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FWC Bald Eagle News

On April 20, 2017, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved revisions to the state’s bald eagle rule (68A-16.002, F.A.C.). The approved rule revisions eliminate the need for applicants to obtain both a state and federal permit for activities with the potential to take or disturb bald eagles or their nests. Under the approved revisions, only a federal permit is required, and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will now be the single permitting entity for authorized take. The FWC is in the process of fading out the 2008 Bald Eagle Management Plan and replacing it with a Bald Eagle Species Action Plan now that the goals of the Management Plan have been accomplished and Florida has met the target eagle population. In addition, FWC staff will no longer provide permitting assistance for bald eagles; however, they will retain authority to enforce eagle violations, and FWC regional biologists can still assist with general inquiries. An additional change is the FWC eagle nest locator website will no longer be updated annually. Instead each nest is only going to be updated on a 5 year cycle. The nest locator should still be used as a baseline, and FWC will update it with outside sources of information, but there will no longer be an annual statewide bald eagle nest survey.

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