launch site from the sea. The situation was
effectively defused by the advanced launching of the new
polaris missile one day before the scheduled arrival of the
The recruits who graduated from the 1985 Wildlife
Officer Basic Recruit Academy returned to Tallahassee and
evaluated, with the training staff, the relationship and
relevancy of their academy training to field enforcement
duties. As a result, several areas such as driving, defensive
tactics, first responder and firearms were expanded and/or
revised. More practical exercises were planned and some of
the ones used currently will be re-evaluated and improved.
The statewide reserve program continues to be of great
benefit to the division and the Commission as a whole.
This past year, more than 250 reservists donated over
40,000 hours of their time to Commission programs and
The records section annually processes nearly 30,000
citations, warnings and complaints as well as hundreds of
other important and confidential source documents. As a
result, information resource needs grew to the point that
they exceeded existing resource capabilities. In an effort to
address this concern, a computer programmer analyst II
position was added in the Bureau of Training and Records
and a revised plan was proposed to upgrade and improve
management of the division's information resources. The
implementation of the proposed integrated data base
system will allow more effective management of division
records and activities.
Communications This section provides the lifeline
for wildlife officers patrolling Florida's wilderness areas,
and provides other Commission personnel with teletype
and two-way radio communications. The system operates
24 hours a day with duty officers available to handle
incoming toll-free telephone calls as citizens report
violations and wildlife-related problems. Wildlife crime
reports and other information are relayed quickly by radio
to officers on patrol.
Improvements were made to one dispatch center and two
repeater stations by moving the equipment to new towers.
The move produced a dramatic increase in the radio
operating range. Two of the towers are owned by other
agencies-the Department of Law Enforcement and the
Division of Forestry. They are used by the Commission
under a cooperative agreement, whereby agencies share
towers whenever possible, resulting in lower operating
Fifty additional hand-held portable radios were
purchased for wildlife officers to provide them with
communications whenever they are working away from
their radio-equipped patrol vehicles.
This year the division purchased and installed 50
auxiliary radios to off-road equipment used by the officers
in terrain that is inaccessible to regular patrol vehicles.
The division staff participated on an interagency task
force dedicated to planning a multi-agency trunked radio
system. This computer-controlled system will enable
officers from multiple agencies to intercommunicate
rapidly with each other in emergencies. The system will be
one of the first of its kind in the nation. The basic concept
and operational plan was approved by the task force and
will be presented to the legislature during the 1988 session.
Wildlife officers coordinate patrols to
ensure conservation of Florida's wildlife
and freshwater fish.
Investigations Law enforcement investigators
provide the first line of defense against the illegal
commercialization of fish and wildlife. Acting as
plainclothes wildlife detectives, investigators work in areas
and situations where uniformed officers in marked vehicles
would be at a disadvantage.
The Investigations Section is responsible for setting up
indepth undercover operations on a statewide basis in
order to thwart large scale commercial wildlife crime.
During the past reporting period, several long-term
investigations were completed. Most of these cases involved
violations in both rural and metropolitan areas. Violators
in the rural areas usually provide the supply of illegal
wildlife such as deer, bass, or speckled perch to black
market dealers in cities. The dealers then market the illegal
products to a wide variety of patrons.
One recent example was a 15-month investigation which
was completed in February with the arrest of 17 individuals
charged with a total of 60 violations. While the
investigation centered on the illegal selling of deer taken
from a refuge, large quantities of marijuana, cocaine and
moonshine also were seized by investigators. When the
arrest and search warrants were served, officers confiscated
five vehicles, 17 guns, 28 pounds of marijuana, meat from
eight deer, an alligator hide and moonshine.
Another investigation turned up a new twist in illegal
hunting. Two individuals were arrested by investigators for
using an airplane to land on private land in order to hunt
illegally. After a harrowing chase by a Commission
helicopter pilot and investigators, the violators were
charged with illegally taking turkey, armed trespass and
reckless operation of an aircraft. The Federal Aviation
Administration was notified and witnessed the arrest.
Federal charges also are pending.
This year arrests were made for a wide variety of
violations including the illegal sale of protected turtles,
snakes, songbirds and other wildlife.
Largemouth bass are popular gamefish
among Florida's anglers.
An objective of the Division of Fisheries is to provide optimum
sustained use of freshwater fish for Florida's citizens and
visitors. Although Florida's 3 million acres of freshwater lakes
and 12,000 miles of streams and rivers provide some of the
world's best fishing and outdoor recreation, those resources have
to be shared by a human population that is growing by nearly a
quarter-million new residents each year. To fisheries resources
that means more fishing pressure and degraded fisheries habitats.
Finding financially feasible ways, within the scope of its
responsibility, to offset those problems is the challenge
confronting the division.
The 1986-87 Legislature passed several bills which will
substantially impact the division. The most important of these
was the Surface Water Improvement and Management Act
(SWIM). This act provided $15 million to be used by water
management districts, under Department of Environmental
Regulation (DER) rules, for restoring or conserving surface
The SWIM act specifies that the districts will, in cooperation
with the Commission, develop priority lists and technical plans
to conserve or restore appropriate surface water bodies.
Moreover, 30 days prior to the governing board of a district
adopting a SWIM plan, the Commission will have the
opportunity to review the final product to ensure the plan will
not harm fish and wildlife resources and, in a cost-efficient
manner, will seek to optimize fish and wildlife habitat.
The division made its responsibility under the SWIM act the
number one priority and authorized diversion of personnel away
from their approved operational plans to support the districts'
efforts to prioritize water bodies for restoration/conservation and
to develop appropriate plans.
Other legislation passed in FY 86-87 designated the
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service (DACS) as
lead agency for aquaculture marketing, and in a subsequent
memorandum of understanding between the DACS and the
Commission, reiterated that the Commission has responsibility
for technological development and transfer, and permitting
associated with the aquaculture industry. Furthermore, the
Commission pledged to support continued development of the
industry, so long as it is not detrimental to fish and wildlife
resources of Florida.
stocking program, and letting private fish culturists supply
Progress: fish for this purpose. The federally-funded Commission-
managed Impoundment Study is yielding excellent
Fisheries Management This bureau is responsible results via a liming and fertilizer program, and by creating
for implementing sound fisheries management programs spawning habitat by establishing oyster-shell beds.
using the most current techniques available to conserve and In the Everglades Region, plans were made to add two
enhance the state's fisheries. One bureau section includes men in FY 87-88, who will study the Everglades ecosystem
five regional management projects. Their objective is the and the impact of exotics, such as the exotic oscar, which is
improvement of sportfishing in the state by managing fish creating a significant new fishery. In addition, preliminary
populations and providing technical services to the general efforts were initiated to determine the receptivity of city
public. In addition, two major fisheries resource areas and county governments to a future urban fishery program
(Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes) for the Miami and/or Palm Beach each areas.
have specific management projects assigned to them. In the Central Region, the follow-up survey to the
In the South Region, the Webb Lake Study was Rodman Reservoir drawdown has shown a significant
completed and showed that a no-harvest (catch and release) fishery response within the reservoir. Background data have
regulation for bass increased fishermen catch rates been discussed with the new project leader of the Lower
significantly over what would have been expected with Oklawaha River Basin Project, which will take over
statewide fishing regulations. Another form of management responsibility for Rodman Reservoir and begin operations
regulation, known as a slot limit, requires bass between two in FY 87-88. Analyses of fish and water samples from Lake
specified sizes (in this case 13 and 20 inches) to be released, Weir still have not determined the cause of the black
was initiated on Saddle Creek Fish Management Area. crappie fishery's demise. To date, the Commission's
In the Northeast Region, a pilot study to determine cost- laboratory, DER and Auburn University have examined
benefit relationships resulting from an urban fisheries study tissue samples for toxins, parasites or disease. This year the
has documented definite advantages of this type activity. University of Florida will become involved in the study. A
Fishing pressures were sustained in excess of 2,000 study of Lake Tsala Apopka was commenced to determine
hours/acre/year, which is more than 50 times the average if it is a good candidate for lake restoration.
fishing pressure statewide. The Kissimmee River Project completed a successful
In the Northwest Region, a study to evaluate stocking third drawdown of Lake Tohopekaliga, which included a
private water bodies for free is beginning to show evidence mechanical muck-removal program that restored six miles
that private landowners do not follow directions to of shoreline. Approximately one-quarter million dollars
establish self-sustaining fisheries. Consequently, this from the DER's Pollution Recovery Trust Fund was used
activity may not show the benefits that were anticipated, to contract with South Florida Water Management District
and consideration is being given to abandoning the free- to do the work. In addition, Commission personnel
Fisheries biologists sample for striped
bass for research purposes.
coordinated with Osceola County to utilize $200,000 in
tourist development tax funds to renovate an additional
five-and-a-half miles of shoreline. Finally, project personnel
were instrumental in getting sewage discharge removed
from the lake. Phosphate levels in the lake have been
reduced 65 percent since 1981.
The original Lake Okeechobee Project completed a
three-year tagging study of largemouth bass and
investigated the possibility of using a commercial rough-
fish removal program to remove excess nutrients from the
lake. In addition, a study to determine the economic impact
and value of the sportfishery in Lake Okeechobee was
contracted to Florida State University.
Support functions are provided by several statewide
projects. Fish hatcheries are situated in the Richloam and
Blackwater state forests. In FY 86-87, they produced and
stocked 2.8 million fish. A total of 221,600 acres of water
and 1,050 miles of river received supplemental stockings
consisting mostly of striped bass, sunshine bass,
largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish.
The new Sportfish Restoration Study Team on Lake
Okeechobee began operation. A major thrust of their
research is to evaluate the Kissimmee River Restoration
Project's impact on sportfisheries in the lake.
The three-man Boat Ramp Project will be augmented
by a second three-man team next year. This year two new
ramps were built and 15 old ramps were repaired.
The Fish Attractor Project exceeded by five their
objective of constructing/restoring 30 fish attractors. In
addition, Loran-C coordinates were obtained on all
attractors statewide, and a brochure with this information
is being prepared for publication.
The Lake Restoration Project completed feasibility
studies on lakes Lawne and Banana; unfortunately, the
municipalities opted not to fund the projects, so
restorations were not implemented. It is hoped that project
biologists, who are actively involved in SWIM
coordination activities, can persuade the district to use
these plans in its SWIM program. In addition, the project
published a brochure on the common aquatic plants in
urban ponds illustrating both beneficial and problematic
ones. Investigations into the feasibility of restoring Lake
Istokpoga also commenced this year.
The Bureau of Fisheries Management, through the
Commercial Fisheries Section, spends approximately
$380,000 annually on programs of research, extension, and
management in the areas of commercial fisheries and
aquaculture. A study of Lake Apopka revealed that there is
a million dollar per year commercial fishery for catfish and
tilapia within the lake. Project personnel also participated
on the committee to study the ulcerated disease syndrome
affecting fish in the St. Johns River. Another study
investigated the effect of the gillnet fishery for American
shad on freshwater sportfish and concluded that the impact
The Commercial Aquaculture Project demonstrated
the feasibility of growing sunshine bass (a hybrid of white
bass and striped bass) for food production in Florida.
