Serving Florida by conserving our most imperiled species and working with federal agencies and others to conserve plants, fish, and wildlife.
Doing a deeper dive on endangered species policy, planning and species?

About Us

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the nation's wildlife management and conservation agency. The Florida Ecological Services Office is the primary Service office serving the state of Florida on matters of federal threatened and endangered species conservation, including supporting the conservation of private lands; and working with federal agencies and other partners to address fish, plant, and wildlife impacts resulting from their actions. The Florida Ecological Services Office is headquartered in Gainesville, with offices in Panama city, Jacksonville, and Vero Beach to better serve those areas of the state.

What We Do

Across Florida, we carry out the Service’s mission by:

  • Conserving imperiled species.
  • Helping federal agencies identify and address negative plant, fish, and wildlife impacts from projects they fund or authorize.
  • Conversing with the American public about wildlife conservation via social media, educational programs, public hearings, and other forms of public interaction.

Our Organization

The Ecological Services Program works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, we work with federal, state, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to...

Our Species

Wood Stork
Wood storks are large, long-legged wading birds, about 5O inches tall, with a wingspan of 60 to 65 inches. The plumage is white except for black primaries and secondaries and a short black tail. The head and neck are largely unfeathered and dark gray in color. The bill is black, thick at the base,...
FWS Focus
southeastern beach mouse
The Southeastern beach mouse is the largest beach mouse; it averages 139 millimeters in total length and 52 millimeters in tail length. Although it is darker and more buffy than the Anastasia Island beach mouse, it is still lighter than most inland subspecies of the oldfield mouse.
FWS Focus
Perdido Key beach mouse
The Perdido Key beach mouse has a small body, haired tail, relatively large ears, and protuberant eyes. Its head and body length is 2.7 to 3.3 inches; the tail length is 1.7 to 2.5 inches. The upper parts are colored grayish fawn to wood brown with a very pale yellow hue and an indistinct middorsal...
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Florida panther
The Florida panther is a large, long-tailed cat with a great deal of color variation: pale brown or rusty upper parts, dull white or buffy under parts; tail tip, back of ears, and sides of nose are dark brown or blackish. Mature male panthers examined in the wild in Florida since 1978 have weighed...
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West Indian Manatee
Caribbean manatee

Manatees are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits the take (i.e., harass, hunt, capture, or kill) of all marine mammals. Manatees are found in marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments. The West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus, includes two distinct...

