Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Mandy Hague / Flickr

Authorities have recovered the body of a kayaker who had been missing in Tampa Bay.

Bill Would Protect Mother Bears In Hunts

Aug 17, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Black bears mothering cubs under 100 pounds would be off-limits if the state conducts bear hunts in the future, under a measure filed Wednesday by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando.

Florida wildlife officials are highlighting sandhill cranes as well as better ways for the public to coexist with the threatened bird species.

FWC Asks The Public To Report Fish Kills

Jun 21, 2017

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants the public to report all fish kills this summer, when high temperatures and hurricanes threaten Florida’s marine and freshwater wildlife.

Despite a months-long season for red snapper in state waters off Florida and other Gulf states, fisherman across the Gulf of Mexico are gearing up to protest a brief three-day opening to catch the prized fish in federal Gulf waters. Fishermen argue a short opening hurts businesses and hampers anglers across the Gulf, but fishery managers say a small window is important to preserve a species still recovering from overfishing.

Orlando Leads In “Nuisance Gator” Complaints

May 17, 2017

Orlando topped the number of nuisance alligator complaints last year. 

As Florida’s Bald Eagle population continues to increase, state wildlife officials are considering changes to the state’s management plan for the iconic raptors. 

Accurate numbers are hard to come by, but state and federal wildlife officials are raising their official estimate of the number of endangered Florida Panthers.

Florida wildlife officials are asking the public for their help in deciding rules for venomous reptiles.

A state lawmaker wants Florida students to be taught about boating safety in schools.

Alan Diaz/Associated Press

The 106 Burmese pythons captured over a monthlong hunt won't help control Florida's invasive snake population, but wildlife officials said Saturday that doesn't matter as much as the awareness they bring to the state's environmental concerns.

61 Pythons Bagged So Far In Challenge

Jan 27, 2016
Associated Press

Florida wildlife officials say 61 Burmese pythons have been caught so far in a state-sanctioned hunt.

Wikimedia Commons

  Florida's controversial statewide bear hunt ended after the second day after a higher than expected number of bears had been killed with 295 bears taken overall, nearing the official limit, Florida Wildlife officials announced in a statement issued online Sunday evening.

Back in June, state officials decided to allow bear hunting in Florida for the first time in 20 years. The season will open on Oct. 24, and could last for up to a week. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the hunt is part of its comprehensive bear management plan, and will be open in four of the seven “Bear Management Units.”

In Florida, the official state animal triggers mixed feelings. The Florida panther has been on the endangered species list for nearly 50 years. From a low point in the 1970s when there were only about 20 panthers in the wild, the species has rebounded.

Now, nearly 200 range throughout southwest Florida. And some officials, ranchers and hunters in the state say that may be about enough.

Florida panthers are a subspecies of the cougar or mountain lion. They're slightly smaller than their cousins, but like them, the panthers need lots of room to roam.

J Pat Carter / AP

MIAMI — A public hunt for Burmese pythons in Florida’s Everglades won’t be repeated next year, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman said Monday. 

Instead, the state is beefing up established programs that train licensed hunters and people who regularly work in areas known to contain pythons to kill or report exotic snakes.

“Certainly our work is not done with pythons,” said wildlife commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson.

People across 10 Florida counties have been issued citations and warnings for illegally selling animals online, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Some of the animals for sale included ball pythons, spiny lobsters and lovebirds. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission targeted people who were either selling animals without a license, or peddling creatures that are illegal to sell. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Most drivers wouldn't do what Jason Leon did when he saw a large snake poking its head out of the brush beside the road: He pulled over, grabbed the snake and started pulling.

What he ended up with -- after a tussle and help from his friends -- was a record-setting giant Burmese python, as pictured on HuffPost Miami.

When 6-year-old Joey Welch fell into a canal, an 8-foot gator grabbed him. His father  pummeled the gator and maneuvered him onto the bank, where a bystander started kicking the gator in the stomach. That did the trick, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.  

USFWS

The federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is starting a captive breeding program to save the Florida grasshopper sparrow, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Meantime, as the Florida Current reports, the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has revised the rules for relocating gopher tortoises to protected sites.