skip to content
A mountainous coastline highlighted by bright blue water and vegetated rocks.
Information icon Survival Beach at Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Photo © José Almodóvar.

Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office

Dear partners:

To ensure the safety of our employees and the community, we are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state and local agencies in order to avoid the spread of Covid-19. To facilitate your interaction with our office we are providing the following guidance:

  • We encourage you to use our office online tools and other resources for information regarding endangered and threatened species. You can access the Information for Planning and Consultation System (IPaC) to obtain resources lists, information regarding species range, and project conservation measures within a specific project area. In addition, you can obtain information and packages requirements to complete section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by accessing our webpage.
  • Send consultation packages in PDF format to the following email address: caribbean_es@fws.gov
  • A list of the package minimum requirements can be reviewed at the following web address: fws.gov/southeast/pdf/fact-sheet/caribbean-ecological-services-field-office-project-evaluations.pdf

We appreciate your effort to protect endangered species and their habitat. It is the Service’s mission to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of our people. Please do not hesitate to contact our office at caribbean_es@fws.gov should you have any questions.

The Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office was established in 1974. We strive for ecosystem sustainability through preservation, conservation, enhancement, and restoration of habitats essential for the long-term viability of the fish, wildlife, and plants in the Caribbean.

The field office emphasizes an ecosystem approach incorporating Strategic Habitat Conservation to address and prioritize habitat issues through partnerships with other federal, state and local agencies, conservation organizations, private landowners, and citizens to achieve the greatest possible benefits to fish and wildlife. We promote healthy wildlife and their habitat through a diverse group of programs: Endangered Species, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Contaminants Program, Coastal Program and Project Evaluation.

Station goals

  • Promote strategic conservation to protect, conserve and enhance wildlife and ecosystems
  • Work cooperatively with private landowners to restore and protect wildlife habitat
  • Protect endangered species through the administration of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in cooperation with other federal agencies, commonwealth and territorial agencies and non­governmental organizations
  • Manage the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program and lead the interagency working group
  • Conserve wildlife and wetland resources by evaluating and recommending modifications of projects proposed for Federal construction, funding or authorization.
  • Evaluate impacts of contaminants on trust resources and aid in remediation of impacts and restoration of habitats and resources.
  • Develop partnerships with federal, commonwealth and territorial agencies, organizations and citizen groups to understand climate change impacts on fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.
  • Assist private entities, U.S. Virgin Island and Puerto Rico governments to evaluate and address potential impacts to wildlife from energy projects, including natural gas pipeline construction and wind farms.

Service Area

The Caribbean ES Office services Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our main office is located in Boqueron and the Puerto Rican parrot aviary is in Rio Grande.

More information

  • Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office brochure in English and Spanish

Contact

Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, Boquerón

Mailing address

P.O. Box 491
Boquerón, PR 00622

Physical address

Road 301 Km 5.1
Corozo Ward
Boquerón, PR 00622

Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery, Ecological Services Sub-Office, Rio Grande

Mailing address

P.O. Box 1600
Rio Grande, PR 00745

Physical address

Road 191, Kilometer 4.0
Río Grande, PR 00745

News

  • A tiny white flower bloom amongst green large leaves.
    Information icon Palo de rosa in bloom; Photo credit – Omar Monsegur, USFWS.

    El Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre propone reclasificar a palo de rosa de especie en peligro de extinción a amenazada: Preguntas Frecuentes

    July 19, 2021 | 5 minute read

    Gracias a los exitosos esfuerzos de colaboradores locales el árbol de palo de rosa está en camino hacia la recuperación. Este árbol perenne, cuyo nombre en español describe su madera de color rosa y el cual ocurre en Puerto Rico y República Dominicana, ha mostrado mejoras sustanciales desde que fue incluido como una especie en peligro de extinción bajo la Ley Federal de Especies en Peligro (ESA, por sus siglas en inglés) en 1990.  Read the full story...

  • A tiny white flower bloom amongst green large leaves.
    Information icon Palo de rosa in bloom; Photo credit – Omar Monsegur, USFWS.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Reclassify Palo de Rosa from Endangered to Threatened

    July 13, 2021 | 4 minute read

    Thanks to successful efforts by local and federal partners, the palo de rosa tree is on the path to recovery. The evergreen tree whose Spanish name describes its pink-colored wood, located in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, has shown substantial improvements since it was listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1990. Based on a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the U.  Read the full story...

  • Draft Recovery Plan for Agave eggersiana

    July 7, 2021 | 1 minute read

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the draft recovery plan for the Agave eggersiana, a plant listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies; nongovernmental organizations; and the public. We must receive comments by by September 7, 2021. Obtaining documents: You may obtain a copy of the plan by contacting Maritza Vargas, by mail at U.  Read the full story...

  • A flowering plant with a tiny orange and pink bud.
    Information icon _Lepanthes eltoroensis_. Photo © Omar Monsegur.

