CDFW Updates the State Wildlife Action Plan to Identify and Protect At-Risk Species

Armand Gonzales, SWAP Project Lead, (916) 616-0691
Carol Singleton, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8962

Kit Fox
Kit Fox

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has launched a monthly newsletter to inform the public about the update to the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP).

California is home to 197 mammal species, 433 species of birds, 84 reptiles, 67 species of freshwater fish and 5,047 native plants. It has more species than any other state. However, population growth, increased development, water management conflicts, invasive species, and climate change are putting tremendous stress on these natural resources. Compared to other states, California has the largest number of species at risk of becoming endangered, and it ranks second in the number of endangered species that live here, exceeded only by Hawaii.

CDFW updates its State Wildlife Action Plan every 10 years to help preserve the state’s valuable fish and wildlife resources. The first plan was issued in 2005 and the next update is due in 2015. The plan identifies the species of greatest conservation need and prescribes measures to best protect them from environmental stresses and human induced threats. It focuses on a regional approach to conservation, one that takes into consideration the complex web of life inherent to every unique ecosystem.

In order to update the plan, scientists from across the state are gathering and analyzing data to develop effective, long-term conservation strategies.

“This is a massive undertaking,” said Armand Gonzales, project lead for SWAP. “It requires coordinating with a broad range of stakeholders, from biologists to land-use managers, private landowners and tribes. We are trustees of the state’s wildlife resources and it is our responsibility to keep the public informed about what we are doing to protect California’s valuable natural resources.”

The SWAP monthly newsletter, launched this month, will provide the public with highlights and milestones regarding the SWAP update process. The CDFW is also planning a dozen public scoping meetings to be held throughout the state later this year. The first edition of the newsletter contains information on what the SWAP is, the update process, the update timeline and public participation opportunities. In order to sign up to receive the SWAP monthly newsletter, please subscribe here.