Another study documented marketability of these fish in
restaurants. Research was initiated to determine the
feasibility of raising native panfish, or hybrids thereof,
instead of exotics in pond and/or cage culture situations.
As in past years, approximately 3,000 requests for
information on Florida aquaculture were handled. It is
hoped that this project will be expanded significantly in FY
88-89 to facilitate meeting recent commitments to the
legislature, the industry and the DACS, to support
expansion of Florida aquaculture. In addition, there will be
a critical need for additional pond space, to conduct the
appropriate research for technological transfer to the
The final component of the bureau is the Aquatic Plant
Section. This section includes two projects that review
permits statewide for aquatic plant control to ensure a
balanced approach to providing water access without
eliminating submergent plants, which are critical fisheries
habitat components. Approximately 450 triploid grass carp
permits were issued, and 250 chemical reviews were
conducted. The Commission spent approximately
Brush piles are weighted down in lakes to
become prime habitats for fish.
$150,000 to purchase 46,000 triploid grass carp for
biological control of problematic aquatic plants. Plant
control was successful in lakes lola, Fairview, Conway and
Whippoorwill; minimal numbers of triploid grass carp
were used to lessen the potential for detrimental impacts
caused by over-control, or excessive escapement to non-
Fisheries Research The primary purpose of this
bureau is to conduct innovative research on methods to
enhance population size and structure of freshwater fishes
and to investigate the biology of Florida's important
aquatic resource systems. A secondary goal is to maintain
an up-to-date data base on existing fish populations and
structures, water quality indices, user-group attitudes and
desires, and angler success.
As with the Bureau of Fisheries Management, this bureau
has projects which deal with specific resource areas and
others that are statewide in scope. Specific resource areas
that are emphasized are: North Florida Streams, the St.
Johns River, the Ochlockonee River watershed, the
-Oklawaha Basin, and the Apalachicola River and Lake
The North Florida Streams Project concluded a five-
year study to evaluate sunshine bass and largemouth bass in
the lower Escambia River and estuary. Research on
development of Phase II sunshine bass (nine inches and
larger) for stocking open waters has progressed well. A
greater percentage of larger fish stay in the stocked area
than of smaller Phase I (one-two inch) hybrids.
Largemouth bass in the Escambia coastal marsh have
extremely slow growth rates, and future research will be
directed at enhancing this fishery, possibly using
The St. Johns River Fishery Resources Project
completed a five-year study of major freshwater sportfishes
in the lower St. Johns, and a five-year study of important
ecological problems in the upper river floodplains. Efforts
are being made to improve waterflow and agricultural
practices in the critical headwater area by coordinating with
the St. Johns River Water Management District. Land
purchases and reflooding of historical marshes will improve
significantly the quality of the St. Johns River. Wetlands
reclamation in the headwaters is a priority, which might be
coordinated through the SWIM project. Excellent
sportfisheries were documented in the lower river,
especially around Sanford-Palatka. Lake George is the
outstanding bass fishery in the system, while Lake Monroe
downstream to Lake George provides an extremely high
quality crappie fishery. Commission stocking programs for
striped bass and sunshine bass in the St. Johns River will be
expanded to improve the catch rate for these outstanding
sportfishes, and an effort is being made to acquire
jurisdiction over striped bass from the Department of
Natural Resources (DNR). This transfer of authority is
justified, since water temperatures in Florida restrict striped
bass to freshwater thermal refuges during summer, and the
fish do not migrate to saltwater in Florida.
The Ochlockonee River Watershed Project
documented outstanding fisheries in lakes Talquin and
Jackson during 1987. Bass fishing peaked in Lake Jackson
providing quality fishing comparable to the mid-1970s
when the lake had an exceptional national reputation. Bass
in the two- to three-pound range were common and excited
fishermen throughout the region. Lake Talquin bass fishing
has improved over recent years with three- to five-pound
fish being relatively common. Crappie fishing was the
highlight, however, with the 1984 year-class recruiting into
the fishery during the winter; crappie fishing should remain
outstanding for the next two years. In addition, a white
bass fishery is continuing to develop in Lake Talquin,
which, along with the Apalachicola River, is the only place
in Florida to find these exciting game fish. The 11-to 14-
inch slot limit for bass on Lake Talquin has provided
substantial benefits by extending the advantages of the
1984 drawdown. Research will be concluded on this
management regulation in FY 87-88, and a more permanent
management regulation will then be recommended based
on research findings.
The Oklawaha Basin Project followed up on the Lake
Griffin drawdown and was encouraged by excellent
recruitment of 1985 year-class bass into the sportfishery.
Bass fishing success was higher than it has been for the past
10 years. Further improvements are expected next year as a
second year-class of bass enters the fishery, and the black
crappie fishery expands. Vegetation management, especially
for hydrilla, is a critical factor in maintaining the quality
fisheries resulting from the 1986 drawdown. Chemical
applications of flouridone (SONAR) in lakes Griffin and
Harris have reduced the submerged aquatic plant
community and may have negatively impacted the fishery.
The Apalachicola River Project continued its efforts
to modify Army Corps of Engineers dredging operations
and to improve deposition practices for dredged material.
Research on rock deflector-dams commenced and should
provide valuable stream improvement technology for
future mitigation of fisheries. Low water conditions due to
the regional drought of 1986-87 amplified channelization
problems this year. Revision of the Corps' nine-foot barge
channel has received considerable attention and
modification of that criterion (nine-foot minimum depth,
for 95 percent of the year) is important to protect the
natural resources of the river. Stocking of 1 million striped
and sunshine bass, including half-a-million "Gulf race"
striped bass was a hallmark achievement. Sunshine bass
fishing at the Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam was exceptional
this year. Planned removal of the Dead Lakes Dam, which
was advocated by the Commission, likely will be a major
environmental coup next year. The dam removal will make
a critical thermal refuge available to striped bass and other
fishes next year, possibly enhancing natural reproduction of
Statewide projects in this bureau include the Largemouth
Bass Investigations Project, a Sportfish Introduction
Project, Non-Native Fish Research Project, Herbivorous
Fish Research Project, Chemistry Laboratory, Statistics
Section and Fisheries Genetics Project.
The Largemouth Bass Investigations Project
completed a five-year study on bass population dynamics.
The "Starke Lake Slot Limit Study" did not demonstrate
the ability of a slot-limit regulation to enhance bass
populations as had been hoped, but the data generated
represent some of the best information available anywhere
on bass population dynamics. An age-and-growth study
was also completed that provides critical information for
developing and evaluating management regulations for bass
in Florida, by addressing the question of natural versus
angling mortality, and natural variability in year-class
production. Future direction for this project will focus on
ecological relationships of plant communities and bass
production, and the age and distribution of trophy bass in
The Sportfish Introduction Project continued its
primary research on various fishery management
regulations in the Tenoroc Fish Management Area.
Preliminary results continued to show the value of
regulations in protecting bass fisheries from overfishing.
Fishermen surveys documented the high public acceptance
Florida Buck Registry The Florida Buck Registry
provides meaningful and understandable records of the
number and quality of white-tailed deer taken in Florida.
The scoring procedure is based on the system developed by
the Boone and Crockett Club. To date, 958 bucks have
been scored. Of those, 862 have scored 100 or more
inches, which qualified them for the registry. The largest
typical deer scored thus far was 168 Vs inches and was
taken in Gadsden County in 1977.
Nuisance Wildlife Control Bureau of Wildlife
Management biologists investigated and made corrective
management recommendations regarding the numerous
incidents of farm and citrus grove damage inflicted by
white-tailed deer. Most problems were resolved by
recommending a harvest of part of the doe population in
the immediate area during the regular hunting season.
However, 53 permits were issued outside the established
deer hunting season to remove 299 deer causing significant
crop depredation. Division staff also handled a constant
flow of requests and complaints from the public
concerning blackbirds, treefrog choruses, woodpeckers on
houses, snakes, raccoons, foxes and others. The majority
of complaints originated in the Everglades and South
Alligator Management A statewide alligator
management program proposal was developed and
legislation enacted establishing a license and tag framework
for alligator harvests. New alligator trapping, farming, and
processing licenses were created ($250 annual fee) and tag
fees were established for alligator hides ($30) as well as
eggs ($5) and hatchlings ($15) collected from the wild by
alligator farmers. These new license and tag fees will
provide a revenue source for the establishment of a
statewide alligator management program in FY 87-88. The
experimental alligator harvests, designed to evaluate the
impact of alligator hunting on alligator populations
continued on: Lake Trafford in the Everglades Region;
Lake Hancock in the South Region; Lake George and
Rodman Reservoir in the Central Region and lakes
Miccosukee and lamonia in the Northwest Region. Deer
Point Lake near Panama City was added as a new study
area this year. An evaluation of adult and juvenile alligator
harvests continued on Babcock Ranch, a private wetland in
south Florida. A regulated harvest of adult alligators by 53
trappers yielded 718 alligators averaging seven feet in
length. Total values of hides and meat produced were
approximately $202,000 (5,052 feet) and $114,500
(22,900 pounds), respectively. Continued monitoring of
population density, reproductive effort and physical
condition is planned to evaluate the impact of harvest on
Waterfowl Management House Bill 898, passed
by the Florida Legislature in 1979, requires persons
hunting waterfowl in Florida to purchase a $3 waterfowl
stamp. The revenue generated, in combination with other
Commission revenue and Ducks Unlimited matching
funds, support waterfowl management and research
activities. Stamp sales in FY 86-87 (25,091) were 10
percent over the long-term average despite significant
declines in continental waterfowl populations.
A second waterfowl field station was established in
north Florida primarily to expand management programs
for resident wood ducks. The Tallahassee field staff
coordinated an effort to band more than 400 wood ducks
statewide. Band recovery information suggests that
Florida's woodies are lightly harvested and have low
mortality rates. Other population monitoring techniques
are being researched and developed.
The Okeechobee field staff directed management and
research activities for resident mottled ducks. The 1987
population survey indicated that numbers of mottled
ducks were unchanged from 1986 and were 23 percent
below average. During the summer of 1986, 819 mottled
ducks were banded to help assess harvest and survival
rates. Past band-recovery data suggest that mottled ducks
experience high hunting and nonhunting mortality rates.
Fulvous tree duck studies included assessment of
pesticide loads, food habits, seasonal movements, and
mortality rates. Preliminary results show that fulvous tree
ducks are exposed to a wide array of toxic pesticides due to
their intensive use of agricultural areas. Marking studies
have been marginally successful and suggest that fulvous
tree ducks regularly move between south Florida and Cuba.
Three habitat enhancement projects were funded
through the Ducks Unlimited MARSH program at a cost
of $200,797. At Lake Harbor Public Waterfowl Area, the
waterfowl program staff is experimenting with integrating
wildlife habitat and agricultural operations on
environmentally-sensitive muck soils which have been
over-drained. At Guana River Wildlife Management Area,
the Commission installed water-control structures on
interior ponds and managed rank cattail in Lake Ponte
Vedra. The extensive damage caused by Hurricane Kate
was repaired and additional water-control structures were
installed at Hickory Mound Impoundment.
