|History Animals & Plants Rare & Endangered Invasive Exotics Human Use||
Animals and Plants:
People have inhabited Florida for at least 10,000 years. The first people lived off the land, hunting, gathering, fishing, and farming. We know nothing of their feelings or beliefs about the plants and animals around them. We can only guess at the reasons for putting teeth of big carnivores -- bear, wolf, and panther -- in burial mounds. Did they represent material wealth, like our $100 bills, or were they symbols of something else?
A recent economic analysis conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) concluded that hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing generated over $5.5 billion dollars in retail sales in 2003 with the creation of over 105,000 jobs. Clearly, human usage of Florida’s native biological resources is a big-time industry. (myfwc.com/economic/FWC_Economic_Impact_2003.pdf)
Hunting and Fishing
Recreational Hunting and Fishing
In Florida, hunting and fishing are regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) in the State of Florida. The FFWCC maintains various websites with information on licensing and regulations for these activities. The main website is located at www.myfwc.com.
Freshwater Fishing Information:
Saltwater Fishing Information:
marinefisheries.org/license.htm and myfwc.com/marine/
Federal rules for recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico:
To report federal fishing violations call toll-free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-853-1964.
Fishing Line Recycling Program:
To Report a Wildlife Violation:
A more recent study by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) put the economic impact of commercial fishing at just under $500 million dollars, with the seafood processing sector from those catches providing an additional economic impact of over $540 million dollars. An estimated 12,800 jobs are provided by this industry.
Commercial Saltwater Fishing Information:
A recent study by the FWC put the economic impact of wildlife viewing at just under $1.8 billion dollars annually. This is a figure that is over twice as large as that for hunting but is still substantially less than that for either fresh or saltwater fishing. myfwc.com/economic/FWC_Economic_Impact_2003.pdf
Apalachicola National Forest
This site also includes a monthly calendar that lists wildlife activities occurring throughout the year in Florida, as well as other topics such as observing wildlife with your children, locating a particular species, attracting wildlife to your backyard, environmentally friendly landscaping, Great Florida Birding Trail and a publications listing.
Nuisance Wildlife/Critter Questions:
Scientific Research and Collecting
Anyone collecting wildlife for scientific research purposes must possess a scientific collecting/research/educational use permit. Contact the Protected Species office of the FWC for permitting questions and the regional office of FWC for technical assistance.
Protected Species Department
Anyone collecting plants within the Apalachicola National Forest will also need a collecting permit. Contact the following USDA Forest Service office for assistance on obtaining a permit:
Tallahassee Office - USDA
With an average of 900 people moving into Florida each day and land being developed at a tremendous rate, our native wildlife is losing the wild places that it once called home. As these creatures flee from their natural habitat they face many dangers as they attempt to find the food, water, shelter and space that they need to survive. Records show that the majority of wildlife injuries are human related (hit by cars, injured by a frightened or misinformed homeowner, unintentionally poisoned by the spraying of pesticides on a lawn, killed by a pet cat or dog, blinded by a child “playing” with a BB gun).
The goal of a Wildlife Rehabilitator is to treat the animal and release it back into the wild so that it can live its life as nature intended. Occasionally the animal cannot be released due to injuries that do not heal or because it has imprinted on humans. These animals must be kept in captivity and many times are used as educational animals to teach the public about wildlife, the problems they face and how they can be helped.
Florida Wildlife Rehabilitators and FWC Contact List (Northwest Region)
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Wildlife Alert Reward Program Call 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) toll-free if you suspect a wildlife law violation. The website address is www.myfwc.com/law/alert.
Calhoun County (Altha) (850) 762-8685
Franklin, Jefferson, and Wakulla counties (850) 926-8308
Gadsden County (850) 386-6296
Gulf County (Port St. Joe) (850) 647-8238
Gulf County (Port St. Joe) (850) 229-1065
These trappers are not authorized to take nuisance alligators. Please refer to the nuisance alligator information found at wildflorida.org/gators/nuisance.htm or contact the nuisance-alligator coordinator in the FFWCC Northwest Regional Office at (850) 265-3676 for more information.