Ecological Services in the Caribbean
Oficina de Servicios Ecológicos del Caribe -- Southeast Region
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Comments on Draft Economic Analysis, Re-opens Comment Period on Proposal to Designate Critical Habitat for Three Caribbean Plants


May 20, 2014


Contacts:  Marelisa Rivera,, 787-851-7297

                   Tom MacKenzie,, 404-679-7291



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks additional public comment on a proposed critical habitat designation for three plants found in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


All three plants are known by their scientific names, and don’t have common names.  About 51 acres of critical habitat is proposed for Agave eggersiana in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; 198 acres for Gonocalyx concolor in Puerto Rico; and 6,547 acres for Varronia rupicola in southern Puerto Rico and Vieques Island.  This is the second appeal for public comments on the critical habitat designation.


At the same time, the Service is asking for public comment on a draft economic analysis that considers the cost of the critical habitat designation to Commonwealth, territorial, state, and local governments. This evaluation of economic impacts indicates the proposed critical habitat designation for these three Caribbean plants will not result in a significant economic impact in any given year or result in greater economic impacts to any particular sector.  Conservation related efforts and activities will result from the protections afforded to the species through Commonwealth, territory, and federal laws if the species are federally listed. Read full press release>>


*For more information and how to submit comments click on the following links:


May 20, 2014 Press Release PDF ver. (68KB)

Comunicado de Prensa 20 de mayo de 2014 versión PDF (71KB)

Federal Register Notice PDF ver. (212KB)

Questions and Answers for Proposed Critical Habitat Designation PDF ver. (166KB)

How to Submit Comments PDF ver. (90KB)


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announce the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment for the reintroduction of the third wild population of the Puerto Rican parrot in Puerto Rico


November 21, 2013

Contacts:  Marisel López   787-887-8769

                  Edwin Muñiz     787-851-7297


Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata)

Photo by: Pablo Torres-Báez, USFWS


Once abundant and widespread throughout the Puerto Rican archipelago, the Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) is presently on of the10 most endangered birds in the world. Habitat loss together with natural enemies is considered among the major causes for the precipitous decline of the species during the 20th century. Currently, a single wild population of 20-25 individuals survives in the El Yunque National Forest and a population of 55-112 individuals near the Rio Abajo commonwealth Forest. The Puerto Rican parrot is currently listed as endangered.

Draft EA has been prepared as a requisite of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Read full press release>>

*For more information visit about the Puerto Rican parrot third population click on the following link:



Three Caribbean Plants Proposed for Protection and the Most Important Habitat Identified

October 21, 2013

Contact: Marelisa Rivera at 787-851-7297,

Description: Gonocalyx concolor                   Description: Agave eggersiana                            Description: Varronia rupicola         

Gonocalyx concolor                                   Agave eggersiana                                        Varronia rupicola

Photo by: JP Zegarra, USFWS                  Photo by: Christian Torres, USFWS            Photo by: Carlos Pacheco, USFWS

Link to video of the three plants proposed:

For transcript of video please click on the following link:  Video Transcript PDF (821KB)

The vivid red flowers of Gonocalyx concolor hang like tiny bells throughout dense and very wet areas of the Carite Commonwealth forests in Puerto Rico, at high elevations. Deep yellow Agave eggersiana flowers stand tall on the arid coastal cliffs of the Island of St. Croix, USVI to face the ocean. Varronia rupicola petite white flowers are surrounded by rough green leaves and together beautify low coastal shrub forests in southern Puerto Rico and Vieques Island. These very different tropical plants grow in separate ecosystems throughout the American Caribbean, but they all share the need for conservation. and more protection. Experts believe these plants may have been widely distributed in the past. Today, only a few populations remain in places that are disconnected and few locations still retain the necessary physical and biological attributes to sustain their existence.

To conserve and protect these plants and the ecosystems upon which they depend, the Service is proposing to list Agave eggersiana and Gonocalyx concolor as endangered species, and the Varronia rupicola as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The Service is also proposing to designate about 50.6 acres (20.5 hectares) of critical habitat A. eggersiana in St. Croix, USVI; 198 acres (80.1 hectares) for G. concolor in Puerto Rico; and 6,547 acres (2,648 hectares) for V. rupicola in southern Puerto Rico and Vieques Island.  


For more information click on link for full announcement: Caribbean Plants Press Release PDF ver. (80KB)

For Spanish version "Comunicado de Prensa" versión PDF (25KB)

Listing Proposal for three Caribbean plants PDF ver (325KB)

Proposal to list - Literature Cited PDF ver (87KB)

Critical Habitat Designation Proposal for the three Caribbean plants PDF ver (1,136KB)

Critical Habitat Proposal - Literature Cited PDF (66KB)

List of Threatened and Endangered Plants in the Caribbean


2012 Draft Revised Florida and Antillean Manatee Stock Assessments Available for Review and Comment

Description: manatee facing forward.






Manatee facing the camera, by Jan Paul Zegarra, USFWS

March 28, 2013

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed draft revised marine mammal stock assessment reports (SAR) for the two West Indian manatee sub-species: the Antillean manatees in Puerto Rico and the Florida manatee.

