Panama City Field Office
Conserving the Nature of America


        Quick Links

Frequently Asked Questions


What does “endangered” mean? What does “threatened” mean?
A species is listed under one of two categories, endangered or threatened, depending on its status and the degree of threat it faces. An “endangered species” is one that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A “threatened species” is one that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. To help conserve genetic diversity, the ESA defines “species” broadly to include subspecies and (for vertebrates) distinct populations. For more information, view Listing a Species as Threatened or Endangered Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act.

If there is an endangered species on my property, are there restrictions on what I can do?

There may be. It is illegal to harm or harass an endangered species. Harm includes destroying or modifying habitat fo the species. Continuing your normal activities is no problem. If you are planning construction work or other major changes, it is best to check with our office before proceeding. You will need a special permit from FWS and/or the state if your work will harm a federal- or state-protected species.

Where can I obtain information on endangered species?
There are several sources. Please see our national endangered species search engine. Information can also be obtained by contacting our office.

Can I help in the recovery of endangered species, and if so, how?
First, start out at home, by being a good land steward on your property. Landscape using only native plants; they benefit local wildlife and save you money because they require less care and maintenance. Also support community involvement in conservation of wetlands, bays, rivers, forests and coastal habitats. Avoid using fertilizers and pesticides in locations that can runoff to waterways or ditches. Maintain your septic system regularly. These areas provide habitat for wildlife species as well as enjoyable recreational opportunities, drinking water supplies and economic benefits, including tourism and some industry.

Is there money available to help wildlife on my land?
There are opportunities for cost-sharing partnerships through several federal programs. Assistance and information is available on our Landowner Conservation web page and through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

Can I, and how do I go about importing wildlife from outside the U.S.?
Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Division for referral to the proper authority.

Where can I find the GIS layers for the critical habitat designations?
The GIS layers for the final Critical Habitat designation for species’ in which we were involved are available on our Species List & Critical Habitat and via the Service’s Critical Habitat Portal. This portal maintains final Critical Habitat designation for federally listed species throughout the United States. For proposed designations being developed in our office, please email Lydia Ambrose.

What federally listed species GIS data layers are available?
We have several GIS layers available for some of our trust resources (federally listed species and migratory birds). This list will continue to grow through time as we develop more data related to our trust resources. Please visit our GIS web page for more information.

How do I obtain available GIS data layers?
Please send an email request to Lydia Ambrose listing the data layers you would like to receive and the purpose for your request. We will respond to your email request in a timely manner to coordinate the distribution of the data.

What does the Gulf sturgeon look like, and where does it live?
For that information and more, please visit our Gulf sturgeon web page. Also see our Sonar Habitat Mapping web page for Gulf sturgeon projects.

Can you still fish for Gulf sturgeon?
No. The Gulf sturgeon is listed as a threatened species by the federal government and a species of special concern by the state of Florida. Recreational and commercial fishing is prohibited by the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.



Last updated: April 17, 2018