The Indian River Lagoon supports 75 species that are listed in need of protection by state or federal entities. A review of these listed species reveals strong taxonomic biases towards vertebrates and a lack of representation for invertebrates. Protecting biodiversity in the lagoon
requires recognition of this inadequacy and means by which to rectify the lack of representation. Of the species that are currently listed there is the problem of categorizing these in terms of both vulnerability and potential for management and recovery. This paper prioritizes listed species
in the Indian River Lagoon for local management action in relation to three criteria: their geographic distribution; the degree to which they are restricted to a limited number of habitats; and their population sizes. High priority is given to the 30.67% of listed species which have a narrow
geographic range, the 60% of the listed species found in the lagoon that are habitat specific, and the 30.67% of species that have relatively large population sizes locally. A few listed species have an adequate level of protection in the existing protected area network whereas the majority
(66.67%) are only recorded with low population sizes for any protected area and nine species do not occur at all in any protected area. Management recommendations for these listed species are reviewed in the light of whether a species based approach will really protect biodiversity in the
lagoon. Recommendations are also made to address the lack of data concerning population sizes and distribution of listed species. Management for these listed species is only considered worthwhile if a healthy, functioning lagoonal system is maintained.
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