Draft Antillean Manatee SAR- Puerto Rico Stock - PDF ver. - 217KB

Antillean Manatee Literature Cited - PDF ver. - 97KB

Notice of Availability - PDF ver. - 225KB

Antillean Manatee Fact Sheet - html

Draft Florida manatee SAR - PDF ver - 164KB



2013 Wildlife Conservation in the Caribbean


Edwin Muñiz Esq., CESFO Supervisor/Photo by Carlos Pacheco, USFWS

2013 CESFO

Edwin Muñiz, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office Supervisor, presents a retrospective look at 2012 and seven individual stories that give a glimpse at what is underway in 2013.




New information on the distribution and status of Bariaco

Description: Bariaco plant, endangered.  Green leaves and white flower.





Bariaco plant/Photo by F. Suárez

September 9, 2012-The US Fish and Wildlife Service and botanists from the University of Puerto Rico, recently reviewed the status of the endangered bariaco plant (Trichilia triacantha). The experts report that the distribution of natural populations has expanded... (Read more)




USFWS will not list Caribbean Mayten

mcymosa flowerCaribbean Mayten flowers/Photo by Pedro Acevedo

June 3, 2012 The US Fish and Wildlife Service will not conduct an in-depth review of the status of the Caribbean mayten tree. Read more.

El USFWS dice peticion de proteger Maiten del Caribe no procede (En Español).



Reopening Comment Period for Coquí Llanero

June 18, 2012- Service is re-opening comment period on a proposal to designate critical habitat for the coquí llanero. Economic analysis available for review. Read More

18 de Junio de 2012- Se reabre el período de comentario público para la propuesta de designar hábitat crítico para el coquí llanero. El análisis económico disponible para revisión. Lea el resto de la historia

coqui llanero

Learn about Vahl's boxwood

May 21, 2012 - Listen to Sarah Leon and Omar Monsegur, from the USFWS, talk about Vahl's Boxwood, a rare plant that is native to Puerto Rico and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Podcast

Photo by Carlos Pacheco, USFWS

Vahl's Boxwood, "diablito de tres cuernos"

Endangered Species Day 2012

Poster for Endangered Species Day in Puerto Rico

May 18, 2012 -Today, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is celebrating the Endangered Species Day to recognize efforts to protect and recover extinction-endangered species in our nation.   The Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office commemorated this day in advance...(read more) (See photos)

Guamá, orphaned manatee in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba

Guamá, manatee rescued in Cuba feeding from a bottle at rehabilitation center in Puerto Rico

On May 4, 2012, a newborn manatee, three to four days old, was stranded at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba.  Military officials immediately called the USFWS and requested assistance...(Read more)

I Gave Eight

Public Affairs Specialist with first graders during outreach at school

December 13, 2011-Kids love animals…especially real ones.  “Is that turtle alive?’, “Can I touch that skull?”  “Are those turtle eggs for real?” (Read more)

Anguila American podría necesitar protección Federal 

3 de noviembre de 2011-La decisión se recoge en un documento conocido como un 90 Day Finding y se publicó en el registro federal el 28 de septiembre de 2011 y se... (lee el resto de la historia)

Tuque el Manatí Regresa al Sur de Puerto Rico

Tuque manatee facing forward underwater

4 de Octubre de 2011-Tuque el manatí regresa a su hogar.  Tuque es un manatí huérfano que se rescató en septiembre del 2005 en el sector El Tuque de Ponce y ya culminó con su proceso de ...(lee el resto de la historia)

Tuque Video

Planting Lives, an unforgettable experience

September 26, 2011-Celebrating National Public Lands Day as a Youth Ambassador for the USFWS

Click to view Spanish version

USFWS Seeks Comments to Begin an Environmental Assessment to Select Site for a Third Puerto Rican Parrot Population in Puerto Rico

PR Parrot - Cotorra Puertorriqueña _ Read more __En español


Leatherback Critical Habitat Revisions to be Assessed During Status Review

August 4, 2011-The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that revisions should be made to the leatherback sea turtle's current critical habitat designation. To read more...

Español: Hábitat Crítico del Tinglar a ser evaluado durante su próxima revisión de estatus. Para más información...

New Caribbean Species Album Online USFWS Caribbean Ecological ServicesCaribbean Albums on Flickr

Photos of endangered and threatened Caribbean species now on Facebook  and Flickr
June 24, 2011-The Ecological Services Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service has created a new page on Facebook and... (read more). Español 


Puerto Rican Harlequin Butterfly Candidate for ESA Protection

May 31, 2011-The U. S. Fish and Wildlife has determined that listing the Harlequin Butterfly also known in Spanish as the Quebradillana or Mariposa arlequín de Puerto Rico, a as a threatened or endangered species is warranted ...(read more) Español


Endangered Species Day 2011 in Puerto Rico

May 21, 2011 Press Release (Español) Photo Album, Invite/Poster

Shade Coffee for Wildlife

bee and white coffee flower

Moca, Guaba, Guamá and Capa Prieto to restore farms in Yauco y Maricao.

Café bajo sombra para la Vida Silvestre

Moca, Guaba, Guamá y Capa Prieto para restaurar fincas en Yauco y Maricao.

USFWS Caribbean Ecological Services Caribbean Albums on Flickr

ESA Section 7 Consultation Presentation

Endangered Species Map, Caribbean, updated 2011

Poster Puerto Rican Crested Toad

Last updated: October 7, 2014
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