Press Release
Draft Recovery Plan Available for Panama City Crayfish
The public now has opportunity to review and comment
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of the draft recovery plan for the Panama City crayfish. Listed as threatened in January 2022, with a 4,138-acre critical habitat designation, this crayfish is only found in Bay County, Florida. Thought to be extinct, it was rediscovered in 2000.

The Panama City crayfish inhabits shallow, freshwater wetlands, but has disappeared from over half of its small habitat range. Its main threats are land use changes from urban and agricultural development. Other challenges to the crayfish’s survival include pesticide contamination, off-road vehicles, and use as bait.

The Panama City crayfish is only two inches long and has a brown stripe on its back and spots on its side. The ideal habitat for the crayfish is temporary bodies of shallow, freshwater in open pine flatwoods and wet prairie marsh areas with plenty of vegetative groundcover. During dry spells, the crayfish excavates and lives in burrows up to three feet deep extending to the water table. When there is no surface water, the burrow’s entrance can be identified by a small ball of mud deposited on the surface forming a chimney.

Recovery plans are non-regulatory guidance documents that establish criteria for determining when a species can be considered for delisting from the List of Federally Endangered and Threatened species. These plans identify objective, measurable criteria to track a species’ recovery. No agency or entity is required to implement the actions within a recovery plan.

The draft recovery plan for the Panama City crayfish is available at the following links:

To request a draft recovery plan by mail, send a request to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Panama City Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, 1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32405 or by telephone at 850-769-0552.

Comments on the draft recovery plan are due by Feb. 17, 2024 to or by mail to the address above.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with us on social media: Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Flickr, and YouTube. 

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