Wildlife Research


From the tiny beach mouse to the not so tiny right whale, Florida is home to a wide array of wildlife species. Biologists with the Wildlife Research section monitor the status of Florida’s birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. This includes species important to hunters such as deer, alligator and waterfowl, and imperiled species such as the Florida panther and the Florida manatee. Wildlife managers rely on the information this research provides to develop conservation and restoration plans that ensure the long-term persistence of Florida’s wildlife populations.


Robin Boughton,
Section Administrator


Annual Budget: $9,883,515
Staff: 122

Highlights on Current Research

  • American Oystercatcher Habitat Restoration in Florida

    FWC researchers lead project to restore crucial wintering habitat for the American oystercatcher in the Big Bend area of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

  • Comparing density estimates of panthers on public and private lands

    FWC researchers collar and track Florida panthers across a variety of public and private land in Florida, gathering important data on this reclusive mammal.

  • Stable isotope analysis suggests large numbers of loggerheads nesting in Florida remain in U.S. coastal waters

    FWC researchers leads study to determine where loggerhead turtles spend most of their time when not on their nesting beach.

Sample of Active Projects

Assessing cave bat populations
Since 2014, FWC researchers have been monitoring Florida caves to assess the status of cave-roosting bats, looking for any signs of white-nose syndrome.

Cold Stun Sea Turtle Rescues 2018
In January 2018 FWC researchers, along with permitted volunteers and partners, worked diligently to rescue sea turtles affected by low water temperatures.

Reptiles and Amphibians of Florida book
Several FWC affiliated editors work to publish “Amphibians and Reptiles of Florida” book, scheduled for a January 2019 release.

Saltmarsh Songbird Genetics Study
Researchers are using cutting-edge genetics work to improve management priorities for five subspecies of seaside sparrow.