PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management will hold its final scientific review workshop on the Rhode Island Wildlife Action Plan (RIWAP) on Wednesday, October 8 at the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett. The workshop will take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Corless Auditorium located at 215 South Ferry Road.
During the past year, many of the state's natural resource and wildlife specialists have worked diligently to determine the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and their associated key habitats in Rhode Island, and develop species and habitat profiles outlining their distribution, threats, and proposed conservation actions. These user-friendly profiles are designed as fact sheets depicting wildlife species or species groups that are in decline or vulnerable, with the hope of providing conservation actions before they become endangered. The intent is to keep common species common, and reverse and recover the declining populations. Thanks to additional input from a diverse group of 125 conservationists who comprise the scientific review team, the draft profiles have been prepared for Rhode Island's 2015 WAP and are posted online at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/swap15.htm for comment, along with other pieces of the plan as they are drafted.
The draft species and habitat profiles will be the primary focus of the October 8 workshop, and provide an opportunity to review the priority threats and conservation actions identified by experts and stakeholders. These fact sheets represent each of the major taxonomic classifications including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates and their key habitats, and are an excellent educational resource about important species in the state.
Updates on the 2015 RIWAP, along with new species information, are posted online as they are developed at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/swap15.htm. The public is encouraged to visit the website and take a short survey on what they would like to see included in Rhode Island's WAP revision. Feedback and suggestions are encouraged and can be sent via email to RIwildlifeactionplan@yahoo.com.