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Virginia Wildlife Action Plan David K. Whitehurst Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

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Presentation on theme: "Virginia Wildlife Action Plan David K. Whitehurst Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries."— Presentation transcript:

1 Virginia Wildlife Action Plan David K. Whitehurst Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

2 Federal and State Support Congressionally mandated and funded under U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program and State Wildlife Grants program since FY 2001 States/Territories had to submit Strategies to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service by October 1, 2005 to continue receiving funds; all did! Tasked by former Secretary Murphy after the 2003 Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Summit to “Develop a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan by 2005”

3 What Does It Mean For Virginia? A strategy and common vision for conservation for the Commonwealth, not just DGIF Status check of Virginia’s wildlife & habitats In line with Roadmap for Virginia’s Future (Virginia’s long-term strategic plan): “Protect, conserve, and wisely develop our natural, historical and cultural resources” Can be used to prioritize and leverage funding across agencies and programs within and outside of Virginia government

4 Wildlife Action Plan Overview A wildlife conservation plan for the Commonwealth, not just DGIF Developed with input from multiple partners, stakeholders, and citizens Plan evaluates and assesses:  Location and abundance of wildlife and habitats  Problems facing species and habitats  Conservation actions to address problems  Research and monitoring needs

5 External Steering Committee US Fish & Wildlife Service (ES & Refuges) US Forest Service VA Dept. of Conservation & Recreation VA Dept. of Transportation VA Assoc. of Planning District Commissions Natural Resource Conservation Service Western Virginia Land Trust The Nature Conservancy National Park Service VA Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services Virginia Audubon Ducks Unlimited US Dept. of Defense VA Dept. of Forestry

6 Key Outcomes

7 Final List: 925 species Assigned to one of four tiers of relative conservation need Reviewed and endorsed by scientists and stakeholders Species of Greatest Conservation Need Tiers and associated species served as the foundation for Plan development, including setting conservation priorities and actions.

8 Species of Greatest Conservation Need Mammals 24 Birds 96 Fishes 97 Reptiles 28 Amphibians 32 Mussels 61 Aquatic crustaceans 61 Aquatic insects148 Terrestrial insects142 Other aquatic invertebrates 34 Other terrestrial invertebrates202 70% are invertebrates; 60% are aquatic

9 Summary of Taxa # in VA# SGCN# State listed # Fed listed # G1-2# S1-2 Fishes 210972061465 Amphibians 743241318 Reptiles 612862015 Birds 37496124030 Mammals 8524105115 Terr insects 10,000+1445 (p)363118 Other terr inverts ??1967182167 FW Mussels 897338203854 Crustaceans 10,000+61323543 Aquatic insects 10,000+1460024134 Other aquatic inverts ??120078

10 Habitat Assessment Broad Habitat Assessment  Statewide terrestrial, aquatic, and subterranean habitats, their locations, and their condition Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) Habitat Assessment  Identified general habitat needs for all SGCN species  Created detailed maps of Tier I species habitats modeled from best available information

11 GAP Habitats – Wildlife Species Richness Underprotected Species Richness

12 Terrestrial species distribution map Shenandoah salamander

13 Aquatic species distribution map Little-wing pearly mussel From NC Mussel Atlas

14 Conservation Opportunities

15 Human Population Density (from 2000 census block groups)

16 Predicted % Change in Population (from 2000 to 2009)

17 High Impact Growth Areas

18 Problems Facing Wildlife Greatest threats to terrestrial species state- wide are related to habitat destruction or fragmentation, including development and some agricultural and forestry practices. Greatest threats to aquatic species state- wide are related to water and habitat quality, including pollution and sedimentation, from development and some industrial, agricultural, and forestry practices.

19 Transportation-Related Challenges to Wildlife and Habitats in Virginia Habitat fragmentation Habitat destruction Hydrologic regime change (impervious surfaces) Inadequate land use planning Organic pollutants, other toxics Hydrologic regime change

20 Conservation Actions Coordination  Improve coordination between law enforcement entities Education and Outreach  Educate local planners & developers Enforcement  Improve enforcement & prosecution of wildlife laws Habitat Management  Increase participation in and rates of use of BMPs Land Protection  Continue or improve conservation easement programs Planning  Improve land use planning in urban, forestry, ag uses Regulations, Policy and Law  Establish permanent dedicated funding for conservation Species Management  Control overabundant native species, exotic/invasive species

21 Transportation-Related Conservation Actions Better local and regional land use planning, including sustainable development Removal or alteration of impediments to fish movement Wildlife crossings Replace wooden bridges Reduce salt application to roadways

22 How Will We All Get It Done? Implementation, Coordination, Planning Committee Information & Monitoring Working Group Education, Outreach & Partnerships Policy, Enforcement, Regulation & Law Habitat Management & Protection Species Management Sub-Committees

23 Act Now! Find Your Niche in the Wildlife Action Plan!

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