    El Servicio celebra la recuperación de una pequeña orquídea nativa de Puerto Rico al finalizar el proceso de delistar a Lepanthes eltoroensis de la Ley Federal de Especies en Peligro de Extincion

    June 15, 2021 | 4 minute read

    Gracias a la exitosa colaboración entre el Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre (Servicio), El Servicio Forestal Federal, y el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales de Puerto Rico, Lepanthes eltoroensis, una pequeña orquídea nativa de Puerto Rico, está siendo removida de la Ley de Especies en Peligro de Extinción (ESA, por sus siglas en inglés). Lepanthes eltoroensis, una orquídea restringida a un área general dentro del Bosque Nacional El Yunque en Puerto Rico que se encuentra a elevaciones superiores a 2,461 pies, se ha recuperado y ya no cumple con la definición de especie amenazada o en peligro de extinción del ESA.  Read the full story...

  • A flowering plant with a tiny orange and pink bud.
    Information icon _Lepanthes eltoroensis_. Photo © Omar Monsegur.

    Service Celebrates Recovery of Tiny Orchid Native to Puerto Rico, Finalizes ESA Delisting of Lepanthes Eltoroensis

    June 15, 2021 | 3 minute read

    Thanks to a successful conservation partnership involving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, a tiny orchid native to Puerto Rico, Lepanthes eltoroensis, is being removed from the Endangered Species Act. Lepanthes eltoroensis, an orchid restricted to one general area within El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico at elevations above 2,461 feet, has recovered and no longer meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species.  Read the full story...

  • A boa (brown and black) wrapped around branches in a tree.
    Information icon Boa de Islas Vírgene. JP Zegarra, USFWS.

    El Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre reabre los períodos de comentarios y lleva a cabo una vista pública sobre las propuestas para reclasificar dos especies del Caribe de peligro de extinción a amenazadas

    April 23, 2021 | 4 minute read

    El Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre (Servicio) está reabriendo el período de comentarios sobre las propuestas para reclasificar dos especies del Caribe a especies amenazadas, y así permitir que las personas interesadas tengan una oportunidad adicional para emitir comentarios y participar de una vista pública virtual. Los comentarios sometidos anteriormente sobre estas propuestas se considerarán en su totalidad y no es necesario volver a enviarlos. A fines de 2020, el Servicio propuso reclasificar la boa des Islas Vírgenes de en peligro de extinción a amenazada bajo la Ley Federal de Especies en Peligro de Extinción (ESA, por sus siglas en inglés), incluyendo un reglamento bajo la sección 4(d) del ESA.  Read the full story...

  • Información Respecto a la Audiencia Pública Virtual Registro e Instrucciones

    April 23, 2021 | 4 minute read

    Información Respecto a la Audiencia Pública Virtual El Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre (Servicio) ha programado una vista pública virtual para el miércoles, 12 de mayo de 2021, de 6:00-8:00 pm hora del Atlántico. El objetivo de dicha vista pública virtual es brindarle al público la oportunidad de aprender y adquirir más conocimiento sobre el proceso de reclasificación de la planta Eugenia woodburyana y la boa de Islas Vírgenes, y a su vez, que puedan emitir comentarios sobre el proceso de reclasificación propuesto.  Read the full story...

  • A boa (brown and black) wrapped around branches in a tree.
    Information icon Virgin Islands tree boa. Photo by JP Zegarra USFWS.

    Service reopens comment periods and holds public hearing on proposed downlistings of two Caribbean species

    April 23, 2021 | 3 minute read

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the comment periods on the proposed downlisting of two Caribbean species, to allow interested parties additional opportunities to comment on and attend a virtual public hearing on the actions. Comments previously submitted on these proposals will be fully considered and do not need to be resubmitted. In late 2020, the Service proposed to downlist the Virgin Islands tree boa from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with a 4(d) rule.  Read the full story...

  • Virtual public hearing registration language and instructions

    April 23, 2021 | 3 minute read

    Information on attending the virtual public hearing The USFWS has scheduled a virtual public hearing on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 from 6:00 – 8:00pm Atlantic Time (AT). This virtual public hearing is intended to give the public an opportunity to learn more about the proposed downlistings for the plant Eugenia woodburyana and Virgin Islands tree boa and comment on the proposed downlistings. The USFWS will hold the virtual public hearing via the Zoom online platform so that participants can attend remotely.  Read the full story...

  • An orange, black and cream colored butterfly perched on a yellow flowering plant
    Information icon Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly. Photo by Jan Zegarra, USFWS.

    El Servicio solicita comentarios del público sobre la propuesta para incluir la Mariposa Arlequín de Puerto Rico como especie amenazada bajo la Ley Federal de Especies en Peligro de Extinción

    October 9, 2020 | 5 minute read

    Hoy, el Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre (el Servicio) propone incluir la Mariposa Arlequín de Puerto Rico (Atlantea tulita) como especie amenazada bajo la Ley Federal de Especies en Peligro de Extinción (ESA, por sus siglas en inglés). El Servicio también propone designar hábitat crítico para la mariposa, así como un reglamento especial 4 (d). El Servicio aceptará comentarios públicos sobre esta propuesta hasta el 14 de diciembre de 2020 (60 días después de su publicación en el Registro Federal).  Read the full story...

