U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Southeast Region

Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Fact Sheet

An Endangered Ecosystem

Longleaf pine community
A longleaf pine community (young longleaf in foreground)


The longleaf pine ecosystem once covered a reported 90 million acres in the Southeastern United States.

Today, less that three million acres remain (over 97% decline), mostly in the Coastal Plains of the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Initiative

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region, is working with other partners through its Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to locate private landowners that are interested in restoring this endangered ecosystem, and to develop and carry out a habitat restoration plan for their property.

Over the past 10 years, the Service has initiated habitat restoration projects on over 57,000 acres (200+ landowners) in Georgia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida.

The Service works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other partners in identify and implementing longleaf pine restoration projects through Farm Bill conservation programs.

Valuable in Many Ways

button Stands of longleaf pine offer more diversity, visual appeal, wildlife habitat, and higher value products than other pine species.
button Over 30 plant and animal species associated with longleaf pine ecosystems are threatened or endangered, including the red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise.
button Longleaf pine, when managed properly with fire, provides excellent bobwhite quail habitat.
button Longleaf pine is relatively wind firm and is resistant to many diseases, insects (including southern pine beetles), and other damaging agents.

Longleaf pine can grow and survive well on poor, sandy soils, but can also grow as well as other pines on good sites.

Area in North Florida planted with wiregrass prior to planting longleaf
Area in North Florida planted with wiregrass (an important ecosystem component) prior to planting longleaf.


button The wood of longleaf is dense and strong, with an inherent resistance to rot and decay. Its growth form, with long, straight boles yields high-value wood products.


What Can You Do?

Private landowners are increasingly interested in restoring this ecosystem for themselves and future generations.

Currently, planning, technical, and financial assistance are available (limited) from various Federal and state agencies and conservation groups.


Contact These Groups for More Information

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (contact the nearest Service Office)

Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Farm Service Agency, USDA (contact the office nearest you and ask about the Conservation Reserve Program)

U.S. Forest Service, USDA (Forest Stewardship Program)>

The Longleaf Alliance

School of Forestry
Auburn Univ., AL 36849

Solon Dixon Forest
Education Center
Andalusia, AL 36420

Check out the Longleaf Pine Forum by clicking here

Cooperative Extension Service (Information and Coordination)

State Agencies

  • State Forestry Agency
  • State Soil and Water Conservation Agency
  • State Fish and Wildlife Agency

Local Conservation Groups

  • Conservation Districts
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Private consulting foresters
  • Forest industry & associations