South Florida Ecological Services Field Office
Southeast Region

 

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Our Mission

Conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, and their habitats, in cooperation with partners, for the continuing benefit of the American people, from the Lake Wales Ridge to the Florida Keys.

The Ecological Services Division of the USFWS works to protect and restore healthy populations of fish and wildlife and the environments on which they depend. To accomplish this, the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office has these programs: Everglades Restoration, Coastal Ecology, Contaminants, Endangered Species, Habitat Conservation, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife.



News and Features

The Ft. Myers News-Press Guest Opinion: Combined effort boosts panthers
By Larry Williams
March 12, 2014

Collared female Florida panther sprinting

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a proclamation declaring March 15 as “Save The Florida Panther Day.”

Those of us in Florida’s conservation community wholeheartedly applaud and appreciate the governor for calling attention to the plight of this big beautiful cat — our state’s official animal.

Very few Floridians have seen their own state animal in the wild or otherwise. That’s because there are so few left, they’re very stealthy and few are in captivity.
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USFWS Seeks Comments on Proposed Charlotte County Habitat Conservation Plan
February 21, 2014

VERO BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a notice in the Federal Register today seeking public comment on a proposed countywide Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Charlotte County, Fla. and the related environmental assessment.
Click Here to Read More

Documents may be downloaded at the following links:
Federal Register Notice - PDF 195 KB
Charlotte County Habitat Conservation Plan Draft Environmental Assessment - PDF 1.02 MB
Charlotte County Habitat Conservation Plan (without Appendices) - PDF 6.56 MB
Charlotte County Habitat Conservation Plan Appendices only (large file size - PDF 24 MB)


RESCUED FLORIDA PANTHER KITTEN AT TAMPA’S LOWRY PARK ZOO FOR CARE
February 20, 2014

Florida Panther kitten image

TAMPA, Fla. – A rescued Florida panther kitten has arrived at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for neonatal care and rearing. Initial assessments indicate the 4-week-old kitten is healthy and active with an excellent appetite. The young male weighed 2.8 pounds (1.29 kilograms) upon arrival at the Zoo, and is now 4.1 pounds (1.86 kilograms) and growing every day.
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat For the Cape Sable Thoroughwort
January 7, 2014

Cape Sabel thoroughwort image

VERO BEACH, Fla. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating critical habitat for the endangered Cape Sable thoroughwort under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing of the Cape Sable thoroughwort as endangered was announced in the October 24, 2013 Federal Register, and became effective on November 25, 2013.
Click Here to Read More

Federal Register Notice for Final Rule - PDF, 1.23 MB


Third Annual Florida Panther Festival Set To Highlight How To Live With Florida’s State Animal
November 5, 2013

Florida panther kitten image

Naples, Fla. – Ever wondered what a day in the life of a Florida panther is like? Would you like to learn more about their hunting habits, how they establish territory and how they raise their young? How about going for a ride in a “swamp buggy” in Florida panther territory?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the third annual Florida Panther Festival on November 16, 2013 at North Collier Regional Park in Naples, Florida is for you.
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Three South Florida Plants as Endangered
October 23, 2013

VERO BEACH, Fla. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing three plant species native to south Florida as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These three species are the Cape Sable thoroughwort, Florida semaphore cactus, and Aboriginal prickly-apple.
Click Here to Read More
Federal Register Notice for Final Rule - PDF, 480 KB


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Two South Florida Plants as “Endangered” and to Designate Critical Habitat for Both
October 21, 2013

VERO BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to list the Florida brickell-bush and Carter’s small-flowered flax as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

At the same time, the Service also is proposing to designate critical habitat for both plants which are only found on the Miami Rock Ridge of South Florida.
Click Here to Read More
Federal Register Notice for Proposed Listing - PDF, 361 KB
Federal Register Notice for Proposed Critical Habitat Designation - PDF, 1.11 MB


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists the Florida Bonneted Bat as Endangered
October 21, 2013

Florida bonneted bat image

VERO BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the Florida bonneted bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The bat is only found in south and southwest Florida, primarily in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade Counties. Recent data also suggest the bat also is found in portions of Okeechobee and Polk Counties and possibly in some areas within Glades County.
Click Here to Read More
Federal Register Notice for Final Rule - PDF, 526 KB


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Two South Florida Butterflies as “Endangered” and to Designate Critical Habitat for Both
August 14, 2013

Bartram's scrub-hairstreak image

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the Florida leafwing and Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

At the same time, the Service also is proposing to designate critical habitat for both butterflies which are only found in South Florida.
Click Here to Read More


U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Partners In The Imperiled Butterfly Working Group Conclude Two South Florida Butterflies (Zestos and Rockland Grass Skippers) Are Likely Extinct
June 10, 2013

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Following several years of comprehensive survey efforts in southern Florida, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and its partners in the Imperiled Butterflies of Florida Working Group (IBWG) believe that two butterflies, the Zestos (Epargyreus zestos oberon) and rockland grass (Hesperia meskei pinocayo) skippers, are likely extinct. These butterflies were historically found only in South Florida.
Click Here to Read More


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Partners Starting Captive Breeding Program In Race Against Time to Prevent Extinction of Florida Grasshopper Sparrows
April 18, 2013

Florida grasshopper sparrow image by Christina Evans

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- In an effort to prevent extinction of the Florida grasshopper sparrow, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and many partners are establishing a captive breeding program for this species. Many believe that if current population trends continue the species could go extinct in three to five years.
Click Here to Read More



 

 

Conservation Report Image

Click on image to view the 2012-2013 South Florida Conservation Report

The Indian River Lagoon is North America’s most diverse estuary with more than 4,300 species of plants and animals, including 35 that are listed as threatened or endangered — more than any other estuary in North America. The South Florida Ecological Services Office is working with its partners to help save and protect it. USFWS biologist Patrick Pitts discusses those efforts in this Indian River Land Trust video titled "Save Our Indian River Lagoon Acre by Acre."

National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Image

Click on image to view the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation

Coefficients of Conservatism Values and the Floristic Quality Index for the Vascular Plants of South Florida

Click on image to view the publication "Coefficients of Conservatism Values and the Floristic Quality Index for the Vascular Plants of South Florida"

Last updated: March 13, 2014
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