Endangered Species

Endangered Species

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 federally protects endangered and threatened species throughout their range, and the ecosystems they rely on for survival. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) determines which species are in need of federal protection under the ESA. Each state or territory determines which species are in need of state or local protection. States (or territories) may list additional species as threatened or endangered and protect them under state law. 

  • Comprehensive List

  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle

    Loggerhead Sea Turtles

    (Caretta caretta) Often identified by the disproportionately large head, this sea turtle can weigh over 200 pounds as an adult and feed mainly on crustaceans, mollusks, and small marine animals such as jellyfish and sponges. The biggest threats to this animal are loss of nesting habitat, marine pollution, and the incidental taking by commercial fishing vessels that kill or injure the turtles while fishing.

    Learn more about the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

  • Smalltooth Sawfish

    Smalltooth Sawfish

    (Pristis pectinata) The smalltooth sawfish are in the same family as sharks, rays, and skates. Sawfish have gills located on the underside of their flattened body and a saw-like rostrum that is used for hunting fish or crustaceans. The degradation of Florida's estuaries and overfishing have caused their populations to decline dramatically.

  • West Indian Manatee

    Endangered Species Promo

    (Trichechus manatus) Drawn to warmer waters, the manatee migrates throughout Florida's saltwater, brackish, and some freshwater ecosystems.The manatee feeds on submerged and floating aquatic vegetation with two muscular lips that can move independently and grasp food similar to an elephant's trunk. Threats to manatees include boat strikes, loss of seagrass beds, red tide, and cold stress. 

  • Wood Stork

    Wood Stork

    (Mysteria americana) The wood stork is one of the tallest wading birds seen throughout Florida, easily identified by the dark, bald head with a thick, dark bill. Standing over four feet tall and with a wingspan of over five feet, this stork stands out in bright white plumage. Loss of habitat has led to a decrease in their population.