The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) announces the revision process of the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). By Congressional State Wildlife Grant (SWG) requirements, this comprehensive document must be revised every 10 years. The federal SWG program assists state fish and wildlife agencies in the conservation of Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). To remain eligible for SWG funds, each state must revise its SWAP every 10 years.
SWAP is critical in helping Alabama fulfill its responsibility to conserve its abundant fish, wildlife and natural habitats for future generations. In the past 10 years, Alabama’s original SWAP shaped major conservation accomplishments including the restoration of longleaf and shortleaf pine and native grasses in Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), Alabama’s state parks, and on private lands. The SWAP and SWG assisted in the establishment of the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center (AABC), which helps recover freshwater mussels and snails in Alabama’s key rivers and streams. The SWAP and SWG has also supported research on rare aquatic animals, removed barriers to fish migration and breeding, and reintroduced threatened aquatic species.
Over the next two years, WFF and its partners will work with wildlife experts and other key stakeholders throughout the state to develop a comprehensive plan to conserve wildlife and native habitats. During that time, distinct habitats in the greatest need of conservation will be reviewed by experts across the state. WFF will also prioritize Alabama’s SGCN and their habitats, and build upon the updated information rankings from Alabama’s Nongame Symposium of 2012.
During the SWAP revision process, WFF will be coordinating with its conservation partners in order to ensure that the revised plan is integrated, accessible, and meets the national requirements. Broad public, partner, and stakeholder input will be requested and is welcome throughout the SWAP revision process. General comments can be sent to Traci Wood at Traci.Wood@dcnr.alabama.gov.
WFF hopes that the revised SWAP will guide efforts statewide to prevent more species from becoming endangered, and that Alabama’s diverse natural landscape is maintained for its citizens and wildlife. The SWAP revision will support critical research, education, and survey and monitoring efforts to address critical conservation needs. For more information about the SWAP revision, visit www.outdooralabama.com/research-mgmt/cwcs/outline.cfm.
Logo courtesy Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources