The habitat types discussed in the previous section are used by numerous species of wildlife for their essential behaviors like breeding, feeding, and sheltering. With over 700 terrestrial animals, more than 200 freshwater fish, more than 1,000 marine fish, numerous other aquatic and marine vertebrates, and many thousands of terrestrial insects and other invertebrates, Florida is teeming with wildlife. This includes hundreds of common species, rare and imperiled state-listed species, and federally listed species. Both the FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have responsibilities regarding listed species. Some species are federally listed under the Endangered Species Act and the responsibility of the USFWS. Other species are state-listed under Chapter 68A-27 of the Florida Administrative Code and the responsibility of the FWC. While both agencies are working to protect these species, the listing status will determine who has ultimate regulatory authority for each species. Species in the following section are listed by the State of Florida as federally-designated endangered (FE), federally-designated threatened (FT), federally-designated threatened due to similarity of appearance [FT(S/A)], state-designated threatened (ST), or state designated species of special concern (SSC). Further, many species are afforded management and specific protection, even though they are not listed.
FWC and USFWS conduct ongoing research which contributes to the development of resources which address specific aspects of management and protection for these species and their habitat, including Species Action Plans, Conservation and Permitting Guidelines, and the Imperiled Species Management Plans. The following section provides basic information and links to important resources regarding Florida’s managed and listed species.