  • An orange, black and cream colored butterfly perched on a yellow flowering plant
    Information icon Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly. Photo by Jan Zegarra, USFWS.

    Service seeks public comment on proposal to list rare Puerto Rican butterfly as threatened under Endangered Species Act

    October 9, 2020 | 4 minute read

    Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the Harlequin butterfly as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service is also proposing to designate critical habitat for the butterfly, as well as a special 4(d) rule. The Service will accept public comments on this proposed decision until 12/14/2020 (60 days after publication in FR). Six populations of the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly, a medium-sized butterfly native to Puerto Rico, are known to exist in the world.  Read the full story...

  • A leafy green plant with bright purple flowers
    Information icon Male marron bacora flowers. Photo by USFWS.

    Service proposes to list rare Virgin Islands plant, designate critical habitat

    August 25, 2020 | 4 minute read

    The marron bacora (Solanum conocarpum), a rare, tropical plant native to the Virgin Islands, is in decline. There are only seven remaining populations on the island of St. John in the United States Virgin Islands, with limited numbers of individuals in each. Of these seven populations, all but one occurs within the boundaries of the Virgin Islands National Park. A population discovered by staff from the Royal Botanic Gardens (KEW) in 2018 on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, extended the species’ range.  Read the full story...

  • A white breasted bird with blueish grey feathers.
    Information icon Elfin-woods warbler. Photo by Mike Morel, USFWS.

    El Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre Designa Hábitat Critico para la Reinita de Boque Enano

    June 29, 2020 | 5 minute read

    El Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre (Servicio) ha finalizado la designación del hábitat crítico para la reinita de bosque enano bajo la Ley de Especies en Peligro de Extinción (ESA, por sus siglas en inglés). Esta designación beneficiará a la reinita de bosque enano y muchas otras especies protegidas que comparten su hábitat, como la cotorra puertorriqueña y la boa puertorriqueña. El Servicio también está presentando el análisis económico final asociado a la designación del hábitat crítico.  Read the full story...

  • A white breasted bird with blueish grey feathers.
    Information icon Elfin-woods warbler. Photo by Mike Morel, USFWS.

    U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service designates critical habitat for Elfin-woods warbler

    June 29, 2020 | 4 minute read

    The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has finalized critical habitat for the elfin-woods warbler in Puerto Rico under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The designation will benefit the elfin-woods warbler and 15 other federally protected species that share its habitat, such as the Puerto Rican parrot and the Puerto Rican boa. The Service is also releasing the final economic analysis associated with the critical habitat designation. The elfin-woods warbler exists only in Puerto Rico and is listed as threatened under the ESA.  Read the full story...

  • A pinkish green flower petal growing off of a mossy covered surface
    Information icon *Lepanthes eltoroensis*. Photo © O Monsegur.

    Partners celebrate recovery of tiny orchid in Puerto Rico

    March 9, 2020 | 3 minute read

    Thanks to a successful conservation partnership involving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, a tiny orchid, Lepanthes eltoroensis, is being proposed for delisting from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Plants. The orchid is restricted to one general area within El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico at elevations above 2,461 feet. However, the orchid’s estimated population has increased from around 140 individuals, when it was listed as an endangered species in 1991, to a current estimate of about 3,000 individuals.  Read the full story...

  • A pinkish green flower petal growing off of a mossy covered surface
    Information icon *Lepanthes eltoroensis*. Photo © O Monsegur.

    Se celebra la recuperación de una pequeña orquídea en Puerto Rico

    March 9, 2020 | 4 minute read

    Gracias a la exitosa colaboración de conservación entre el Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre, El Servicio Forestal Federal y el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales de Puerto Rico, se ha propuesto remover a Lepanthes eltoroensis, una pequeña orquídea, de la lista federal de especies amenazadas y en peligro de extinción. Esta orquídea está restringida a un área específica en elevaciones sobre los 2,461 pies dentro del Bosque Nacional El Yunque.  Read the full story...

  • A bright green parrot with red markings on its face and blue flight feathers.
    Information icon When in flight, some of the PR Parrots show their beautiful blue primary feathers. En español: Algunas cotorras muestran sus bellas plumas primarias azules al volar. Bosque del Estado, Maricao, Puerto Rico. Photo by Jan Paul Zegarra, Biologist, USFWS

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans release of endangered Puerto Rican parrots in El Yunque National Forest

    February 6, 2020 | 2 minute read

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, plans to restart the reintroduction efforts of the endangered Puerto Rican parrots into El Yunque National Forest. For this purpose, we are releasing two groups of parrots in late January and early February. In 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico with 150 mph winds. Service employees hunkered down at the Iguaca Aviary near El Portal, which housed more than 240 birds in a captive breeding facility.  Read the full story...

  • Two light tan and grey reptiles with dark eyes walking on organic soil.
    Information icon A pair of Monito geckos. Photo by JP Zegarra, USFWS.

    A salvo de extinción el geco de Monito

    October 2, 2019 | 4 minute read

    El geco o salamanquita de Monito, un reptil pequeño resiliente que sólo se encuentra en la Isla de Monito en el Mar Caribe, está oficialmente recuperado gracias a los esfuerzos de conservación entre el Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre (USFWS, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales de Puerto Rico (DRNA). Ahora la especie es abundante y no requiere la protección de la Ley Federal de Especies en Peligro de Extinción (ESA, por sus siglas en inglés).  Read the full story...