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Eastern Indigo Snake
Blue Indigo Snake
Blue Bull Snake
Average adult size is 60-74 inches (152-188 cm), record is 103.5 inches (262.8 cm). Adults are large and thick bodied. The body is glossy black and in sunlight has iridescent blue highlights. The chin and throat is reddish or white, and the color may extend down the body. The belly is cloudy orange...
FWS Focus
Florida Bonneted Bat
The Florida bonneted bat is a member of the Molossidae (free-tailed bats) family within the order Chiroptera. The species is the largest bat in Florida(Owre 1978; Belwood 1992). Males and females are not significantly different in size, and there is no pattern of size-related geographic variation...
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Key deer
This is the smallest race of North American deer. Adults measure 25 to 30 inches at the shoulder and have an average weight of 55 to 75 pounds for males and 45-65 pounds for females. The body is stockier, legs shorter, and skull wider than other races of white-tailed deer. The coat varies from a...
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Key Largo cotton mouse
A small mouse, the Key Largo cotton mouse is brown on top with white underparts. It has large ears, proturberant eyes, and a furry tail. This mouse is a noctural feeder, existing on the buds, fruits, and seeds of many plant species.
FWS Focus
Key Largo woodrat
The Key Largo woodrat is a medium-sized (2OO-26O gram) small mammal with a gray-brown back and head. Its belly, chest, and throat are white, and the tail is hairy. This species is a noctural herbivore, feeding on the buds, leaves, and fruit of many plant species. Food may be stored in the stick...
FWS Focus
Lower Keys marsh rabbit
Lower Keys rabbit
The Lower Keys Rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) is a subspecies of the marsh rabbit (S. palustris), a species widespread in the southeastern United States. The Lower Keys rabbit is distinguished from the adjacent subspecies, S.p. paludicola, in skull proportions and sculpturing and in its...
FWS Focus
Slver Rice Rat
Silver rice rat
The silver rice rat is of generalized rat-like appearance, with a slender skull and coarse fur which is colored silver-gray along its back. This rat has a sparsely-haired tail and reaches 250 millimeters (10 inches) in total length.
FWS Focus
Audubon's Crested Caracara
The long neck, long yellow legs, and massive gray-blue bill of the caracara make its appearance unique among the raptors. About 58 cm in length, the crested caracara has a white head and throat, white wing tips, and white tail contrasting with a dark body, red face, and signature black crest.
FWS Focus
Everglade Snail Kite
The Everglade snail kite is a medium-sized hawk with a wingspan of about 45 inches, very similar to the marsh hawk but without wavering, tilting flight. The beak is slender and very hooked. The adult males are slate gray with black head and wing tips, a white patch at the base of a square tail, and...
FWS Focus
Scrub Jay
Florida Scrub Jay
Florida Scrub-Jay
The plumage of adult males and females looks alike, but males are slightly larger than females. The head, nape, wings, and tail are pale blue. The back and belly are pale gray. The throat and chest are white and bordered by a blue gray bib. Juveniles differ in appearance from adults in that they...
FWS Focus
Piping Plover

Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

FWS Focus
Florida Grasshopper Sparrow
Florida grasshopper sparrows are small, short-tailed birds, about 13 centimeters (5 inches) long. Dorsally, they are much darker than the eastern race of the species (A. s. pratensis). They are mostly black and gray and lightly streaked with brown on the nape and upper back. Ventrally, adults are...
FWS Focus
Bachman's Warbler
Bachman's Wood Warbler
Bachman's warbler (=wood)
12 cm. Delicate warbler with slender, decurved bill. Adult male, black forecrown, grey hind-crown and nape, yellow forehead, eye-ring, lores, supercilium and throat. Yellow underparts with black patch on upper breast and white undertail. Olive-green upperparts, grey wings with olive fringes and...
FWS Focus
Kirtland's Warbler
Kirtland's Wood Warbler

The Kirtland's warbler is a songbird that nests in young jack pine stands. Until 1995 Kirtland's warblers had only been known to nest in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Today, they also nest in the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and Canada. They migrate from their nesting grounds to...

FWS Focus
Roseate tern
The roseate tern is about 40 centimeters in length, with light-gray wings and back. Its first three or four primaries are black and so is its cap. The rest of the body is white, with a rosy tinge on the chest and belly during the breeding season. The tail is deeply forked, and the outermost...
FWS Focus
Red-cockaded Woodpecker

22 cm. Rather small black-and-white woodpecker with longish bill. Above black barred white. Below white with black spots on flanks. Black crown, nape and moustachial stripe border white cheeks and side of neck. Male has small red mark on the side of nape. Juvenile browner with variable extent of...

