From Data to Agency Action: Developing Land Management Guidelines for Florida's Imperiled and Declining Butterfly Species
   Dean Jue, Florida State University

Abstract: A biological collapse of the south Florida butterfly biodiversity is possible, with three taxa becoming extinct since calendar year 2000. Many species have specific habitat requirements, and require land management practices that meet the biological needs of that particular species. It would be a very expensive and resource-intensive task to develop detailed strategic action and management plans for all SGCN invertebrate species based on in-depth studies for each species. This project will utilize data collected during and prior to the 2007 grant to investigate ways of developing low-cost, reasonable and defensible strategic action and land management guidelines for SGCN-listed butterflies. The grant objectives are 1) to fill in distribution data gaps for FNAI-tracked butterfly species in the southern Florida peninsula, 2) to obtain information on land management practices that have healthy populations of selected rare Florida butterfly species; 3) to evaluate the effectiveness of combining remote sensing technology and imagery with other data to locate new populations of rare butterflies, 4) to partner with stakeholders to draft management guidelines for selected butterfly species, and 5) to evaluate and document the feasibility of rapidly developing land management guideline for butterflies in single and multi-agency settings. Attainment of project objectives will give land managing agencies a more complete picture of the current distribution of SGCN butterfly species in south Florida, and will produce potential models for quickly developing strategies and management actions for other terrestrial invertebrate SGCN species. Such a tool is critical when timely action is required to manage or protect a terrestrial invertebrate species on which little research has been done. Many land management agencies would like to have such plans, as evidenced by this project’s support from collaborating agencies. Invertebrate species are good indicator species for the health of the habitat. This project will benefit not only terrestrial invertebrate SGCN species but also all Florida land managing agencies and the FL FWC’s Wildlife Legacy Initiative staff. In addition, this project will produce management guidelines for five of the rarest Florida butterfly species.

Award Matching Funds Total
$56,314.00 $56,314.00 $112,628.00

Year Funded Starting Date Ending Date
2009 7/1/2010 8/15/2013

Location: Statewide