  • Two light tan and grey reptiles with dark eyes walking on organic soil.
    Information icon A pair of Monito geckos. Photo by JP Zegarra, USFWS.

    Monito gecko saved from the brink of extinction

    October 2, 2019 | 3 minute read

    The Monito gecko, a resilient little lizard that lives only on Monito Island in the Caribbean Sea, is officially recovered thanks to an effective conservation partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (PRDNER). The species is now so abundant that it no longer warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Monito Island is an uninhabited and mostly inaccessible island of only about 36 acres.  Read the full story...

  • A tiny yellow/orange frog with big round eyes.
    Coqui Llanero. Photo by Luis J. Villanueva CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

    Recovery plan for endangered Puerto Rican frog available

    August 12, 2019 | 2 minute read

    “Kee, kee,” a male coquí llanero softly sings from dusk to dawn in a Puerto Rican wetland. Hearing its high-pitched call is rare because the tiny frog is only found in one freshwater wetland in the municipality of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared a final recovery plan outlining actions to save this dime-sized frog, which has been federally listed as endangered since October 2012.  Read the full story...

  • A light brown snake with darker black and brown markings on a green vine.
    Puerto Rican boa. Photo by Jan Paul Zegarra.

    Service announces recovery plan revisions for 43 species, to assist in measuring progress and addressing threats

    August 5, 2019 | 5 minute read

    As part of an agency-wide effort to advance the recovery of our nation’s most imperiled species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made publicly available draft revisions for 21 recovery plans that provide a recovery roadmap for 43 federally protected species. This batch of recovery plan revisions is part of the Department of the Interior’s Agency Priority Performance Goals. The effort calls for all recovery plans to include quantitative criteria on what constitutes recovery by September 2019.  Read the full story...

  • A green plant with serrated edges and a brown stem with a cylindrical orange flower.
    Information icon *Gesneria pauciflora* (no common name). Photo by Jan Paul Zegarra, USFWS.

    Service announces recovery plan revisions for 53 species, to assist in measuring progress and addressing threats

    August 5, 2019 | 5 minute read

    As part of an agency-wide effort to advance the recovery of our nation’s most imperiled species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made publicly available draft revisions for 28 Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery plans that provide a recovery roadmap for 53 federally protected species. This batch of recovery plan revisions is part of the Department of the Interior’s Agency Priority Performance Goals, which call for all recovery plans to include quantitative criteria on what constitutes recovery, by September 2019.  Read the full story...

  • Bright red flowers emerge from a bog with a forest in the background.
    Information icon Mountain sweet pitcher plant patch in Butt CPA. Photo by Gary Peeples, USFWS.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts five-year status reviews of 53 Southeastern species

    June 20, 2019 | 9 minute read

    As part of the process mandated by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct five-year status reviews of 53 endangered or threatened fish, wildlife, and plants. These species are found in the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The public is invited to provide information and comments concerning these species on or before August, 19, 2019. These five-year reviews will ensure listing classifications under the ESA are accurate and recommend changes in status where appropriate based on the latest science and analysis.  Read the full story...

  • A birds-eye-view photograph of an inefficient rock dam.
    Information icon Represa Cambalache. Photo © William Hernández.

    El Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre comienza la remoción de la Represa de Cambalache del Río Grande de Arecibo

    March 20, 2019 | 3 minute read

    Arecibo, Puerto Rico — El Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre (Servicio) junto con el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales de Puerto Rico (PRDRNA) y otros colaboradores, iniciaron la remoción de la Represa de Cambalache, localizada en el Río Grande de Arecibo. La remoción de esta represa conectará y restaurará 25 kilómetros del Río Grande de Arecibo a unas condiciones de hábitat más naturales, proveyéndole así a los peces y otras especies acuáticas un hábitat más saludable con un flujo de agua libre.  Read the full story...

  • A birds-eye-view photograph of an inefficient rock dam.
    Information icon Represa Cambalache. Photo © William Hernández.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service begins removal of Cambalache Dam to aid conservation of Río Grande de Arecibo

    March 20, 2019 | 2 minute read

    Arecibo, Puerto Rico — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service), along with the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (PRDNER) and other partners, today began the removal of the Cambalache Dam. The removal of the low-rise dam will connect and restore 25 kilometers of riverine habitat to a more natural state, as well as provide fish and other aquatic species with a healthier, free-flowing stream. It will also rid the river of a safety hazard, decrease erosion and boost recreational opportunities upstream of Arecibo.  Read the full story...

  • A sea bird from below with black feathers around the edges of its wings and a white breast with the ocean in the background.
    Information icon Black-capped petrel off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC. Photo © Brian Patteson, seabirding.com, used with permission.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes Endangered Species Act protection for “little devil” Caribbean seabird

    October 5, 2018 | 4 minute read

    The future is uncertain for the black-capped petrel, a seabird that breeds in remote mountains on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and forages in open ocean waters up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard as far north as off the coast of Virginia. After reviewing the best available scientific and commercial data in a peer-reviewed species status assessment (SSA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined the petrel is a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), meaning it is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.  Read the full story...