FWS Focus
American Crocodile
Central American alligator
A large lizard-shaped reptile, the crocodile closely resembles the alligator. Hatchlings are about 23 centimeters in length; adults may grow to 4.5 meters or larger. Florida crocodiles may be distinguished from alligators by their more slender build and their difference in snout shape. The...
FWS Focus
Atlantic Salt Marsh Snake
Atlantic Saltmarsh Watersnake
The Atlantic salt marsh snake is a slender, heavily keeled water snake about 2 feet in total length, with a pattern of stripes that are variously broken into blotches. The dorsal ground color is pale olive, patterned with a pair of dark brown stripes running down the back and enclosing a pale mid-...
FWS Focus
Eastern Indigo Snake
Blue Indigo Snake
Blue Bull Snake
Average adult size is 60-74 inches (152-188 cm), record is 103.5 inches (262.8 cm). Adults are large and thick bodied. The body is glossy black and in sunlight has iridescent blue highlights. The chin and throat is reddish or white, and the color may extend down the body. The belly is cloudy orange...
FWS Focus
Florida Sand Skink
Sand Skink
A unique lizard adapted to an underground existence, the sand skink measures 10 to 13 centimeters (4 to 5 inches) in length and has a gray to tan color. Its forelegs are tiny and bear only one toe; its hindlegs are small and have two toes. The tail comprises about half of the animal's total length...
FWS Focus
Green Sea Turtle
common green sea turtle
The green sea turtle grows to a maximum size of about 4 feet and a weight of 440 pounds. It has a heart-shaped shell, small head, and single-clawed flippers. Color is variable. Hatchlings generally have a black carapace, white plastron, and white margins on the shell and limbs. The adult carapace...
FWS Focus
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Loggerheads were named for their relatively large heads, which support powerful jaws and enable them to feed on hard-shelled prey, such as whelks and conch. The carapace (top shell) is slightly heart-shaped and reddish-brown in adults and sub-adults, while the plastron (bottom shell) is generally a...
FWS Focus
Hawksbill Sea Turtle

The endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle is one of seven species of sea turtles found throughout the world. One of the smaller sea turtles, it has overlapping scutes (plates) that are thicker than those of other sea turtles. This protects them from being battered against sharp coral and rocks during...

FWS Focus
Atlantic ridley
Kemp's Ridley
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtle
The Kemp's ridley turtle is the smallest of the sea turtles, with adults reaching about 2 feet in length and weighing up to 100 pounds. The adult Kemp's ridley has an oval carapace that is almost as wide as it is long and is usually olive-gray in color. The carapace has five pairs of costal scutes...
FWS Focus
leatherback turtle
Leatherback Sea Turtle
The leatherback is the largest, deepest diving, and most migratory and wide ranging of all sea turtles. The adult leatherback can reach 4 to 8 feet in length and 500 to 2000 pounds in weight. Its shell is composed of a mosaic of small bones covered by firm, rubbery skin with seven longitudinal...
FWS Focus
Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
Cape Sable seaside sparrows are small birds about 13 centimeters or 5 inches long. Dorsally, they are dark olive-gray with olive-brown on the tail and wings. The greenish cast on the nape is generally difficult to detect. Ventrally, adults are light gray to almost white with dark olive-gray streaks...
FWS Focus
Miami tiger beetle

The adult Miami tiger beetle is a small (6.5-9.0 millimeters), elongate beetle with an oval shape and bulging eyes. The underside of the abdomen is orange to orang-brown in color. It is uniquely identified by the shiny dark green dorsal surface, sometimes with a bronze cast and, without close...

FWS Focus
Flatwoods Salamander
Frosted Flatwoods Salamander
The flatwoods salamander is medium-sized, reaching an adult length of 5 inches (13 centimeters). The body color ranges from silvery gray to black, with a heavily mottled back and a variable gray cross-band pattern. The underside is plain gray with faint creamy blotches. The head is small and has...
FWS Focus
red knot

Length: 25-28 cm. Adults in spring: Above finely mottled with grays, black and light ochre, running into stripes on crown; throat, breast and sides of head cinnamon-brown; dark gray line through eye; abdomen and undertail coverts white; uppertail coverts white, barred with black. Adults in...

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Projects and Research

Working with others is at the core of our operations. We develop many conservation projects across Florida with federal, state, and local agencies, industry and private groups, and individuals. Whether it is Everglades and coastal restorations, project planning, working with landowners, or conservation at multiple military facilities, among others, effective partnering delivers results. Learn more about our efforts currently underway.

Our Library

Get Involved

A fundamental tenet in our approach to conservation is engagement with our community – from private landowners wanting to improve endangered species habitat on their land to non-profits doing on-the-ground work.

Location and Contact Information