In an effort to protect waterfowl from lead poisoning,
the Commission assessed the prevalence of ingested shot in
waterfowl. Results indicate that more than 10 percent of
Florida's waterfowl contain ingested shot. Although total
ingestion rates have varied little over time, data suggest
nontoxic-shot zones have been effective in reducing lead
loads in wintering waterfowl.
Finally, staff provided state representation to the
Atlantic Flyway Council, an international committee
responsible for developing and implementing management
and harvest strategies for migratory waterfowl. Major
activities included conducting an experimental September
duck season, planning revisions in the midwinter waterfowl
survey, and banding of more than 400 ring-necked ducks.
Staff also documented the chronology of waterfowl
migration in Florida. That data will be useful in
establishing dates for the hunting season which provide
maximum hunter success.
Wild Turkey Management The Florida Wild
Turkey Stamp Act of June 1, 1986 requires persons
hunting wild turkeys in Florida to possess a $5 wild turkey
stamp. A total of 28,161 stamps was sold, generating
$140,805 in revenue. Collector stamps accounted for
1,250 of these. An additional $3,010 was received from
the sale of turkey stamp art prints for a total revenue of
of such regulations. Nationally published articles on the
Tenoroc Fish Management Area and cooperation between
Commission staff, the DNR and the public have made this
an outstanding example of how a high quality fishery can
be maintained, even in an urban setting. The Sportfish
Introduction Project leader also coordinated an exceptional
Bass Management Symposium which was attended by
representatives from the media, bass clubs, the legislature,
professional sportfishermen and others.
The Non-Native Fish Research Project has
established a fishery for peacock bass in the Black Creek
Canal complex of Dade County, which provides an
excellent urban catch-and-release fishery. Recent
population estimates indicate 40-50 peacock bass per acre,
with peacock bass reaching five pounds in three years.
Catch rates by experienced fly-fishermen have been
documented as high as 30 fish in four hours. Other studies
focus on documenting the long-term effect of exotic tilapia
on native fisheries.
Florida's aquarium fish importation
industry sometimes results in the acciden-
tal release of non-native species into the
state's waters. Some species such as piran-
as are banned.
The Herbivorous Fish Project has demonstrated the
use of triploid grass carp for aquatic plant control in
moderate sized lakes which can be isolated from adjacent
waters by barriers. The fish have proven to be a useful,
cost-effective and ecologically safe tool, especially for
hydrilla control in waters less than 300 acres, although
there are trade-offs. Triploid grass carp are very efficient
consumers of submerged vegetation; however, once control
is achieved, triploid grass carp are very difficult to
recapture to prevent over-control of desirable plants.
Consequently, the best technique is to reduce problem
plants with herbicides and then stock a minimal number of
triploid grass carp. Triploid grass carp then can keep the
plants from re-establishing problematic stands perhaps for
as long as 10 years without the need for additional
herbicide. Most netting tests failed to capture sufficient
numbers of triploid grass carp; electrofishing appears
limited to small bodies of water, and although successful in
some circumstances, angling offers only limited potential as
a recapture technique. Radio-telemetry studies with triploid
grass carp in Lake Harris have indicated these fish can
locate hydrilla and will stay with it to some degree,
although results are inconclusive to date. This information
will be very valuable in expanding the management
utilization of triploid grass carp to larger and/or open
bodies of water. Studies have been initiated to track
triploid grass carp in the St. Johns River, and Lake Yale has
been stocked as the first large-scale trial of triploid grass
The chemistry lab located at the Eustis Fisheries
Research Laboratory provides the majority of water
quality data used to support these projects. The lab
generated data on heavy metals residue in bass tissues from
a multitude of sites. Elevated mercury levels were found in
bass from Hillsborough River and Black Creek Canal, and
additional studies are being conducted in conjunction with
the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and
The Fisheries Statistics Section was very active this
year and concluded a telephone survey of Florida's licensed
sportfishermen. Highlights included: (1) bass fishing in
Florida conservatively generates a $615 million industry;
(2) freshwater sportfishing in Florida results in more than a
billion dollars in annual expenditures, without including
the cost of big-ticket items (bass boats, depth finders etc.)
or adjusting for the greater expenditures of out-of-state
fishermen (motel rooms, meals, travel costs etc.); (3) most
licensed fishermen seek largemouth bass; (4) Florida
fishermen feel freshwater fishery resources are satisfactory
and are contented with the management programs
sponsored by the Commission; and (5) licensed fishermen
tend to feel more stringent management regulations are
needed. In addition, the section developed numerous
programs to enhance statistical evaluation of fisheries data
and is compiling creel data from across the state into an in-
house data base that will provide extremely important
infc'mation for future evaluation of sportfish management
Fisheries Genetics is the newest research project; it was
established this fiscal year. Assessments of the genetic
makeup of key game fishes are under way utilizing state-of-
the-art electrophoretic techniques.
The Division of Wildlife is responsible for developing and
implementing management practices to ensure the perpetuation
of Florida's diverse wildlife. Degradation and loss of habitat,
and increasing demands for access to wildlife resources dictate
that the division undertake its responsibilities with a firm base of
scientific facts. Inventories of wildlife populations, basic and
applied wildlife research, and monitoring of wildlife harvests
are some of the means employed. The division administers the
largest system of public hunting areas in the United States with
17 percent of the land in the state available to sportsmen.
Wildlife Management In a continuing effort to
provide public hunting, the Bureau of Wildlife
Management administers Type I and Type II wildlife
management areas. In 1986-87 the Type I program
comprised 4,384,176 acres in 59 areas. A $10 permit is
required for use of these areas. Funds from the sale of these
permits are used for habitat management and maintenance
activities and for lease of the privately owned lands
included in the management area system.
The bureau cooperates with seven landowners in the 1.6
million-acre Type II system. The Type II program is
designed to encourage landowners to open their lands to
public hunting with minor involvement by the
Commission. These lands belong to a variety of private
corporations and public agencies with industrial forest land
comprising a significant portion of the system's total
acreage. These landowners require sportsmen to purchase
permits to hunt, with the Commission offering law
enforcement and technical assistance to the landowners.
An additional 72,164 acres of land were made available
for public hunting in our wildlife and environmental area
program. Wildlife and environmental areas included were
the Santa Fe Swamp, L. Kirk Edwards, Apalachicola EEL,
Choctawhatchee and East Everglades tracts.
During the 1986-87 season, hunters spent 413,018 man-
days hunting on the Type I system. A total of $500,000 in
lease payments was distributed to 15 private landowners
who made 1,298,796 acres available under this program.
Approximately one-third of the Type I lands is in private
ownership, with the balance being state and federal
Habitat management programs completed this year on
wildlife management areas included control burning of
89,052 acres, planting 11,233 mast-producing tree
seedlings and 805 acres of wildlife food plots. A total of
1,322 acres was roller chopped to provide improved
habitat conditions for early successional wildlife species.
The Hickory Mound Impoundment at the Aucilla Wildlife
Management Area was maintained and managed for public
hunting and fishing. The Occidental and IMC wildlife
management areas (comprising 3,320 acres) were managed
for public waterfowl hunting in Hamilton and Polk
counties. A total of 350 quail feeders was maintained.
Some 212 wood duck nesting boxes were maintained and
checked for hatchling production.
Wildlife biologists frequently capture
and tag wild creatures for research.
Bird dog field trials were conducted on Cecil M. Webb,
Citrus and Blackwater wildlife management areas as part of
a continuing program to provide field trial facilities and
opportunities around the state.
This year, the Fort Drum Wildlife Management Area in
Indian River County (7,198 acres) and the Kicco Wildlife
Management Area in Polk County (10,068 acres) were
added to the Type I wildlife management area system. Both
areas will be closed temporarily due to access problems
and low game populations. An additional 900 acres were
purchased and added to the Joe Budd Wildlife
The issuance of antlerless deer permits and the
establishment of harvest quotas for antlerless or antlered
deer are population management tools used on Type I
wildlife management areas.
Deer herd management tools establish controls on the
legal harvest of antlerless deer from selected wildlife
management areas to ensure that an overharvest does not
occur. The benefits of the controlled antlerless deer
harvests include: slower expansion of deer herds bordering
on overpopulation, balancing the sex ratio of herds, and
improving deer herd health and reproductive performance.
Additionally, controlled antlerless deer harvests allow
managers to optimize the harvest of deer herds while
maintaining desired population levels.
Hunt Management During FY 86-87, there were
53,970 nine-day and 12,165 special hunt quota permits
available to the public. All special hunt quota permits and
52,822 (98 percent) of the nine-day quota permits were
Antlerless deer permits were issued as part of the quota
hunt program during this year. There were 2,070 antlerless
deer permits issued for 10 Type I wildlife management
areas by random drawing.
Quota hunt permits continued to be issued through a
random drawing during the June 2-11 period and on a
first-come, first-served basis thereafter.
Hunter Surveys Two mail surveys were conducted
this year. The statewide mail survey used a 10-percent
random sample of the hunting public and provided
estimates on hunting pressure and wildlife harvest on a
statewide basis. The management area mail survey used a
25-percent random sample of those individuals purchasing
management area stamps and provided hunting pressure
and harvest information unique to wildlife management
The total deer harvest for Florida in 1986-87, on both
private property and public hunting areas, was estimated at
Everglades Recreation Project Everglades
Recreation Project personnel assisted in the operation of
managed hunts on the Everglades Wildlife Management
Area by manning check stations to collect biological data
from harvested deer. A total of 300 acres of sawgrass
marsh in the Everglades Wildlife Management Area was
prescribe burned during FY 86-87. Aerial surveys were
conducted from aircraft to determine deer population
levels and antlered-to-antlerless deer ratios.
Personnel assisted with annual snail kite surveys in the
Everglades Wildlife Management Area. In addition, 250
bobcat scats were collected and food habits were
determined from their contents. Twenty-nine alligator
nests were located, marked and monitored for productivity
and nesting success and 76 alligator hatchlings were tagged.
Two day-use recreation sites were maintained. Periodic
checks of water levels in the conservation areas were made.
Surveys were conducted of wading bird rookery sites.
Wildlife Extension Services White-tailed deer are
the most popular big game animals in Florida, with the
state's deer population now likely exceeding 700,000. The
division assists private landowners and lease holders by
providing guidelines on sound deer management.
Approximately 600 private landowners controlling
2,505,068 acres were issued 10,771 tags for antlerless deer
harvest. Reported antlerless deer harvest was 5,020
animals. Proper management of a growing deer population
requires reduction of female deer populations to maintain
herds within habitat carrying capacity limits.
Wild turkeys are popular game birds in
The stamp act states that revenues generated by stamp
sales shall be expended for research and management of
wild turkeys; however, "a maximum of five percent of the
gross revenues may be expended for administrative costs."
