(1) The Legislature recognizes the value of maintaining ecologically healthy and stable populations of a wide diversity of fish and wildlife species and recognizes the need for monitoring, research, management, and public awareness of all wildlife species in order to guarantee that self-sustaining populations be conserved. The Legislature further recognizes that research and management for game species traditionally have been supported by licenses and fees collected by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for consumptive uses of wildlife and that no such support mechanism is available for species not commonly pursued for sport or profit. It is the intent of the Legislature that the funds provided herein be spent to identify and meet the needs of nongame wildlife as a first priority with the ultimate goal of establishing an integrated approach to the management and conservation of all native fish, wildlife, and plants.
(2)(a) There is established within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund. The fund shall be credited with moneys collected pursuant to ss. 319.32(3) and 320.02(8). Additional funds may be provided from legislative appropriations and by donations from interested individuals and organizations. The commission shall designate an identifiable unit to administer the trust fund. (b) Proceeds from the trust fund shall be used for the following purposes:
1. Documentation of population trends of nongame wildlife and assessment of wildlife habitat, in coordination with the database of Florida natural areas inventory.
2. Establishment of effective conservation, management, and regulatory programs for nongame wildlife of the state.
3. Public education programs.
(3) The commission may enter into cooperative agreements or memoranda of understanding with related agencies to coordinate nongame programs.