  • A birds-eye-view photograph of an inefficient rock dam.
    Information icon Represa Cambalache. Photo © William Hernández.

    El Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre anuncia la disponibilidad del borrador de la Evaluación Ambiental para la remoción parcial y/o modificación de la represa Cambalache ubicada en el Río Grande de Arecibo, Puerto Rico

    September 27, 2018 | 4 minute read

    El Servicio Federal de Pesca y Vida Silvestre del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos (USFWS, por sus siglas en inglés) anuncia la disponibilidad del borrador de la Evaluación Ambiental (EA) para la remoción parcial y/o modificación de la represa Cambalache ubicada dentro de la cuenca del Río Grande de Arecibo (RGA) en el municipio de Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Este borrador de la EA se preparó como un requisito de la Ley de Política Ambiental Nacional (NEPA, por sus siglas en inglés) e incluye información de la acción propuesta para la remoción parcial/modificación de la represa existente.  Read the full story...

  • A birds-eye-view photograph of an inefficient rock dam.
    Information icon Cambalache dam. Photo © William Hernández.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Cambalache dam partial removal and/or modification located within the Río Grande de Arecibo in Puerto Rico

    September 27, 2018 | 3 minute read

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announces the availability for public comments of the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Cambalache dam partial removal and/or modification located within the Río Grande de Arecibo (RGA) watershed in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. This draft EA has been prepared as a requisite of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and includes information of the proposed action for the partial removal/modification of the existing low-head dam.  Read the full story...

  • Draft recovery plan for endangered Puerto Rican frog available

    July 6, 2018 | 2 minute read

    “Kee, kee,” a male coquí llanero softly sings from dusk to dawn in a Puerto Rican wetland. Hearing its high-pitched call is rare because the tiny frog is only found in one freshwater wetland in the municipality of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared a draft recovery plan outlining actions to save this dime-sized frog, which has been federally listed as endangered since October 2012.  Read the full story...

  • A low growing shrub with bright purple flowers.
    Information icon Endangered Pyne’s ground-plum. Photo by NPS.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts five-year status reviews of 35 Southeastern species

    May 7, 2018 | 5 minute read

    As part of the process mandated by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct five-year status reviews of 35 endangered or threatened fish, wildlife, and plants. These species are found in the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. The public is invited to provide information and comments concerning these species on or before July 6, 2018. These five-year reviews will ensure listing classifications under the ESA are accurate and recommend changes in status where appropriate based on the latest science and analysis.  Read the full story...

  • A large limestone island emerges from the sea covered in green vegetation.
    Monito Island is an uninhabited and mostly inaccessible island of only about 36 acres. It lies west of Puerto Rico and was designated a U.S. National Natural Landmark in 1975. Photo by USFWS.

    An endangered species recovery success story: Service proposes delisting Monito gecko following conservation collaboration

    January 9, 2018 | 6 minute read

    Bombs and artillery shells rained down on them for years, but they survived. Non-native rats preyed on them, but they endured. The Monito gecko is one resilient little lizard. Monito Island off the western coast of Puerto Rico. Map by Roy Hewitt, USFWS. Living only on one small chunk of rock in the Caribbean Sea, the gecko has weathered adversity and is now so abundant, the U.  Read the full story...

  • A biologist looks out at the destruction and fallen vegetation outside the gate of the aviary.
    Information icon Looking out at Aviary gate towards the facility entrance. Photo by USFWS.

    A tale of two photos

    October 6, 2017 | 3 minute read

    To appreciate how one hurricane gave Puerto Rico only a glancing blow, while the next delivered a hit that left the island prone, you need only look at the two photos. Puerto Rican parrot aviary at Rio Grande after Hurricane Irma. Photo by USFWS. Puerto Rican parrot aviary at Rio Grande after Hurricane Maria. Photo by USFWS. The photos depict the same place, the road leading into Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest.  Read the full story...

  • A man wearing a red cross vest points towards a U.S. Coast Guard boat.
    Coast Guard continues hurricane response in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse, USCG.

    Everyone OK

    September 28, 2017 | 2 minute read

    The going has been hard, the searches exhausting, but the efforts of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers dispatched to Puerto have borne fruit: All of the Service’s 61 employees on the crippled island are OK. That was the highlight of Thursday’s conference call on the status of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, the category 4 hurricane that smashed into the U.S. territory last week. Crews have tracked down all the Service workers, some cut off from communications and travel following the storm’s vicious passage.  Read the full story...

  • Service teams land in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria

    September 27, 2017 | 1 minute read

    A dozen more U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staffers have landed in Puerto Rico to help with Hurricane Maria recovery, joining teams already on the island. But they face daunting challenges. The U.S. territory still has almost no electricity, and fresh drinking water is a big problem for many, Service employees in Puerto Rico said Wednesday on a conference call. Fuel is extremely hard to get, which makes operations more difficult.  Read the full story...