For FY 86-87, at least $35,000 was designated for research
into incidences of declining populations and improved
management of wild turkeys in northwest Florida.
Consistent with this charge, a one-year research project
titled "An Investigation into Incidences of Declining Wild
Turkey Populations in Northwestern Florida" was begun
in November 1986.
A one-year turkey habitat management study on three of
the Commission's wildlife management areas was
completed in December 1986.
Two state-owned wildlife management areas (Andrews
and Tosohatchee) were opened for the first spring turkey
hunts in 1987. These hunts are designed to provide a high
quality hunting experience by restricting the number of
hunters and the number of days open to hunting. Both
areas are being managed to maintain high wildlife
populations while offering sport hunting opportunities.
Turkey population evaluations were conducted on five
selected wildlife management areas to assist in establishing
harvest and hunter quota objectives on public hunt areas
where the Commission has adequate management
authority and control.
Field inspections were conducted on several tracts
recently purchased by the state and on existing wildlife
management areas where turkey hunting is closed to
determine the suitability and potential for future turkey
management and hunting opportunities.
The Commission is in the process of publishing
Technical Bulletin No. zo which summarizes approximately
20 years of Commission field research on wild turkeys.
Species Coordination Presentations on behalf of
the statewide Endangered Species Program were made for a
Department of Environmental Regulation workshop, the
annual convention of the Florida Audubon Society, a
meeting of the Florida Committee on Rare and Endangered
Plants and Animals, the annual conference of the
Gainesville Herpetological Society, two meetings of the
staff of the Commission's Nongame Wildlife Program, a
new employee orientation seminar, a Division of Wildlife
personnel meeting and three schools.
Pursuant to federal requests, draft recovery plans for the
Florida grasshopper sparrow, three Florida mints, three
Florida pawpaws and the Choctawhatchee and Perdido Key
beach mice were reviewed and comments prepared and
submitted. Commission representation on the Governor's
Save the Manatee Committee, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow
Advisory Committee, Red Wolf Recovery Team,
Endangered Species Committee of the Southeastern
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Endangered
Species Committee of the Southeastern Section of The
Wildlife Society was maintained.
The annual progress report and update for the
"Endangered and Threatened Species Management and
Conservation Plan," required by the provisions of the
Florida Endangered and Threatened Species Act of 1977,
was prepared and submitted to the governor, cabinet and
appropriate members of the legislature, and distributed to
interested persons. Two updated lists of endangered
species, threatened species and species of special concern
were prepared and distributed. An endangered species
article titled "The Realities of Extinction" was prepared
and published in FLORIDA WILDLIFE magazine.
One hundred twenty-five scientific collecting permit
applications involving listed species were received and
The Perdido Key beach mouse is being
given a second chance in one of the Com-
mission's endangered species reintroduc-
processed. An experimental interstate and
intergovernmental cooperative bald eagle re-establishment
project, designed to test the feasibility of using Florida's
eagle population as a donor source to re-establish the
species throughout the Southeast, continued. Consultory
and/or technical assistance in endangered species matters
was provided to a number of state and federal agencies,
consulting firms and local regulatory entities. A gopher
tortoise symposium was organized and coordinated.
Perdido Key Beach Mice A project to expand the
respective ranges of the critically endangered Perdido Key
beach mouse and Choctawhatchee beach mouse was
initiated during the year. Seven pairs of Perdido Key beach
mice were captured in southeast Alabama and translocated
to specially-constructed acclimation enclosures in suitable
coastal dune habitat in Gulf Islands National Seashore,
Escambia County. Eight pairs of Choctawhatchee beach
mice were captured on Shell Island, Bay County,
translocated to Grayton Beach State Recreation Area,
Walton County, and likewise placed in specially-
constructed enclosures. All mice were released from the
enclosures after a brief acclimation period. Follow-up visits
to each relocation site revealed abundant beach mouse sign
Wildlife Research The Bureau of Wildlife
Research addressed problems associated with management
of Florida's wildlife, with special emphasis on life history
studies of nongame and endangered species. The research
provided knowledge that is essential for the development of
effective management programs. Bureau of Wildlife
Research staff is based at the Wildlife Research Laboratory
in Gamesville and the Big Cypress Wildlife Field Office in
Black Bear Based on telemetry of 10 male and seven
female black bears on Ocala National Forest, mean home
range sizes were estimated at 38 and 11 square-miles for
males and females, respectively.
Although instrumented bears used several habitat types,
pregnant females bedded in densely vegetated areas during
mid-December and remained on their nests for up to four
and one-half-months. Two radio-collared females
produced cubs in mid-to late January. Females not
producing cubs bedded for short periods during the
winter, whereas males showed little winter bedding
behavior. Bait station surveys were conducted to evaluate
their effectiveness in establishing a black bear population
index but proved inadequate due to low visitation rates.
Track counts, however, do show some promise as a
method for censusing black bears in Florida. Blood was
collected from 24 bears and analyses were compared
between the periods December-March and April-
November to detect hibernation activity. Significantly,
changes did not occur between the two periods indicating
that these bears were not hibernating. Based on movements
of radio-collared bears, however, periods of winter
inactivity have ranged from several days to up to four
months. Based on telemetry observations, however, if
hibernation occurs in Florida, it may be restricted to
females producing cubs.
Eastern Brown Pelican In 1987, 32 active nesting
sites surveyed contained six to 1,250 nests for a statewide
estimated total of 10,882 nests for the state. No signs of
reduced productivity were apparent at the time of the
survey although the season was still ongoing. Two sites,
however, that were active during the 1985 season (the last
time this survey was conducted) had no apparent activity.
The nesting population estimate for this year was the
highest recorded since the survey began in 1968. An
average of two young per nest was observed at three
sample sites that were inspected.
Bald Eagle A total of 391 active bald eagle territories
was surveyed during the 1987 nesting season. Of these,
251 successfully fledged 400 young at a rate of 1.02 young
per active territory and 1.59 young per successful nest.
These rates are in line with the 10-year average and are
representative of a healthy population.
Sandhill Crane/Whooping Crane No foster-
reared young were produced in 1987. The three foster-
reared young produced in 1986 were captured and radio-
tagged during July and August. They fledged normally
from their respective families but remained in the release
vicinity through March. Although the young began to
move up to 30 miles from their.natal areas, none of the
three showed any signs of migration through the spring
Twelve pen-reared greater sandhill cranes (migratory)
were soft-released in 1987 from the same release pen used
in 1986 to release 15 greater sandhill cranes. Seven of the
15 cranes from the 1986 release survived through June
Of the 12 birds soft-released in 1987, eight are
surviving. Causes of death were predators, accidents,
disease and shooting.
Although there was some evidence among the soft-
released cranes of migratory restlessness during fall 1986
and spring 1987, they did not migrate. Their post-release
movements were similar to those observed among soft-
released Mississippi cranes and normal dispersal of
subadult Florida cranes.
Wood Stork A study of the reproductive success,
breeding chronology, population size, and stability of 14
wood stork colonies in north and central Florida was
While there was much interyear-intracolony variation in
production during the five-year study period, the north-
central Florida stork population as a whole appears
relatively stable. Recommended management procedures to
secure key stork breeding colony sites include the
following: reduce human harassment at two colonies,
purchase or obtain conservation leases to protect colonies
on private property, LANDSAT mapping to monitor
current and future alterations of foraging wetlands
associated with each colony, and pesticide monitoring at
five-to-10-year intervals to detect future contamination.
Snail Kite A total of 563 snail kites observed during
the 1986 winter survey represents a 38.3 percent increase
over the number of kites seen in 1985. Significant
increases in kite numbers were observed in Conservation
Areas 2B and 3A (62.7 percent of all sightings), whereas
notable decreases occurred at lakes Tohopekaliga,
Kissimmee and Okeechobee.
At least 307 nesting attempts by snail kites were
documented during the 1987 breeding season. The greatest
numbers of kite nests were observed in Conservation
Areas 3A (60.6 percent), Lake Okeechobee (20.5
percent), and Conservation Area 2B (15.0 percent).
Florida Panther The Florida Panther Record
Clearinghouse received 343 panther reports this year,
bringing the total number of reports filed since the
inception of the clearinghouse to 2,731. Seventy-two of
this year's reports were investigated. The total number of
reports investigated now is 427;, and 88 (21 percent) of
these provided conclusive evidence of panthers.
Since panther tracks were discovered near Christmas,
Fla., in the Tosohatchee State Preserve on Jan. 3, 1986,
monthly surveys have been conducted in that area, the Bull
Creek Wildlife Management Area, and selected
surrounding areas. Limited field sign, male tracks, scrapes
(usually made by resident males as territory markers) and a
set of smaller tracks have been found near the Tosohatchee
State Reserve indicating the possibility that more than one
animal is using an area of several hundred square-miles
with the preserve included in one panther's range.
Panther captive breeding facilities were built at Gilman
Paper Co.'s White Oak Plantation near Yulee. The male
Florida panther hit by a car in November 1984 on U.S. 41
near Ochopee, was moved to these facilities. Three female
mountain lions from Texas also were brought to Florida
for use as surrogates in the captive breeding project. All
the panthers appear to have adapted well to the captive
breeding facilities. However, the male Florida panther has
not yet shown any interest in breeding.
A total of 1,464 radio locations was used to determine
home range sizes of 10 wild Florida panthers in Collier and
Hendry counties. Adult males averaged 196 square-miles
and adult females averaged 71 square-miles. Frequent
interactions among adult males and a female with kittens
were documented as was an aggressive encounter between
an adult male and juvenile male. Two panthers were
treated at the Miami Metrozoo. One had been wounded
from a gunshot (Female No. 09); the other had been
injured by a motor vehicle. Both have been successfully
returned to their home ranges. An adult female panther
was removed from the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve
and transferred to White Oak Plantation for nutritional
evaluations and use in captive breeding. Female No. 09
gave birth to at least one kitten in early June.
White-tailed deer track counts, hunter-provided
biological samples, and a fall collection of doe deer have
been used to compare deer herds inhabiting Florida
panther habitat in the Bear Island (BI) unit and the Eastern
Monument Unit (EMU) of the Big Cypress National
Preserve, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve (FSSP) and
Fakahatchee Conservation Club (FCC). Differences in
herd densities were noted from track count data with one
deer per 50-75 acres, one deer per 165 acres and one deer
per 436 acres in BI, EMU, and FSSP, respectively. Track
count data were not available for the FCC. Further, deer in
BI are larger, heavier, in better physical condition and
apparently more below the nutritional caring capacity of
the habitat than are herds in the FSSP and FCC.
American Crocodile Drought conditions during
the spring and summer of 1986 resulted in low crocodile
nest success on Key Largo. Only three of six nests yielded
hatchlings, and a total of only 25 young was produced.
