Panama City Field Office
Conserving the Nature of America


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Wetlands are semi-aquatic lands saturated by water for varying periods of time during the growing season. They are characterized by hydrophytic plants, and periodically saturated or flooded (hydric) soil.

Florida's wetlands are both abundant and diverse. Covering over 30% of the landscape, wetland types in the panhandle include estuarine marsh, bottomland hardwoods, scrub/shrub, wet pine flatwoods, pine savanna, cypress/gum swamp, and wet prairie.

We work closely with federal, state, and local agencies, and private citizens to ensure the protection, management, and appropriate use of wetland resources with a goal of no net loss of wetland functions and values. Learn more about the Wetland Program.

Swamp photo
Credit: FWS



Rare Species

The Flatwoods salamander is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It is found in wet pine flatwoods with seasonally flooded ponds used for breeding. Its habitat is usually fire-maintained and rich in groundcover. Half of the known populations in Florida are on public lands. Its primary threat is the loss of habitat. For more information, see our Flatwoods Salamander fact sheet and the Flatwoods Salamander brochure.

Flatwoods salamander
Credit: FWS

. . . and Unique Habitat

Wet praries are one of the most diverse plant communities in the world. Typically low, flat, and poorly drained, a combination of fire and water prevents trees from establishing. Many rare and carnivorous plants can be found in wet prairies including white top pitcher plants, trumpet-leaf pitcher plants, parrot pitcher plants, butterworts, and sundews. Since wet prairies are nutrient-poor, carnivorous plants attract and digest insects to attain nitrogen.

Trumpet-leaf pitcher plant
Credit: Paul Lang




Last updated: April 17, 2018