  • A crew wearing hard hats clears a road of debris.
    Clearing the road to the Puerto Rican parrot aviary after Hurricane Irma. Photo by José M. Martínez, USFWS.

    Glimmer of hope

    September 26, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Puerto Rico is a long way from standing upright again, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said on Tuesday. But the U.S. territory shows a few encouraging signs that it is trying to rise after Hurricane Maria knocked it flat. The island remains without power, Service workers said in a Tuesday conference call, but there are a few places where cell-phone service is working. There’s more. Five pallots of supplies – each containing generators, fuel and other essentials – left Miami Monday on a vessel headed to Puerto Rico.  Read the full story...

  • A half-dozen men cut fallen trees in a forest with a chainsaw.
    USFWS Southeast fire crew conducting chainsaw operations for the recovery of the El Yunque National Forest, PR after Hurricane Irma. Photo by José M. Martínez, USFWS.

    Long road

    September 25, 2017 | 2 minute read

    Puerto Rico faces a “long road” toward recovery after Hurricane Maria, federal officials said Monday. That road has hardly begun. The island remains without power. Water shortages are critical. People are hungry. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is scrambling to help. In a conference call Monday, Service employees said they are mobilizing teams, have already sent needed supplies and plan to do more to help the island restore some of life’s basic necessities.  Read the full story...

  • A spiral of white clouds obscures the ocean in a photo from space.
    Hurricane Maria from space. Satellite image by NASA/NOAA GOES Project.

    Hurricane Maria targets Puerto Rico

    September 19, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Puerto Rico, still staggering from Hurricane Irma, is now likely to get knocked down by Hurricane Maria. The category 4 storm is headed its way. Maria, with occasional wind gusts up to 190 mph, is expected to reach Puerto Rico’s east coast by 9 p.m. EST. Expect “extensive damage,” said Kevin Scasny, a meteorologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). “It is not a good time” for Puerto Rico, he said in a Tuesday morning conference call with representatives of various Service divisions.  Read the full story...

  • A biologist looks out at the destruction and fallen vegetation outside the gate of the aviary.
    Information icon Looking out at Aviary gate towards the facility entrance. Photo by USFWS.

    Friday Hurricane Irma roundup

    September 8, 2017 | 1 minute read

    Damage assessment continues in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Irma. All U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees are safe, but about 70 percent of the island was without power Friday morning, and ATMs were not working. Culebra National Wildlife Refuge reported minor damage to its greenhouse and shop office. Service meteorologist Kevin Scasny estimates Irma will make landfall in south Florida, around 6 a.m. Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.  Read the full story...

  • A massive hurricane threatens Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
    Hurricane Irma mid-day on September 6, 2017 off the east coast of Puerto Rico. Satellite Image by NOAA GOES-16.

    Hurricane Irma: How we are responding

    September 7, 2017 | 4 minute read

    Hurricane Irma, the second most powerful Atlantic basin hurricane in recorded history, has killed at least nine people in the Caribbean region, and is projected to be heading for Florida and the southeastern United States soon. “Our priority is the safety of our employees, making sure they are safe and then back to work as soon as personal priorities are taken care of,” said David Viker, acting deputy regional director of the Service’s Southeast Region, which is directly in Irma’s path.  Read the full story...

  • A biologist looks out at the destruction and fallen vegetation outside the gate of the aviary.
    Information icon Looking out at Aviary gate towards the facility entrance. Photo by USFWS.

    Irma hits Puerto Rico, Service facilities

    September 7, 2017 | 4 minute read

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean may have missed the worst of Hurricane Irma, but the killer storm is headed straight for Florida and its bounty of endangered species and pristine refuges. After rampaging through the eastern Caribbean, Irma steered just north of Puerto Rico. She nonetheless dumped 2 to 8 inches of rain across the island and knocked out power to more than 1 million people.  Read the full story...

  • Owner of Arecibo aquarium business pleads guilty to two federal Lacey Act felonies for illicit trafficking of protected corals

    August 23, 2017 | 4 minute read

    Aristides Sanchez, a resident of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty today to two felony violations of the federal Lacey Act for collecting, purchasing, falsely labeling, and shipping protected marine invertebrate species as part of an effort to subvert Puerto Rican law designed to protect corals and other reef species, the Department of Justice announced. Sanchez was the owner of the Arecibo-based saltwater aquarium business, Wonders of the Reef Aquarium. A large part of the business was devoted to the sale of native Puerto Rican marine species that are popular in the saltwater aquarium trade.  Read the full story...

  • A tall rocky island emerging from a calm blue sea.
    Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico. Photo © Claudio Uribe, Island Conservation. Used with permission: S://EA/Photo Permissions/desecheo-island-conservation.pdf.

    Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge safe from invasive mammals after nearly 100 years

    June 27, 2017 | 6 minute read

    Lea en español. After more than a decade of conservation intervention, Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is once again safe for the threatened higo chumbo cactus, native seabirds, and unique lizards found nowhere else in the world. Just one year after an ambitious operation to rid Desecheo NWR of introduced rats, conservation biologists have confirmed that these damaging predators are absent from the island, and the operation was a success.  Read the full story...