Nest surveys disclosed eight crocodile nests on Key Largo
in 1987, seven of which produced 75 young. This was the
second consecutive year in which the number of nests has
Alligator Snapping Turtle Enforcement of the
ban on commercialization of the alligator snapping turtle is
complicated by the difficulty of identifying the meat. A
study was initiated this year to develop an antiserum for
immunological identification of snapping turtle meat from
that of other species. Unfortunately, it does not
discriminate between meat of the protected alligator
snapper and the common snapper. Efforts are continuing
to refine the system to recognize only alligator snapping
Atlantic Salt Marsh Snake An electrophoretic
study of the Atlantic salt marsh snake was initiated to
evaluate the validity of the subspecies and to assess its
relationship to the other subspecies of salt marsh snakes.
Field and laboratory work have been completed, and the
final data analysis should be completed soon.
Audio-Visual Programs Two audio-visual
programs were developed during FY 86-87. The "Frogs of
Florida" discusses the natural history of the 30 species of
frogs and toads occurring in Florida. It is illustrated with
slides of each species accompanied by a recording of its
call. "The Venomous Reptiles of Florida" presents the
identification and natural history of our venomous snakes.
American Alligator Annual experimental alligator
hunts were conducted on Orange, Lochloosa and
Newnans lakes from 1981-86 to determine the effects of
commercial harvests on alligator populations. Although an
estimated 12.4 percent of the population of four feet and
larger alligators was harvested each year, populations
remained stable on all areas and nesting actually increased
by 30 percent on Orange Lake. An average of 341
alligators was harvested each year, of which 71 percent
were male. The weight-length ratio of alligators increased
significantly on all areas indicating that the physical
condition of alligators improved over the six years of the
study. Findings support the premise that alligators can
withstand a sustained, relatively intensive harvest. Hunter
success declined substantially after the first year, then
stabilized, which reflected initial response of an
unharvested alligator population to hunting pressure. The
annual gross commercial value of the harvest was $92,948
with individual hunters each earning an average of $4,000
for the three-week hunts.
Night-light alligator surveys were analyzed from 21 years
throughout the state in 1986. An average of 18.9 alligators
per mile was counted for all areas. Night counts provide an
index of alligator populations and generally, populations
have remained stable during the 1980s.
Investigations continued into the food habits of adult
alligators from lakes lamonia, Miccosukee, Oklawaha
(Rodman Reservoir), George, Hancock, and Trafford. Fish
were the most important prey with turtles ranking second.
Game and commercially valuable fish comprised only 26.5
percent of the fish food group. Dietary difference among
lakes may have affected the physical condition of alligators.
Diets of alligators on Lake Hancock, for example, changed
from invertebrates to fish at an earlier age than alligators
on Lake Oklawaha. Correspondingly, Lake Hancock
alligators were in significantly better condition than Lake
Oklawaha animals. In related studies at Orange Lake,
insects and other invertebrates accounted for 64 percent of
the diet of juvenile alligators.
Wildlife biologists monitor gopher tor-
toise burrows which serve as homes for a
variety of other creatures.
Gopher Tortoise A six-and-a-half year study
involving gopher tortoise status, harvest levels, population
dynamics, and movements was completed in June 1987.
Data regarding gopher tortoise status and distribution were
gathered through field surveys from 1981-1987 and
questionnaires sent to Commission biologists and wildlife
officers in 1979 and 1987. These revealed that the gopher
tortoise remains widely distributed in Florida and that
tortoise utilization of pine flatwoods and dry prairies is
much more common than previously thought. Tortoises
are rare in extreme southern Florida and fairly common to
uncommon elsewhere in the state; however, many
populations are declining due to urbanization, phosphate
mining, forestry practices, fire exclusion, or human
predation. Peninsular populations that are currently stable
will be affected by increasing development pressures.
A total of 378 tortoises was marked in conjunction with
population dynamics research on two north Florida study
sites. Average clutch size (as determined by X-rays) on the
sandhill site (5.57) was not significantly different from the
average (5.9) on the planted-pine site. Twenty-two
tortoises of various size classes were radio-instrumented
and tracked for periods of eight months to two years. A
great deal of individual variation was observed in length of
overwintering period, distances moved, and number of
burrows used. The radiotelemetry study also provided
insight into tortoise utilization of clearcuts, windows, and
flooded burrows, as well as information on burrow
defense, usurption and co-habitation.
Nongame Wildlife The Nongame Wildlife
Program (NGWP) was funded in 1984 by the legislature to
ensure the conservation and management of all Florida
wildlife and their habitats. Nongame wildlife includes those
animals neither classified as game nor as threatened or
endangered. These animals comprise 85 percent of the
wildlife found in the state, and include herons and hawks,
bats and butterflies, salamanders and songbirds, snakes and
owls, and many other creatures.
During FY 86-87, nongame wildlife conservation efforts
were focused in eight areas including: research and
education grants, survey and population monitoring, urban
wildlife management, technical assistance, habitat
management, data management, wildlife management,
conservation education and planning and evaluation.
Research and Education Grants Florida's
nongame wildlife includes an estimated 1,500 species of
wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes plus
many times that number of invertebrates and plants.
NGWP grants provide an avenue by which outside experts
can seek support for significant projects that involve
nongame wildlife. One of these grants was not submitted
with the others, but represents a new component of the
grants program, a response to our first "Request For
Proposal" (RFP). An RFP solicits research proposals from
outside experts to address a critical gap in our knowledge
about nongame wildlife.
Fifty-one grant proposals were submitted in January
1986 for funding consideration by the Nongame Wildlife
Grants Program in the FY 86-87. Proposal subjects ranged
from nongame wildlife education to the conservation and
management of nongame wildlife habitats. They included
studies of nongame plants, invertebrates, fishes,
amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. That diversity is
well represented within the 15 proposals that were selected
Funding for these new projects for this fiscal year totaled
$231,201. Additionally, $234,423 went to support
ongoing grants. Total support for research for FY 86-87
amounted to $465,624.
NGWP staff reviewed progress reports of ongoing
research and made several site visits to sponsored projects,
facilitated the Nongame Wildlife Advisory Council in
reranking of RFP topics, initiated the development of a
scrub species/area relationship RFP and began preliminary
work on the development of an apple snail RFP.
Survey and Population Monitoring One of
the major responsibilities of the NGWP is to establish a
comprehensive survey and monitoring program for
nongame species in Florida. Major steps were taken during
FY 86-87 toward such a comprehensive survey and
monitoring program. NGWP biologists, in conjunction
with other division staff and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
staff, developed survey and population monitoring goals
and many programs were initiated.
Biologists initiated a statewide survey of wading bird
colonies and coordinated the statewide Breeding Bird
Surveys (BBS). New BBS routes were delineated and many
of the surveys were conducted. These two long-term
projects are ongoing. Other survey and monitoring efforts
included intensive monitoring of burrowing owl colonies
in Cape Coral, a swallow-tailed kite migration count, a
distributional survey of Anastasia Island beach mice, a
statewide beaver distribution survey, and monitoring of the
number of endangered gray bats using Jackson County
Nongame biologists assisted other state and federal
biologists in planning a survey of the Cape Sable sparrow
in East Everglades, a survey of nesting snail kites on lakes
Okeechobee and Kissimmee, and a reptile and amphibian
survey on Arbuckle Wildlife Management Area.
Urban Wildlife Management The Cooperative
Urban Wildlife Management Program is jointly funded by
the Commission and the Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences at the University of Florida. The program is
intended to increase the appreciation of urban wildlife and
enhance these resources through management, education
and applied research.
Urban Wildlife Program staffing was completed this
year. Currently, three full-time urban wildlife extension
specialists are working in Gainesville, Largo and Fort
Lauderdale and have begun to establish program
Two urban wildlife videos were produced. Assistance
was given to the Department of Horticulture and
Hillsborough County staff in designing urban habitats.
Urban specialists also participated in Pinellas County's
land acquisition program and on the newly approved plan
for the 1-75 corridor in Hillsborough County. Other
projects included working on a plan to mitigate a wetland
development in Dade County and cooperating with the
Broward County Parks Department to incorporate wildlife
into park planning.
Technical Assistance NGWP staff provided
guidance to developers as well as technical assistance to the
public and other agencies on a wide variety of topics,
including legal questions regarding wildlife, endangered
species permit requests, gopher tortoise and burrowing owl
relocations, bald eagle nest disturbances and nuisance
animal complaints about snakes, pigeons, squirrels, bats,
armadillos and chimney swifts.
Also, staff assessed the threat of the algae bloom on
Lake Okeechobee to snail kites and completed endangered
species surveys at three Department of Transportation
Habitat Management Biologists surveyed and
posted fragile bird nesting areas and rookeries and
identified and surveyed several other valuable wildlife
nesting, maternity and feeding locations that will be
specially protected. Many of these areas were designated by
the Commission as Critical Wildlife Areas. Contributions
were made to management plans on several wildlife
Sandhill crane studies are in progress at
the Wildlife Research Laboratory.
management areas including recommendations on water
management, controlled burning and scrub management.
Nongame wildlife resources and potential nongame
projects on wildlife management areas were assessed.
Data Management Information is essential to
actions taken in support of wildlife management and
conservation activities. After careful review, the
Commission decided to implement and evaluate the
Vertebrate Characterization Abstract (VCA). The VCA is
a record of various attributes of each vertebrate species-
taxonomy, phenology, distribution, habitat, etc. Other data
bases were improved and enlarged including the library and
constituency data bases.
Wildlife Management Nongame biologists
assisted other agencies during the aftermath of an oil spill
near Jacksonville and developed oil spill contingency plans
for future emergency situations. A project to evaluate the
effects of the commercialization and exploitation of
Florida's nongame wildlife was initiated. Other projects
included the construction of nesting platforms for brown
pelicans in Apalachicola Bay and the translocation of roof-
nesting least terns from roofs under repair. Staff assisted in
a bald eagle egg translocation project, beach mouse
relocation and a swallow-tailed kite translocation project.
Conservation Education Four issues of The
Skimmer, a newsletter about Florida's nongame and
endangered wildlife, were produced by NGWP staff and
circulated to more than 100,000 people. A guide to
planting and landscaping for backyard wildlife, a checklist
of Florida mammals, and a nongame wildlife calendar were
completed. More than 30,000 of the Planting a Refuge for
Wildlife guides were distributed. Staff also initiated work
on a checklist of Florida reptiles and amphibians.
The NGWP's Technical Report series debuted this year
with "Human and Natural Causes of Marine Turtle Nest
and Hatchling Mortality and their Relationship to
Hatchling Production on an Important Florida Nesting
Beach" by Dr. Llewellyn Ehrhart and Blair Witherington.
The technical report series serves as a vehicle for the
dissemination of information developed or acquired
through NGWP grants and contracts, or by the program
NGWP staff made more than 50 presentations on
subjects ranging from armadillos to zoology, to over 3,000
people, conducted several field trips and made numerous
television and radio appearances. Two radio spots-"Owl
Prowl" and "Shorebirds"-won international awards from
The Association for Conservation Information. In addition
to The Skimmer articles regularly produced by the NGWP
staff, several other technical and popular papers were
Planning and Evaluation Educational demands
concerning nongame wildlife are so great and diverse that
three independent but related projects were initiated and
completed. Initial analysis of the results of the public
opinion survey to determine the attitudes, interests and
desires of Floridians concerning nongame wildlife was
completed. A complementary project was completed
focusing on how people relate to wildlife and trends in
Florida's growth. A Request for Proposals was developed
to assist in fully addressing the approaches necessary to
reach a variety of publics and was awarded to Montgomery
Research Consultants Inc. of Atlanta.
