AL Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy
Alabama Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy
For over a decade, the Teaming with Wildlife (TWW) coalition, comprised of State fish and wildlife agencies and their governmental and nongovernmental partners, has encouraged support for new sources of Federal funding to complement and expand State wildlife conservation programs. This support came in the form of annual appropriations to the states under the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program (WCRP) in Fiscal Year 2001, which was renamed the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program beginning in Fiscal Year 2002. Under these new programs, Congress provided an historic opportunity for the state fish and wildlife agencies and their partners to design and implement a more comprehensive approach to the conservation of America’s wildlife.
A requirement of SWG is that each State completes a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) by October 1, 2005. Congress identified eight required elements that must be included in the CWCS. Development of the CWCS is intended to identify and focus management on “species in greatest need of conservation.” Congress expects SWG funds be used to manage and conserve declining species and avoid their potential listing under the Endangered Species Act.
In Alabama, this CWCS effort began when the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries sponsoring the 2002 Nongame Conference that assembled scientists and stakeholders to compile the best available information on Alabama's wildlife. This two-year effort resulted in the comprehensive four-volume publication Alabama Wildlife and is the foundation for the Alabama CWCS. Coverage of taxa groups in the CWCS has been expanded to include crayfishes, of which Alabama has more species than any other state.
The Alabama CWCS was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in November 2005. This CWCS defines those wildlife species in greatest need of conservation in Alabama and describes the actions necessary for their restoration. It is through this tool that we have the opportunity to work with conservation partners and the greater public to best utilize available resources to ensure that declining species are restored and common species remain common.