  • Four manatees and a school of fish assemble under crystal clear water.
    Information icon Manatees at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Photo by David Hinkel.

    Manatee reclassified from endangered to threatened as habitat improves and population expands - existing federal protections remain in place

    March 30, 2017 | 4 minute read

    Read the release in Spanish. On the heels of Manatee Appreciation Day, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the downlisting of the West Indian manatee from endangered to threatened. Notable increases in manatee populations and improvements in its habitat allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to change the species’ status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The downlisting comes after diverse conservation efforts and collaborations by Florida and other manatee states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Caribbean nations, public and private organizations and citizens, there have been notable increases in manatee populations and improvements in its habitat.  Read the full story...

  • A close up photo of a semi translucent gray-silver crayfish walking on rocky substrate.
    Angular dwarf crayfish. Photo by Chris Lukhaup, USDA Forest Service.

    Endangered Species Act protection not needed for four Southeastern animals

    September 20, 2016 | 4 minute read

    Responding to requests to add them to the federal threatened and endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that the angular dwarf crayfish, Icebox Cave beetle, Clifton Cave beetle, and the Virgin Island coqui do not need such protection. “To receive Endangered Species Act protection, the species must be facing threats that would likely cause extinction or threaten existence in the foreseeable future,” said Cindy Dohner, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director.  Read the full story...

  • A black salamander with gray spots.
    Fourche Mountain salamander. Photo by John Clare, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

    Fish and Wildlife Service to gather more information on two rare reptiles in the Southeast

    September 13, 2016 | 3 minute read

    A Caribbean skink and a Florida lizard need more study to determine whether they need to be included on the federal list of endangered and threatened species. More scientific and commercial information will be compiled for the Lesser Virgin Islands skink found in and around St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands as well as the Florida scrub lizard found in central and south Florida. The U.  Read the full story...

  • A light brown snake with darker black and brown markings on a green vine.
    Puerto Rican boa. Photo by Jan Paul Zegarra.

    Fish and Wildlife Service conducts five-year status reviews of 14 Caribbean species

    August 17, 2016 | 2 minute read

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct five-year status reviews of 12 endangered and two threatened species occurring in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. The public is invited to provide information and comments concerning these species on or before October 18, 2016. These five-year reviews will ensure listing classifications under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are accurate. In addition to reviewing the classification of these species, a five–year review presents an opportunity to track the species’ recovery progress.  Read the full story...

  • A white breasted bird with blueish grey feathers.
    Elfin-woods warbler. Photo by Mike Morel, USFWS.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the elfin-woods warbler as a threatened species with exemptions for shade coffee

    June 21, 2016 | 7 minute read

    Faced with fewer suitable habitat areas, coupled with a declining population, the elfin-woods warbler is now listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. This action takes effect July 22, 2016, 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register. Under the law, a threatened listing means the species is likely to become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future.  Read the full story...

  • A close up photo of a gray-silver salamander walking on a layer of wet moss.
    Information icon Cheoah bald salamander. Photo by Andy Kraemer, CC BY-NC 2.0.

    Four Southeastern species do not require federal protection, two others under further review

    March 15, 2016 | 2 minute read

    Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a batch of 90-day findings affecting a variety of species across the nation. Biologists have determined the following species found in the southeastern United States do not require further review for federal protection at this time: Cheoah bald salamander in North Carolina Monito skink in Puerto Rico Southern dusky salamander in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and possibly South Carolina South Mountain gray-cheeked salamander in North Carolina.  Read the full story...

  • A small amphibian with a striped back.
    Information icon Greater St. Croix skink (Spondylurus magnacruzae). Photo by A. J. Meier.

    Fish and Wildlife Service reviews petition for seven species found in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

    January 11, 2016 | 2 minute read

    Wildlife experts in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continue to make steady progress in reviewing petitions seeking Endangered Species Act protection for nearly 500 southeastern species. Today, the agency announced a batch of “90-day findings,” the first benchmark in its assessment of whether plants or animals identified in a petition may require federal protection. Since receipt of the petitions in 2010 the Service has leveraged the strength of its conservation partnerships, particularly those with state wildlife agencies, to determine that 42 species do not need federal protection as a result of either conservation actions, additional information (e.  Read the full story...

  • Illustration of an eel transitioning from dark green on it's top to a white belly with a long dorsal fin.
    American eel. Illustration by Duane Raver, USFWS.

    Endangered Species Act protection not needed for 10 species in the Southeast

    October 7, 2015 | 5 minute read

    The Cumberland arrow darter, Shawnee darter, Sequatchie caddisfly, American eel, and six Tennessee cave beetles do not need protection under the Endangered Species Act.  Read the full story...

  • A bright green parrot with red markings around it's beak spreads it's wings.
    Endangered Puerto Rican parrot ceremonially released at the Iguaca Aviary. Photo by Tom MacKenzie, USFWS.