During FY 86-87, staff developed a prioritization system
for Florida's nongame wildlife. The system will produce a
comprehensive ranking of Florida's nongame wildlife that
takes into account the species' vulnerability and relative
A pilot project was completed which tested the
effectiveness of descriptive inserts added to vehicle
registration renewal notices in generating contributions to
The Office of Environmental Services (OES) is concerned
with maintaining adequate habitat to perpetuate the diversity of
animal species in Florida in the face of an expanding human
population. To address this concern, OES biologists provide
comments and technical expertise to land use and developmental
regulatory agencies, private developers and consultants
concerning ways to avoid unnecessary impacts to fish and
wildlife resources; compile information on particular issues or
problems affecting fish and wildlife conservation, and review
specific development proposals.
Habitat Impact Assessment The OES provides
comments to various agencies, such as the Department of
Environmental Regulation (DER), the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (Corps), the Department of Community Affairs,
water management districts and the regional planning
councils on the potential impacts of developmental projects
on fish and wildlife. Habitat surveys are conducted often
and assessments are prepared for consideration by these
agencies in their decisions affecting the issuance of permits
or development approvals. By providing these assessments
to the regulatory agencies, the OES can recommend that
projects destructive to fish and wildlife resources not be
permitted or that they be redesigned to avoid or mitigate
Because of recent changes in state wetlands permitting
programs which place more responsibility with the water
management districts, OES biologists have become more
involved with surface water management permitting at the
district level. In addition to coordinating with the water
management districts on the establishment of review
processes, a number of permits were reviewed which
involved peat mining or agricultural conversions. One
notable permit application involved the conversion of
approximately 45,000 acres of a 77,000-acre area adjacent
to the Big Cypress to citrus agriculture. OES comments
expressing concern for the impact of the project on
woodstorks, panthers and their prey contributed to a
special condition of the permit requiring the applicant to
conduct a two-year study of these impacts to protect these
Habitat assessment work relating to Developments of
Regional Impact (DRIs) continued to focus on preserving
particular upland habitat types important to a variety of
rare and threatened species, and protecting wetlands on-site
through setting aside adequate buffer areas around these
wetlands. Follow-up work was conducted this year on
several DRIs including Oak Run in Marion County where
the developer was charged with purposely killing red-
cockaded woodpeckers and destroying cavity trees. The
Windsor Park DRI in Duval County also required
considerable additional effort in ensuring that gopher
tortoises were relocated from the site and that the
conditions in the development order were met. Examples
of new DRIs reviewed this year in which OES comments
resulted in habitat protection include the Circus World
DRI in Polk County where a scrub reserve was retained,
the Gadsden Station DRI in Gadsden County and the
Suwannee Trails DRI in Hamilton County where
preservation areas were set aside for the gopher tortoise,
and the Fallschase DRI in Osceola County, the General
Sanford Estates DRI in Seminole County, and the Lake
Nona DRI in Orange County where wetland buffers and
upland habitat corridors connecting them were preserved.
The OES continued to review large-scale dredge and fill
projects requiring permits from the DER and the Corps.
Environmental Services personnel increased efforts in
monitoring the impacts of the Corps' maintenance dredging
activities on the Apalachicola River this year. After OES
staff worked out agreements on the proposed spoil sites
with the Corps last year, sites were closely monitored to
LANDSAT photography gives a unique
view of the state.
determine the degree to which the dredging contractors
adhered to permit conditions, and to identify problem
areas before unnecessary habitat losses could occur. Several
instances of inappropriate spoil placement and accidental
release of spoil materials from diked areas were
documented and reported to the DER and the Corps so
these problems could be corrected quickly. Other projects
requiring considerable review included ongoing proposals
by the Occidental Chemical Corporation to mine
phosphate in Hamilton County, a proposal by the Port
Everglades Authority to expand the port into mangrove
wetlands, and the Grand Harbor development in Indian
River County which proposed more than 3,000 residential
units and several marinas affecting wetlands along the
Other significant activities of the Habitat Impact
Assessment Program this year included the review of 67
projects proposed for inclusion in the Florida Public
Works Program; acquiring a V4-mile radius buffer zone
around a major snailkite kite rookery and arranging for
4,000 acres of marsh restoration on the J. W. Corbett
Wildlife Management Area from the Palm Beach County
Solid Waste Authority when a Power Plant Site certificate
was issued; review of numerous permit applications for
seismic surveys associated with oil exploration including
several that could impact the Big Cypress in South Florida;
review of the preliminary plans for the Jacksonville
Wonderwood Expressway and the Orlando Western
Beltway; and coordination with the water management
districts on the promulgation of rules affecting
consideration of wildlife values of isolated wetlands in the
issuance of surface water management permits by the
Technical Assistance The OES works with
developers and land planners to incorporate fish and
wildlife considerations into development or land
management plans before they become finalized so impacts
to wildlife populations are prevented or minimized.
Technical assistance is provided to other state agencies,
developers, consultants, regional planning councils, county
commissions, zoning boards and others concerning such
topics as the impact of certain land uses on wildlife,
techniques to mitigate habitat losses, or project designs
which would avoid or minimize adverse effects on fish and
Considerable time was devoted this year to providing
technical assistance to regional planning councils and local
governments to help them deal with local and regional
planning issues. Work was begun on a model conservation
element to be distributed to local and county governments
to aid in their formulating comprehensive plans as now
required by state law. By providing planners with model
language and by drawing their attention to specific fish and
wildlife protection problems and needs, it is hoped that the
comprehensive plans will be sensitive to these issues. Also,
in response to the inconsistent quality of fish and wildlife
survey information provided during the reviews of DRIs,
wildlife survey methodology guidelines were prepared and
distributed to the regional planning councils to aid
developers and their consultants in formulating complete
applications for development approval.
The OES, in cooperation with the Northeast Florida
Regional Planning Council and the Trust for Public Land,
established the first wildlife resources mitigation land bank
in Florida. Growing out of a cash payment from the
developers of the Windsor Park DRI in Duval County as
required by the development order, this "mitigation bank"
program will provide for the acquisition of undeveloped
lands of similar or equal habitat value to compensate for
some of the habitat values lost through development of
DRI sites. This program, hopefully, will provide developers
with additional options for wildlife habitat preservation, as
well as lead to the assembly and preservation of larger,
more manageable blocks of land on a regional basis that
will provide for the long-term survival needs of populations
ta t ,'
Computers bring the latest technology
into the battle to conserve the environ-
Technical assistance to resource planning committees was
focused on the activities of the Apalachicola Bay Area
Resource Planning and Management Committee. As a
result of efforts begun last year to provide valuable
information to the committee as well as other decision
makers involved with management of the Apalachicola
River basin, the Apalachicola office staff completed the
Resource Inventory of the Apalachicola River and Bay Drainage
Basin. Additional assistance also was provided in the review
of the City of Apalachicola Land Development Code and
the Pollution Sensitive District of the county land use
After the OES initiated a petition to the Environmental
Regulatory Commission (ERC) last year to designate
Orange Lake in Alachua and Marion counties as an
Outstanding Florida Water, the ERC acted favorably, thus
providing additional water quality protection for this lake.
As a result of this action, the DER was directed by the
ERC to begin proceedings to designate Lake Lochloosa,
which is confluent with Orange Lake, as an Outstanding
Florida Water also. The OES contributed technical support
to the DER staff in the preparation of background studies
for the designation of Lake Lochloosa.
Environmental Services personnel also served on
numerous intergovernmental and citizen committees,
including the Spoil Site Advisory Committee, the Coastal
Zone Management Interagency Advisory Committee, the
Apalachee Regional Planning Council Technical Review
Committee, the Lake Okeechobee Technical Advisory
Committee, the Federal/State Interagency Regulatory
Committee, the West Dade Wellfield Study Committee,
the Golden Gate Estates Restoration Committee, and the
Managed Marshes Subcommittee of the Florida
Coordinating Council on Mosquito Control. Technical
assistance was also provided to the Conservation and
Recreation Lands, Save Our Coasts, and Land Acquisition
Trust Fund acquisition programs administered by the
Department of Natural Resources in the review, selection
and ranking of projects.
Nongame Habitat Protection The purpose of
this program is to provide more up-to-date information on
nongame and endangered species and their habitats to
regulatory agencies, land use planning agencies, and
Commission biologists reviewing large-scale developments.
This information will enhance the consideration of
nongame wildlife in land use decisions made by regulatory
A large percentage of the effort of this program was
devoted to two separate projects involving the development
of guidelines for the protection of nongame wildlife on
developing lands. The first of these two projects was
designed to provide guidelines to developers and land use
planners for the protection of gopher tortoise habitat on
lands slated for large-scale development, particularly on
Developments of Regional Impact. Principal
accomplishments this year were the use of population
models to determine a minimum viable population size for
gopher tortoises on lands set aside from development and
estimating the acreage of land needed to support
populations of that size or larger. These results were then
translated into guidelines for application to developing
lands. A final draft of the technical report for this project
was nearing completion at the end of the year.
The second project to develop guidelines for habitat
protection involved scrub habitats in the four-county
region served by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning
Council. Work accomplished included mapping all
significant scrub sites in the region, inventorying the rare or
endangered wildlife occurring on each site, and developing
an outline for the acquisition and management of a scrub
preserve system in the region.
The Nongame Habitat Protection program also employs
a full-time biologist in the Florida Keys, an area that is
home to a large number of endemic species and subspecies
that are threatened by the rapid pace of development. The
primary responsibilities of the biologist in the Keys are to
provide input to regulatory agencies concerning the impacts
of development on fish and wildlife resources and to attend
to a variety of matters pertaining to nongame wildlife
problems in the Florida Keys. Threatened and endangered
species that received the greatest attention during the past
year included the Key Largo woodrat, white-crowned
pigeon, silver rice rat, key deer, and Schaus' swallowtail
Nongame Habitat Protection personnel also completed a
study of the feasibility of utilizing LANDSAT satellite
imagery to map wildlife habitats statewide in Florida.
Although there are some problems in the use of
LANDSAT imagery for this purpose, LANDSAT will
provide a map of acceptable quality for the cost and time
involved. As a result, plans were initiated for a project to
map and inventory wildlife habitats statewide using
LANDSAT imagery. Current plans are to use the resulting
map to guide future habitat protection and public
Technical Assistance This program is intended to
enhance the capability of landscapes altered as a result of
development activities to support self-sustaining
assemblages of native fish and wildlife by providing
technical fish and wildlife input into governmental and
private restoration attempts, compiling existing data from
all possible sources, and occasionally conducting limited
research or surveys where information is lacking.
