M.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Biology


Dave is a wildlife biologist that has professionally specialized in land management and applied wildlife research related to land management for most of the past two decades. He founded PEER (Preserving the Environment through Ecological Research), Inc. in 2003.  He has personally authored over 30 land management plans and implemented these management plans on over 25 properties. He was previously responsible for managing all of a Florida County’s preserves.

Prior to his specializing in these areas, Mr. Sumpter was the lead wildlife biologist with an international engineering firm; his charge was to address all listed species issues in the southeastern United States. Throughout his career, he has worked as a wildlife biologists in projects throughout the United States, including in the states of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and New Mexico.

He has conducted hundreds of general and species-specific wildlife surveys using techniques ranging from mark and recapture (amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals) to the use of radiotelemetry (gopher tortoise and black bear).

He is a recognized expert in both bird and herpetofauna identification and habitat correlations and has been called upon several times as an expert witness by County and regional regulatory authorities. In addition to professional collaborations with local Universities and local governments, Mr. Sumpter has also been very active within the community.  Mr. Sumpter has served as:

  • Contracted with USFWS to map wetlands for the National Wetland Inventory in 17 states, with emphasis in the eastern United States.
  • Chair and vice-chair of the Hillsborough River Greenways Task Force (in Florida), one of seven Ecosystem Management Initiatives recognized by the state.
  • Chair of the Mayor of Tampa’s Environmental Advisory Committee – during his tenure the mayor and city council agreed to adopt an Upland Habitat Protection Ordinance, which Dave eventually co-authored.
  • Conservation Chair for Tampa Audubon – 17 year tenure. Mr. Sumpter continues to serve in this capacity.
  • Served as Wildlife Biologist overseeing the development of several linear infrastructure projects in eastern Virginia.
  • Lead ecologist overseeing runway expansion at the New Orleans International Airport.
  • Board Member for the Lemon Bay Conservancy (south Florida).
  • Founding member (and periodic chair) of west Central Florida’s Frog Listening Network.