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State Plans Aim To Protect Imperiled Species

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Some species considered imperiled, like the tricolored heron, share a habitat with other species so they are included in the same action plan.

  Fifty-seven species of fish and wildlife are so rare or face such threats that they are considered "imperiled" by the state of Florida.

Now the state has 49 action plans aimed at protecting those species. Some, like several species of wading birds, share the same habitat so they're covered under the same plan.

One plan calls for stabilizing shorelines and removing exotic plants to provide nesting areas for brown pelicans. Another would set up trapping and testing programs to evaluate the population of the Homosassa shrew, a small rodent.

The state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants input from the public on the plans, which are set for final approval next year.

The action plans hold particular significance for the Florida Keys. The relatively small county is home to 23 of the 57 imperiled species.