Reclamation of lands mined for phosphate continued to
be one of the areas of greatest effort under this program.
OES personnel assisted in the development of two
nonmandatory reclamation programs, one for a 329-acre
clay settling area owned by Hillsborough County, and
another for a 163-acre below-grade settling pond owned by
IMC Fertilizer, Inc. In addition, 127 pieces of
correspondence concerning the Mandatory Reclamation
Program were reviewed dealing with changes to existing
programs or responses to additional information requests.
Of the new plans reviewed, most showed improvement
over previous years, reflecting industry adoption of many
of the site design recommendations contained in the OES
Habitat Reclamation Guidelines.
Other phosphate reclamation work included the
continued monitoring of water levels and measuring of
trees at the IMC Parcel B test site in cooperation with the
University of Florida's Center for Wetlands,
implementation of a five-year scrub reclamation project on
lands owned by IMC, and providing continued technical
assistance as needed to the phosphate industry on specific
problems dealing with wildlife habitat restoration. OES
personnel also assisted the Florida Institute of Phosphate
Research by reviewing 18 research proposals or funding
renewals and by serving on the Environmental/Regulatory
Needs Subcommittee and the Hydrology Advisory
Committee. In association with the Lake Hancock
Restoration Project, the OES coordinated Commission
input into the project, identified a groundwater situation at
the lake that has become a lead issue in the evaluation of
alternative restoration plans, and assisted in the
development of a wading bird research project.
This year the OES continued aerial surveys of waterfowl
and wading birds in the Kissimmee River floodplain and
the north end of Lake Okeechobee in association with the
Pool B Test Demonstration Project of the Kissimmee River
Restoration Project, although responsibility for the
sampling of vegetation and fish populations in the remnant
river channels was transferred to the Division of Fisheries.
OES personnel also continued to promote the restoration
of Paradise Run and provided technical assistance to the
South Florida Water Management District in preparing
plans for the restoration of Tick Island Slough and
The Vero Beach Office was awarded the 1986
Conservation Award from the Pelican Island Audubon
Society for its project titled "Establishment of Native
Hammock Vegetation on Spoil Sites Dominated by
Australian Pine." Utilizing funding from Indian River
County, hammock tree seedlings were purchased and
planted on four spoil sites in the Indian River. By
monitoring survival of the seedlings, scientists hope the
appropriate species of coastal hammock vegetation can be
determined for revegetating spoil sites to improve the
wildlife habitat values of these areas.
The Office of Informational Services (OIS) is the central
source of information from the Commission to the public. Its
mission is to ensure a high level of public understanding of this
agency's programs and goals.
In addition to its overall public information responsibilities,
the OIS coordinates several specific programs. A new program
which was initiated this year is the federally-funded Aquatic
Resources Education Program. Other activities include Hunter
Education classes, Project WILD, Nongame and Endangered
Species Education, the Wildlife Alert Program, and publishing
FLORIDA WILDLIFE magazine, the Coryi newsletter, and
numerous educational brochures.
News And Information Section This section of
the OIS is responsible for communicating information
about wildlife, hunting and fishing through news media and
through personalized responses to requests for information.
During this year, the OIS, from the Tallahassee
headquarters and five regional offices, continued to provide
information to the general public and to news media as far
away as Europe.
The free flow of information to the news
media, and ultimately the public, is vital
to the cause of wildlife conservation.
To facilitate the distribution of "fast breaking" news
stories, the OIS purchased the services of PR Newswire.
Using the most sophisticated "wire services" techniques,
including satellite transmissions, this system distributes
Commission news releases in full, simultaneously and
within minutes to newspapers, radio and television
stations and news services throughout Florida.
Entering the world of fast-paced communications
required the upgrading of some OIS equipment. Personal
computers were purchased and installed in the five regional
Hunter Education offices and three were installed in the
Written news releases also took on a new angle. In
addition to the 89 news releases distributed by the
Tallahassee office and 203 from the regional offices, a
monthly collection of news stories called "Conservation
Notes" was initiated. "Conservation Notes" are written by
the regional public information personnel and distributed
locally. They contain information such as results of field
studies, regional projects, Hunter Education class
schedules and wildlife facts.
OIS staff also assisted reporters and editors in preparing
outdoor-related stories on more than 100 occasions this
Special and regular public relations projects concerning
Florida panthers, non-toxic steel shot regulations, spring
and summer fishing, the youth conservation camps, the
Wildlife Alert Program, alligators, hunting regulations and
Commission meetings were continued.
A newsletter dedicated entirely to information
concerning the Florida panther was conceived and
produced this year. Called Coryi, this publication received
an award for excellence from the Capital City Chapter of
the Florida Public Relations Association. Other award-
winning OIS activities included a wildlife coloring book
and news releases and radio programs. A news release
about the effects on wildlife of illegal dumping earned a
first place award from the Association for Conservation
All six offices responded to thousands of telephone
inquires, many of which required follow-up activities or
resulted in mailing information.
In response to written requests for information, the
Tallahassee office sent out 413 written responses and 682
packets containing pamphlets and brochures.
In addition, regional OIS staff delivered 250 speeches
and presentations concerning a variety of outdoor topics.
Regional personnel prepared and manned 24 exhibits at
fairs and similar events. Some of these exhibits were viewed
by nearly a million individuals.
OIS staff members logged more than 200 television
appearances and radio interviews and programs during this
Audio-Visual Section The opinions many people
have about fish and wildlife are formed by what they read,
hear or see. The Audio-Visual Section strives to utilize all
of these senses to promote the proper use and protection of
our fish and wildlife resources.
During the past year, this section made extensive use of
radio through the medium of public service announcements
(PSAs). These 30-second prerecorded tapes were used by
235 of the 350 radio stations in the state of Florida. The
subjects include steel shot, Wildlife Alert, the Nongame
Wildlife Trust Fund, fish attractors and fishing
promotions. Each of these messages can reach hundreds of
thousands of people.
Two radio programs, titled "Owl Prowling" and
"Shorebirds" won first and second place awards,
respectively, from the ACI.
Television has received considerable emphasis this year
through the use of a broadcast-quality video camera. Many
different Commission activities have been documented for
use in news stories, interview programs and documentaries.
Video footage has been supplied to a variety of local,
national and international media. This footage, especially
on the Florida panther, has been made available to major
networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS and the BBC in
England. Television PSA's, in the form of 30-second
messages concerning Wildlife Alert, Florida panthers,
fishing and other subjects, continue to air at stations across
the state. A new video tape titled "How to Skin and
Process an Alligator" was produced this year for the
Division of Wildlife. This 12-minute video will be used to
instruct those involved in alligator harvesting throughout
Florida. Several television documentaries dealing with
wildlife were filmed in Florida. The Audio-Visual Section
provided assistance by furnishing video footage and by
coordinating the filming activities with Commission
Slide series with detailed information remain a good tool
for reaching small groups. Two new slide series were
produced that describe the projects and responsibilities of
the Division of Fisheries and the OIS. The slide series "The
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission" has been
revised and made available to the regional offices. There are
now 30 slide programs available for Commission
In addition, photographic and related assistance was
provided to Commission personnel, FLORIDA WILDLIFE
magazine and numerous other outdoor publications.
Education Program The Aquatic Resources
Education Program was funded in 1986 as a result of the
Wallop-Breaux Act, an expansion of the Dingell-Johnson
Fish Restoration Program. This act enables the state to
spend up to 10 percent of its annual Wallop-Breaux
apportionment on aquatic resources education projects.
The program's objectives are: to increase public
awareness of aquatic habitat destruction and water quality
deterioration so responsible decisions can be made by
aquatic resource users, waterfront land owners, voters and
governmental officials; to develop a multi-faceted education
program to reach a diverse audience with educational tools
designed to instill an understanding of basic ecological
principles; to promote increased awareness of potential
effects of human activities on aquatic resources; and to
produce resource users who are legally and ethically
responsible and have a thorough understanding of the safe
and proper use of recreational equipment and facilities.
During FY 86-87, the aquatic education section was in a
planning mode. Time was spent reviewing, evaluating and
developing various strategies for a comprehensive
The planning process included evaluating existing aquatic
education program components of other states and
selecting those components that are appropriate for use in
To accomplish the above Commission objectives, a
comprehensive education program is being developed with
five distinct educational segments designed to meet the
interests and needs of all Floridians.
The segments being developed are: formal classroom
education, youth and adult fishing clinics, land and water
management education, design and production of audio-
visual and printed materials, and evaluation of the
Wildlife Alert The Wildlife Alert Reward Program
was established in 1979 to enhance the Commission's law
enforcement efforts. The program pays cash rewards to
citizens whose reports of violations result in arrests. The
callers are not required to give their names or appear in
During this fiscal year, 30,000 bumper stickers were
printed and distributed, raising the total printed since the
program began to 240,000.
Five public service announcements for radio were
produced and distributed statewide during this period.
Twenty-two news releases concerning Wildlife Alert
were issued by the OIS from either the Tallahassee office or
the regional offices. In addition, regional public
information specialists promoted Wildlife Alert through
115 group presentations, 22 exhibits, 20 radio appearances
and seven television appearances.
The Florida Bowhunters Council paid for 20,000 cards
containing archery season information. Each card also bore
a Wildlife Alert message.
FLORIDA WILDLIFE magazine promoted Wildlife
Alert with public service announcements in each issue.
The Division of Law Enforcement and the OIS worked
together to maintain an accurate record of citizen reports,
arrests and reward amounts. During the fiscal year,
$12,063 in rewards were paid to individuals whose reports
of violations resulted in 172 arrests. In addition, 834
arrests resulted from callers who declined rewards.
The Wildlife Alert Reward Association, a 13-member
panel appointed by the executive director, met twice during
this year to oversee the program with the OIS handling
arrangements. Minutes of each meeting were prepared by
the OIS and distributed to association members and
appropriate Commission staff.
Through the voluntary contributions of concerned
citizens and fines made payable to Wildlife Alert by the
judicial system, the reward fund increased by $16,177.71
during this fiscal year.
Education Section The Commission's education
efforts include operation of two youth conservation camps,
the Hunter Education Program, the Endangered Species
Education Program, the Nongame Wildlife Education
Program and Project WILD.
Children have enjoyed outdoor activities
like canoeing at the Commission's youth
conservation camps for more than 30
Youth Conservation Camps The Commission's
youth conservation camps at Ocala and West Palm Beach
operate for eight, one-week sessions each summer for boys
and girls between the ages of eight and 14. The camps and
their instructional programs are structured to promote
increased awareness and appreciation of wildlife, its
management and conservation and to teach responsible use
of natural resources.
During this year, the two camps drew a total attendance
of 1,770 youngsters. Hundreds more were on the waiting
list when the last vacancies were reserved. The seventh
week of camp at the Everglades site is reserved for children
sponsored through the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida Inc.
