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Sunrise at Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Josh O’Connor, USFWS.

Conservation in Florida

Threatened, endangered and at-risk species

        Bright red sunset reflected over water with silhouette of a wading bird.
        Florida sunset. Photo: Paul Lang, USFWS.

        Florida is a state rich in a natural diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems. Encompassing nearly 66,000 square miles, this state is home to a tremendous diversity of species that live in varied land and water habitats.

        In the hardwood hammocks near Key West, you might see the endangered Stock Island tree snail. In the surf at Fernandina, you could find three species of sea turtles that we protect, and in the dunes at Perdido Key, you could spot the burrows of Perdido Key beach mice. Along that route, you would cross about 15 major rivers with Spanish, Anglo and Native American names like Santa Fe, St. John’s and Choctawhatchee. Those rivers hold manatees, American crocodiles, Gulf sturgeon and many species of freshwater mussels.

        The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for managing the nation’s trust resources in Florida for the benefit of the American people. Using the best available science, we work to conserve and connect Florida’s ecosystems and habitats so that wild animals and plants can thrive.

        Fast facts

        • The Chipola River watershed has 1,270 square miles of basin area, including the extreme southeastern corner of Florida and central panhandle of Florida. This diverse area of ecosystems is reflected in a high species-richness index. It harbors especially large numbers of fish, mollusks, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, plant species, and many other taxa.
        • Florida supports one of the largest number of carnivorous plant species, nearly one-half of the orchid species found in North America and the most fern species in the continental United States.
        • The Florida Panhandle is considered one of the five richest biodiversity hotspots in North America.
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          Hurricane Irma

        2. Wildlife

          Mallard

        3. Wildlife

          Red wolf

        4. Wildlife

          Wood duck

        Map of offices

        Frequently Asked Questions

        Do I need a fishing license or hunting permit in Florida?

        Licenses are provided by our state partners, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Visit their Recreational Hunting, Fishing Licenses and Permits web site, or call (850) 265-3676.

        I am a landowner, consultation or project manager. Where can I find information I need to consider in planning my project?

        To find a list of federally protected species that may occur in your county, use the Service’s Information for Planning and Conservation (IPaC) online tool. The information is updated routinely, so check back often for the latest.

        How do I report wildlife emergencies, sightings, fish kills, etc., in Florida?

        Notify our state partners, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Use their online contact resource, or call (850) 265-3676.

        What do I do if I experience a panther, manatee or sea turtle depredation or other human/wildlife interaction?

        Please notify the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by calling their Wildlife Alert Hotline at (888) 404-FWCC (3922), or if you’re currently in the state, #FWC or FWC on your cell phone.

        How do I report injured or nuisance wildlife in Florida?

        Please notify the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by calling their Wildlife Alert Hotline at (888) 404-FWCC (3922), or if you’re currently in the state, #FWC or FWC on your cell phone.

        How do I report suspected violations of the Endangered Species Act?

        Report a suspected crime involving a federally listed species by emailing fws_tips@fws.gov or calling 1- 844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).

        Waves crashing on a sandy beach
        Florida coastal shore. Photo: Paul Lang, USFWS.

        Habitat Restoration Projects

        The Everglades

        The Everglades is recognized both nationally and internationally as one of the world’s unique natural and cultural resources. Encompassing nearly 18,000 square miles of the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, the Everglades and the greater Everglades ecosystem (spanning from the Kissimmee River basin north of Lake Okeechobee all the way south to Florida Bay) are also the focus of the world’s largest intergovernmental watershed restoration effort.

        The Service is addressing an unprecedented workload to assure that an Everglades restoration plan provides maximum benefits to the diverse fish and wildlife resources of south Florida. The restoration plan as a whole and each of its components will require the Service’s evaluation under the authorities of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

        Learn more at EvergladesRestoration.gov

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