Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.

Florida Nature: Endangered Animals
Florida currently has 116 species listed by the state of Florida as endangered, threatened, or species of special concern. Endangered species are in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or the majority of its range while a "threatened" species is one that is likely to become endangered in the near future. Species of special concern need to be carefully watched to keep their numbers from fading. Each species must be listed on the Federal list of endangered and threatened species before it can receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. The ESA was enacted in 1973 to conserve and set up recovery plans for listed species and associated habitats. Our list is divided into six categories which include: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and invertebrates.  Each species has the classification abbreviation beside it.

E = Endangered T = Threatened SSC = Species of Special Concern.

We have listed all species by their common name with the scientific name in parenthesis. The classification is also added beside each species on our list. Complete information of each endangered species in the state of Florida, including photographs can be found by clicking on a category below:

Fish have three endangered species, two threatened species, and ten species of special concern, for a total of 15 fish on our list.

Amphibians are doing well in the State of Florida. They have no endangered or threatened species, but they do have five species of special concern

Reptiles have six endangered species, eleven threatened species and seven species of special concern for a total of  twenty  four reptiles on our list.

Birds have the most total species in danger. They have seven endangered species, nine threatened species and eighteen species of special concern, giving them a total of  thirty-four species in danger in the state of Florida.

Mammals have the highest number of endangered species. They have twenty endangered species in Florida, four threatened species in Florida, and six species of special concern.

Invertebrates have four species endangered in the state of Florida. They have no threatened species at this time, but have four species of special concern. Invertebrates include corals, crustaceans, insects, and mollusks.

What are the main causes of animals and species becoming extinct in the state of Florida?
Animals in Florida can become extinct for a number of reasons, ranging from loss of habitat to overhunting, from pesticides to vehicle collisions. Some species have become so fragile that a hurricane or viral infection can cause their extinction. Once a species becomes extinct, it is gone forever. Habitat destruction and disturbance are the most devastating causes of extinction.  Drainage schemes, reservoir construction, industrial and agricultural development, deforestation, and commercial and residential development are too often the basis for the threatened or endangered status of plants and animals.  Analysis of the history of extinction strongly indicates that humans have been the prime cause of extinction since A.D. 1600 and continue to exert negative impacts.  Only one quarter of the species becoming extinct in modern times apparently died out due to natural causes, with humans taking responsibility for the balance. Many of Florida's most popular animals including the panther, manatee and our national symbol, the bald eagle face the risk of becoming extinct - unless people act in order to save them.

What causes a species to become a species of special concern?

There are five main categories which define why a species may become a species of concern in the state of Florida:

(1) The species has a significant vulnerability to habitat modification, environmental alteration, human disturbance, or human exploitation which, in the foreseeable future, may result in its becoming a threatened species unless appropriate protective or management techniques are initiated or maintained.

(2)The species may already meet certain criteria for designation as a threatened species but for which conclusive data are limited or lacking;

(3)The species may occupy such an unusually vital or essential ecological niche that should it decline significantly in numbers or distribution other species would be adversely affected to a significant degree.

(4) The species has not sufficiently recovered from past population depletion, and

(5)The species occurs as a population either intentionally introduced or being experimentally managed to attain specific objectives, and the species of special concern prohibitions in Rule 68A-27.002, F.A.C., shall not apply to species so designated, provided that the intentional killing, attempting to kill, possession or sale of such species is prohibited.
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