    Significant achievement in the transfer of Puerto Rican parrots to the Maricao Commonwealth Forest

    August 13, 2015 | 5 minute read

    Maricao, P.R. - Secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), Carmen R. Guerrero Perez; the Regional Director of the Southeast Region of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Cynthia K. Dohner; and the Regional Forester of the Southeast Region of the US Forest Service (USFS), Tony Tooke, reported the transfer of 30 Puerto Rican parrots the Maricao Commonwealth Forest, a significant step to establish the third population of this endangered species.  Read the full story...

  • A strange looking salamander with horns.
    Reticulated flatwoods salamander larva. Photo by Kevin Enge, FWC.

    Fish and Wildlife Service conducts five-year status reviews of 27 Southeastern species

    September 22, 2014 | 5 minute read

    The Atlantic salt marsh snake and the frosted flatwoods salamander are among 27 federally protected species that will be getting a check-up. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is launching five-year status reviews of 17 endangered species and 10 threatened species occurring in one or more of the 10 states across the Southeast Region and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Service is seeking comments and information from the public on all 27 species by November 24, 2014, 60 days from publication in the Federal Register.  Read the full story...

  • A small, black and white bird flies over ocean waters.
    Information icon Black-capped petrel off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC. Photo © Brian Patteson, seabirding.com, used with permission.

    Black-capped petrel may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act

    June 20, 2012 | 5 minute read

    A nocturnal seabird, the black-capped petrel, may warrant federal protection as a threatened or endangered species. Endangered means the species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range; threatened means the species is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The black-capped petrel is found in North America and the Caribbean, and is known by several common names: “black-capped petrel,” “capped petrel,” and “West Indian petrel” in North America and on English-speaking islands.  Read the full story...

  • A tall rocky island emerging from a calm blue sea.
    Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico. Photo © Claudio Uribe, Island Conservation. Used with permission: S://EA/Photo Permissions/desecheo-island-conservation.pdf.

    Service seeks comments on environmental assessment - restoring wildlife habitat on Desecheo Island

    July 29, 2011 | 3 minute read

    Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on the recently completed Environmental Assessment, Rat Eradication to Promote Ecosystem Restoration on Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico. This Environmental Assessment analyzes possible consequences of five alternatives – a no-action alternative and four action alternatives – for restoring the island’s native habitat and species by eradicating non-native, invasive black rats from the Refuge. The proposed action will assist the native subtropical dry forest to recover and will promote the recolonization of the island by nesting seabirds.  Read the full story...

  • A bright green parrot with red markings on its face and blue flight feathers.
    When in flight, some of the PR Parrots show their beautiful blue primary feathers. En español: Algunas cotorras muestran sus bellas plumas primarias azules al volar. Bosque del Estado, Maricao, Puerto Rico. Photo by Jan Paul Zegarra, Biologist, USFWS

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks comment to begin an Environmental Assessment to select site for a third Puerto Rican parrot population in Puerto Rico

    April 9, 2011 | 2 minute read

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (PRDNER) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are planning to Reintroduce Puerto Rican Parrots at a third site in Puerto Rico. To select a site and meet the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for this proposed action, we will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) considering site alternatives proposed, evaluated, and discussed among concerned agencies.  Read the full story...

  • A bright orange butterfly perched on a yellow flower.
    Information icon Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly on a flower of sea grapes. Photo by USFWS.

    The Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act

    April 29, 2010 | 3 minute read

    The Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly may warrant federal protection as a threatened or endangered species, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will initiate an in-depth, range-wide, scientific review of the species’ current status, known as a 12-month finding. On February 25, 2009, Mr. Javier Biaggi-Caraballo, a private citizen, petitioned the Service to list the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly and to designate critical habitat for the species. Today’s decision, known as a 90-day finding, is based on scientific information about the harlequin butterfly provided in the petition and information in Service files.  Read the full story...

  • A small brown fish caught in a stream sitting in a plastic bin for measurement.
    Information icon Endangered Etowah darter. Photo by USFWS.

    Fish and Wildlife Service conducts five-year status reviews of 23 Southeastern species

    June 6, 2009 | 5 minute read

    The Service plans to conduct five-year status reviews of 15 endangered and 8 threatened species occurring in one or more of 10 states. These five-year reviews are conducted to ensure that listing classifications under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are accurate. Any interested party is invited to provide information and comments pertaining to these species. Written comments and information related to these five-year reviews must be received on or before September 4, 2009.  Read the full story...

  • Three small black bear cubs yawning in unison.
    Louisiana black bear cubs. Photo by Brad Young, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

    Fish and Wildlife Service celebrates Endangered Species Day

    May 13, 2009 | 4 minute read

    On May 15, 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will honor Endangered Species Day and the numerous nationwide conservation programs underway aimed at protecting America’s threatened and endangered species. The Endangered Species Act (ESA), one of the most important environmental laws in history, is credited with saving 99.9 percent of species protected by the ESA from extinction. Co-administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the purpose of the ESA is to conserve imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.  Read the full story...

    • Contact Us:

      Looking for a media contact? Reach out to a regional spokesperson.

      Share this page

      Tweet this page on Twitter or follow @USFWSsoutheast

      Share this page on Facebook or follow USFWSsoutheast.

      LinkedIn

      Share this page on LinkedIn