A survey of parents of campers attending the first, third
and eighth weeks of camp indicated that, on a scale of 1 to
10, parents rated the overall effectiveness of the program at
9.1 (a five percent increase over last year). Of the parents
who responded to the survey, 96 percent (a two percent
increase) said they would send their children again.
Respondents total slightly more than half the parents who
received the surveys.
During the off-season, youth camp facilities are available
for use by a number of organizations for meetings,
conferences and workshops. Project WILD/Outdoor
Adventure Workshops, offered by the Commission, take
place at these sites.
Hunter Education The Hunter Education Program
has matured beyond its original goal of teaching safe
firearm handling and hunting skills. Today, the program
places strong emphasis on responsible, ethical and safe use
of the outdoors by non-hunters as well as hunters. Topics
addressed in the modern Hunter Education Program
include: traditional firearm safety with primitive and
modern equipment, wildlife identification, conservation
and management, wilderness survival, first aid, water safety
and recreational ethics.
During this fiscal year, 8,032 (a 15 percent increase over
last year) individuals, including residents and visitors, men
and women, children and senior citizens, participated in
300 (a nine percent increase) hunter education classes
statewide. Although some classes are taught by the
Commission's regional hunter education officers, an active
corps of more than 400 certified volunteers is responsible
for the bulk of the instruction. In fact, volunteer
instructors logged 18,737.5 hours during this year. This
time had a value to the State of Florida of $193,265 in
federal reimbursement dollars.
The 16-hour course is free to all participants and meets
the requirements of all states and Canadian provinces that
require completion of hunter education courses before
issuing hunting licenses.
Endangered Species Education Requests from
the public for information about threatened and
endangered species, especially from children and teachers,
come into the OIS on a steady basis. Presentations about
endangered and threatened species, often in combination
with other conservation education programs, are staged for
schools, youth camps, colleges, civic organizations and
conservation-minded groups. Programs typically include
multi-image slide shows combined with original music
about Florida's wildlife.
During FY 86-87, this section conducted 98 programs
for the public. These programs served to introduce
audiences to the Commission's efforts to protect and
preserve endangered species and to prevent other species
from being added to the list of threatened or endangered
species. Project WILD workshops and other meetings
provided the forum for many of these presentations which
enabled the Commission to distribute more than 1,500
pieces of literature concerning threatened, endangered and
other wildlife. More than 1,300 requests for information
In addition to group presentations, eight radio programs
and four television programs were taped by news media,
further advancing the cause of educating the public about
this state's wildlife habitats and environmental issues.
Special projects conducted in this year include the
o A program was presented at the national Project
WILD Coordinators' Conference to 100 people
representing 40 states and Canada.
o An appearance was made in a video program
done for the Florida State Museum on John
Audubon in Florida. This program is available
nationally, via satellite, from WUFT-TV, a
public television station, in Gainesville.
o A feature spot was filmed for a World of
Audubon television special, to air on WTBS in
Atlanta and then the Public Broadcasting
System, titled "Woodstork: Barometer of the
o A master cassette tape was made of a live
presentation given to children attending the
Everglades Youth Camp sponsored by the
Florida Epilepsy Foundation of Florida Inc.
Project WILD Project WILD is an activity-centered
education program which emphasizes wildlife and habitat.
The goal of Project WILD is to assist individuals in
developing awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment
for the appreciation and preservation of nature. Florida is
one of 40 states offering this award-winning program to
A total of 64 (an 83 percent increase) Project WILD
workshops were conducted in Florida this year.
Approximately 1,421 (a 72 percent increase) educators
were trained to use Project WILD Activity Guides, which
consist of approximately 80 learning activities
incorporating wildlife and habitat themes into other
subjects such as math, English and science. Although most
participants are teachers, the workshops also attract scout
and 4-H leaders, nature center staff and other interested
adults. These workshops involve six hours of training and
In addition to the one-day Project WILD workshops,
147 (an 18 percent increase) teachers were trained in three
weekend workshops at the Commission's youth
conservation camps. These weekend programs combine
training in Project WILD with another segment, Outdoor
Adventure, which emphasizes outdoor skills and lifetime
sports. These include canoeing, orienteering, fishing,
camping and shooting sports. In Outdoor Adventure
workshops, instructors emphasize safety and responsible
use of the natural environment. In the shooting sports
program, safe use of firearms is emphasized above all else.
A special workshop leaders (facilitors) workshop was
held in December. Forty-one educators were trained to lead
Project WILD workshops for their colleagues. Plans are to
offer this special training program annually. Educators and
others who are interested in Project WILD are kept up to
date through "Florida's Wild Side," a regular column in
Nongame Wildlife Education Program The
Nongame Education Program is one part of the total
Nongame Wildlife Program, which is housed in the OIS.
The program was funded in 1984 to ensure conservation of
Florida wildlife that is not classified as game, threatened, or
endangered. Nongame animals represent 85 percent of all
The purpose of this educational effort is to create
programs and campaigns that prepare or involve various
segments of the public in accomplishing the nongame
program goal, i.e., to maintain and restore the richness and
natural diversity of Florida's native nongame wildlife.
During this fiscal year, the Nongame Education staff
produced an award winning publication and spoke to, or
otherwise reached, a phenomenal 780,000 people.
Through the following projects and programs were
providing new ways to bring Floridians from awareness to
action for wildlife conservation.
o Marketing and Education Research Project. A
request for proposals was conceptualized, de-
signed, written and advertised to attract the most
qualified marketing research consultants to help
the nongame program segment, and target the
public with specific educational programs.
These programs are designed to raise awareness
levels and encourage specific actions by those
groups to act on behalf of wildlife.
A vendor was selected, a contract was signed
with Montgomery Research Consultants Inc.,
and planning and coordination of the project
o Florida's Animated Alphabet wildlife coloring
book and poster were completed and introduced
to five to seven-year-olds and their parents. The
17 inch x 22 inch alphabet poster was intro-
duced to elementary classrooms and parents of
young children. Florida's Animated Alphabet
coloring book received the Golden Image Award
from the Capital Chapter of the Florida Public
Relations Association. More than 60,000 have
been distributed to Florida's children.
o Also produced this year was a burrowing owl
fact sheet targeted to real estate professionals,
local government officials, developers and
o Research and development began on the next
nongame poster, advertising the one dollar con-
tribution, and featuring the black skimmer life
cycle. This poster, which targets tax collectors,
fourth grade students, and teachers, also will be
available to all interested citizens.
o Design, original artwork, layout and production
was provided for the new nongame program
publication, Planting a Refuge for Wildlife. This
publication is targeted toward homeowners,
landscape architects, and city and county
o The Skimmer. Four issues of The Skimmer were
produced. Each issue contained a unique version
of the "Emerging Naturalist," designed for
children ages five-16. More than 60,000 copies
were distributed this fiscal year.
o Nongame Presentations. Nongame education staff
made 109 presentations and speeches to nearly
7,000 people. Audiences ranged from school
students, professional educators, and wildlife
organizations, to civic and conservation groups.
Topics ranged from bats, bears, and wildflowers,
to the importance of habitat.
o Exhibits, Booths, and the State Fair. Last year six
exhibits, or booths, were installed at conferences
or festivals, reaching 2,060 people. A nongame
wildlife exhibit was installed at the Florida State
Fair, introducing 650,000 people to the Non-
game Wildlife Program. Attracting wildlife to
residences was the theme of this introductory
o Project WILD. Project WILD is a K- 12 interdisci-
plinary wildlife and environmental education
program which was adopted by the Commission
in 1983. Nongame education staff either con-
ducted, or assisted with, 31 workshops to 990
teachers including leadership training.
o Courses. One 15-week course was offered and
taught at Miami-Dade Community College for
all those interested in learning more about South
Florida's ecology and teaching Project WILD.
o Youth Camps. The Nongame Education staff
assisted the OIS with youth camp program
assessment and nongame-oriented activities.
o Media. Four nongame news releases concerning
scrub jays, personnel, declining bird popula-
tions, and bald eagles, were distributed. A bur-
rowing owl public service announcement,
(which was viewed by approximately 60,000
people in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral and Naples),
and one two-minute radio script on snag conser-
vation were generated. In addition, several inter-
views were conducted.
o Other Public Relations Activities. The Nongame
Education staff frequently represents the Non-
game Program concerning wildlife education
issues, and the OIS to professional organizations
(such as national and local wildlife rehabilita-
tors, the League of Environmental Educators,
and other state nongame programs), educators,
civic groups, local governmental officials and
o Grants. The Nongame Wildlife Grants Program
awarded one small educational grant to the Lee
County Nature Center this year, to develop a
wildlife study unit for elementary schools.
o Personnel. One education specialist was hired in
the Lakeland Regional Office and one part-time
secretary in Tallahassee was employed to assist
the coordinator. This year a proposal was
drafted to hire two additional education special-
ists in the Northeast and Northwest regions.
This proposal was approved by the 1986-87
Publications Section This section is responsible
for producing pamphlets, brochures, regulatory
information, booklets, posters and other educational
projects for public distribution. Numerous titles were
published for specific Commission projects, general
educational information, and to respond to questions from
In addition, the Publications Section assists other
Commission divisions in producing annual hunting and
fishing handbooks, regional hunt maps and other
This year, more than 120 publications, including 60
wildlife management area brochures were produced.
One staff typesetter and one staff production assistant
also provide support services in the typesetting, art, layout
and production of many other agency projects and in-house
materials. A third staff person provides assistance in the
research and writing of news releases and other materials,
and in answering and routing questions from the media and
FLORIDA WILDLIFE magazine cele-
brated its 40th anniversary this year.
FLORIDA WILDLIFE Magazine FLORIDA
WILDLIFE magazine completed its first 40 years of
continuous publication at the end of FY 86-87, with
publication of the May-June issue. The fiscal year also saw
other milestones, including the successful implementation
of a new in-house computer system for circulation,
addition of a microcomputer to the editing and typesetting
system and the highest subscription revenues in the
Receipts from FLORIDA WILDLIFE readers totaled
$183,871-a healthy seven percent ($11,377) increase
above receipts for the previous fiscal year. Circulation
averaged near 28,300 magazines per issue (170,000 total
for six issues) during the period.
Per copy cost-before revenues are counted-was $1.69
for preparation, printing and circulation. After revenues are
counted, per copy cost was 63 cents. FLORIDA
WILDLIFE continued to be the Commission's most cost-
effective publication, with a cost of only $12.10 per 1,000
pages circulated to the public.
In general excellence competition sponsored by the
Florida Magazine Association, FLORIDA WILDLIFE was
awarded a Bronze Award of Excellence (third place) for its
excellence in editorial and design elements. A first place
award was received for the illustrated feature article
(January-February issue) "Gator Research Takes Off" in
that annual competition. Judging was by teams of experts
from academia and industry around the state and elsewhere
in the United States.
The editor, art editor and assistant editor were awarded a
Grand Golden Image Award and a Golden Image Award by
the Capital Chapter of the Florida Public Relations
Association for their creative public relations efforts on
behalf of the Commission for magazines produced during
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