WATCH: Critically Endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Released into the Wild
By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission // August 8, 2020
the grasshopper sparrow is protected by U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act
— MyFWC (@MyFWC) August 7, 2020
ABOVE VIDEO: Saving the critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.
(FWC) – In an effort to save this species from the brink extinction, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists, and partners including White Oak Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have released nearly 90 critically endangered, captive-reared Florida grasshopper sparrows into the wild so far this year.
Only about 80 of these rare sparrows remained in the wild before these releases.
The newly released birds appear to be doing well adapting to life on the prairie. The main threats to the Florida grasshopper sparrow are habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation.
The conversion of open prairie habitat to agriculture fields has caused the destruction of available habitats for the grasshopper sparrow (Seattle Audubon Society, n.d.). Conversion to agriculture fields can also cause fragmentation to their habitat.
Prescribed burning plays a key role in supporting the grasshopper sparrow’s habitat, as it prevents their nesting areas from becoming overgrown and obstructs the invasion of woody plants (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, n.d.).
Overgrown vegetation and the habitat invasion from woody plants degrade their open prairie habitat.
The Florida grasshopper sparrow is protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
It is also protected as an Endangered species by the Federal Endangered Species Act and as a Federally-designated Endangered species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.