Florida is one of the most species-rich states in the nation. With more than 80 different ecosystems, the state supports more than 100 species listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern. Many rare species are found only in our state—like the Florida bonneted bat and the Florida scrub-jay. While it is difficult to quantify all the ways that Florida’s wildlife and their habitats enrich our quality of life, there are many tangible benefits to preserving strong and healthy ecosystems.
Animal, plant, and marine biodiversity keeps ecosystems functional, which in turn allows us to thrive. Read more about wildlife in the 2021-2022 Briefing Book! https://fcv.rocks/buybriefingbook
Florida manatees are considered umbrella species because when we protect their habitat, we also ensure the survival of other fish and wildlife species.
Eastern indigo snake
The threatened eastern indigo snake is nonvenomous. They are known to eat other snakes and are mostly immune to rattlesnake venom so they can help control venomous populations.
Hawksbill sea turtle
Hawksbill sea turtles are endangered. Florida’s coast provide nesting habitat for five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles: hawksbill, green, leatherback, loggerhead, and Kemp’s Ridley.
Florida bonneted bat
The endangered Florida bonneted bat eat insects and only occur in a handful of counties in South Florida. Bonneted bat are Florida’s largest bat!
The threatened Florida scrub-jay is an amicable, endemic species to Florida. Endemic species are those that only live in specific areas and occur nowhere else in the world.
Gopher tortoise are a keystone species. Their burrows provide habitat for hundreds of other species, including snakes, amphibians, insects, and rodents. They are designated as threatened.
Florida panther need a wide range of conserved land to hunt and breed. Florida’s state animal has made an incredible comeback since its near-extinction in the 1990s.