The Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office focuses on Federal project and infrastructure review; threatened and endangered species listing, recovery, consultation, and permits; Natural Resource Damage and Assessment; Partners for Fish and Wildlife; and Gulf Restoration and Coastal Programs. Our mission is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Important Notice:

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, please submit all project review requests and office correspondence to the Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office in electronic format (email) until further notice: houstonesfo@fws.gov.  All correspondence will be routed internally to the respective field office.  For any questions, please contact Chuck_Ardizzone@fws.gov

Our Organization

The Ecological Services Program works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, we work with federal, state, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to...

Our Species

The Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office works to prevent the extinction of our nation’s most imperiled species by recovering existing populations. Our efforts are focused on many species, including the whooping crane, migratory bird species, piping plover, red knot, Texas trailing phlox, South Texas ambrosia, Texas golden gladecress, Northern Aplomado Falcon, monarch butterfly, Houston Toad, and the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, ocelot, freshwater mussels, and more.

White bladderpod (Physaria (=Lesquerella) pallida) is an edaphic (soil) specialist, only known from San Augustine County, Texas.  As a member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), this plant is only found on alkaline soils atop glauconite outcrops of the Weches...

FWS Focus

Texas trailing phlox is a herbaceous perennial and member of the family Polemoniaceae.  Seven extant populations occur in Texas on private, public, and state-owned lands within Hardin, Tyler, and Polk counties.  Extant populations, both natural and ex-situ populations (two...

FWS Focus

The Neches River rose-mallow (Hibiscus dasycalyx) is a wetland associated and nonwoody perennial in the Malvaceae (mallow) family.  The species can grow to about 2-8 feet (ft) tall and produce hundreds of flowers per plant.  Potential pollinating species may include,...

FWS Focus

Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

FWS Focus

Length: 25-28 cm. Adults in spring: Above finely mottled with grays, black and light ochre, running into stripes on crown; throat, breast and sides of head cinnamon-brown; dark gray line through eye; abdomen and undertail coverts white; uppertail coverts white, barred with black. Adults in...

FWS Focus

Just over 100 years ago, the sounds of male Attwater’s Prairie-Chickens could be heard throughout the gulf coast prairies of Texas and Louisiana, when they numbered up to about 1 million birds.  However, through the 1900s, the Attwater’s Prairie-Chicken’s numbers dwindled to the edge of...

FWS Focus

The green sea turtle grows to a maximum size of about 4 feet and a weight of 440 pounds. It has a heart-shaped shell, small head, and single-clawed flippers. Color is variable. Hatchlings generally have a black carapace, white plastron, and white margins on the shell and limbs. The adult...

FWS Focus
Slightly larger than a domestic cat; appearance is unlike any other cat; looks more like a large weasel or otter; uniform in color with a dark gray-brown to chestnut brown coat; darker animals usually found in the dense forest while the lighter individuals are found in more arid and open areas;...
FWS Focus

The endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle is one of seven species of sea turtles found throughout the world. One of the smaller sea turtles, it has overlapping scutes (plates) that are thicker than those of other sea turtles. This protects them from being battered against sharp coral and rocks during...

FWS Focus

The Kemp's ridley turtle is the smallest of the sea turtles, with adults reaching about 2 feet in length and weighing up to 100 pounds. The adult Kemp's ridley has an oval carapace that is almost as wide as it is long and is usually olive-gray in color. The carapace has five pairs of costal...

FWS Focus

The leatherback is the largest, deepest diving, and most migratory and wide ranging of all sea turtles. The adult leatherback can reach 4 to 8 feet in length and 500 to 2000 pounds in weight. Its shell is composed of a mosaic of small bones covered by firm, rubbery skin with seven longitudinal...

FWS Focus

Loggerheads were named for their relatively large heads, which support powerful jaws and enable them to feed on hard-shelled prey, such as whelks and conch. The carapace (top shell) is slightly heart-shaped and reddish-brown in adults and sub-adults, while the plastron (bottom shell) is...

FWS Focus
Adults characterized by rufous (rust) underparts, a gray back, a long and banded tail, and a distinctive black and white facial pattern. Aplomado falcons are smaller than peregrine falcons and larger than kestrels.
FWS Focus

Ground colours of the short fur of the ocelot, varies from creamy, or tawny yellow, to reddish grey and grey. The underside of the body, tail, and insides of the limbs is whitish. Rather more blotched than spotted, the chain-like spots are bordered with black. Ocelots have both solid and open...

FWS Focus

The whooping crane occurs only in North America and is North America’s tallest bird, with males approaching 1.5 m (5 ft) when standing erect. The whooping crane adult plumage is snowy white except for black primaries, black or grayish alula (specialized feathers attached to the upper leading end...

FWS Focus

The Houston toad was first described by Sanders (1953) based on specimens collected from the area of Houston, Texas. The species is a small to medium-sized (5 to 8 centimeters [2 to 3 inches] long) amphibian covered with raised patches of skin that resemble warts. The Houston toad is generally...

FWS Focus

Texas golden gladecress (Leavenworthia texana) is an annual plant and member of the Brassicaceae family (mustard).  The genus Leavenworthia includes only eight species in total, all of which occur in glade or prairie/savanna communities.  The Texas golden gladecress...

FWS Focus

The large-fruited sand-verbena (Abronia macrocarpa) is an endemic plant found in Leon, Robertson, and Freestone counties, in the post oak savanna region of eastern Texas.  The nine documented wild populations are known only from private lands and occur no more than 80...

FWS Focus

Plants annual stems erect, 3.5-18 cm (1.4-7.1 in.) high with several divergent branches arising from a rosette of basal fleshy leaves. Basal leaves 1-16 mm (0.04-0.59 in.) wide, up to 4 cm (1.6 in.) long, widest toward the tip, margins with short teeth or lobes from mid—blade to tip. Upper stem...

FWS Focus
South Texas ambrosia is a herbaceous, perennial plant with erect stems. It is grayish-green in color with yellow flowers.
FWS Focus
Texas ayenia is a small shrub and is a member of the chocolate family (Sterculiaceae).
FWS Focus
Walker’s manioc, a member of the spurge family (Euphorbiacea), is a spindly, almost vine-like perennial herb.
FWS Focus

22 cm. Rather small black-and-white woodpecker with longish bill. Above black barred white. Below white with black spots on flanks. Black crown, nape and moustachial stripe border white cheeks and side of neck. Male has small red mark on the side of nape. Juvenile browner with variable extent of...

FWS Focus

Louisiana pinesnakes are egg-laying, non-venomous constrictors with small heads and pointed snouts, and are good burrowers. Reaching up to about five feet long, Louisiana pinesnakes are black, brown and russet. They have a buff to yellowish background color marked with 28 to 38 dark blotches...

FWS Focus

Projects and Research

Our Library

This collection contains documents relating to care, maintenance, and interaction with sea turtles. Including telemetry protocols, necropsy forms, etc.
The Texas Freshwater Mussel Survey Protocol (Protocol) is designed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to determine the presence or probable absence of freshwater mussels inside the footprint of or within the immediate vicinity of...
The documents below [Updated September 21, 2020] identify survey methods and reporting guidelines to be used for conducting presence/absence surveys for Houston toads (Bufo houstonensis) under a section 10(a)(1)(A) scientific research and recovery permit. Sound clips of Houston Toad are saved as...

Get Involved

Our field office takes advantage of programs that the Fish and Wildlife Service offers through our volunteer program, Directorate Fellowship Program, Pathways Program, and more. Get in touch with our field office to see how you can get involved!

Location and Contact Information