Press Releases

Viewing recent news releases in program Florida and Caribbean Region .

Petition Seeks to Protect Leatherback Sea Turtle Habitat in Puerto Rico

February 15, 2024

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico— Conservation groups filed a legal petition today urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revise protected critical habitat for the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) under the Endangered Species Act. The petition asks the wildlife agency to protect three important leatherback nesting beaches in Puerto Rico and to consider the addition of other important nesting beaches for this species on the island.

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Petición busca proteger el hábitat de la tortuga laúd en Puerto Rico

February 14, 2024

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico— Grupos conservacionistas presentaron hoy una petición legal instando al Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de los Estados Unidos a revisar el hábitat crítico protegido para la tortuga marina tinglar (Dermochelys coriacea) bajo la Ley Federal de Especies en Peligro de Extinción. La petición solicita a la agencia de vida silvestre que proteja tres playas de anidación del tinglar en Puerto Rico, las cuales en la actualidad carecen de algún tipo de protección legal.

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Miami Wilds Stalls as Commissioners Withdraw Proposal in Victory for Endangered Wildlife

December 12, 2023

MIAMI— Miami-Dade County commissioners voted today to withdraw a proposal that would have amended the development lease agreement with Miami Wilds, LLC. Today’s decision stymies plans for a controversial themed water park and retail development that threatens endangered species near Zoo Miami.

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Legal Victory Restores Safeguards for Miami-Dade Wildlife Habitat Threatened by Controversial Water Park

December 11, 2023

MIAMI— Responding to a lawsuit by conservation groups, a federal judge found today that the National Park Service violated the law when it released land-use restrictions on a site proposed for the controversial Miami Wilds water park.

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Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office Recommends Canceling Miami Wilds Deal

November 15, 2023

MIAMI— The Miami-Dade County Mayor’s office issued a memorandum today recommending that the county commissioners rescind the development lease agreement with Miami Wilds LLC for a proposed water park development in an environmentally sensitive area at Zoo Miami.

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Manatees Move Toward Restored Endangered Species Safeguards

October 11, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Responding to a formal petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity, Harvard Animal Law & Policy Clinic, Miami Waterkeeper, Save the Manatee Club and Frank S. González García, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that reclassifying the West Indian manatee from threatened to endangered may be warranted.

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Diminutive Florida Snake to Receive Federal Endangered Species Protection

October 2, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Following a 2012 petition and lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed to list the short-tailed snake as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The agency also announced its intent to propose protections for the snake’s critical habitat.

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Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Moves Toward World Heritage List

September 22, 2023

ATLANTA— Following widespread bipartisan support, the National Park Service announced today that it will nominate the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage List.

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Miami Cave Crayfish to Receive Endangered Species Act Protections

September 19, 2023

MIAMI— Following a legal victory by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed to list the Miami cave crayfish as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The agency also announced its intent to propose protections for the crayfish’s critical habitat.

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Miami-Dade Commissioners to Vote on Future of Miami Wilds Development

September 5, 2023

MIAMI— Following a lawsuit filed by conservation groups, the Board of County Commissioners for Miami-Dade County will meet Wednesday, Sept. 6, to vote on the future of the Miami Wilds theme park, retail, hotel and parking lot development. The development threatens several endangered species and their critical habitat on and around the proposed project area.

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Pillar Coral Proposed for Increased Endangered Species Act Protection

August 28, 2023

WASHINGTON— The National Marine Fisheries Service proposed today to change the status of the pillar coral, a species found in Florida waters and elsewhere in the Caribbean, from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal is based on population declines and susceptibility to a recently emerged coral disease, according to the Service.

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Lawsuit Challenges Denial of Endangered Species Protection to Gopher Tortoise

August 9, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Nokuse Education, Inc. sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for denying Endangered Species Act protections to gopher tortoises across most of their range. The decision left the imperiled reptiles without lifesaving federal safeguards in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and most of Alabama.

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Threatened Caribbean Corals Receive Critical Habitat Protections

August 8, 2023

WASHINGTON— The National Marine Fisheries Service announced critical habitat designations today for five species of Caribbean corals. The agency’s final rule protects 6,500 square miles of marine habitat in Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Navassa Island and the Flower Gardens Banks in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Critical Habitat Protection Proposed for Green Sea Turtles

July 18, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— In response to a legal agreement with environmental groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries today proposed to designate roughly 8,850 acres of beaches and nearly 428,000 square miles of coastal waters as protected critical habitat for six distinct populations of green sea turtles.

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Small Florida Fish Is Endangered Species Act Success

June 27, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today removed a small Florida fish called the Okaloosa darter from the endangered species list because it has recovered. After decades of conservation work, the tiny fish is no longer in danger of extinction.

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Lawsuit Launched to Speed Endangered Species Protection for Ghost Orchid

June 12, 2023

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.— The Institute for Regional Conservation, the Center for Biological Diversity and the National Parks Conservation Association notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today of their intent to sue the agency for delaying critically needed Endangered Species Act protection for the ghost orchid.

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