Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 4, 2016

Contact: Jaclyn Lopez, (727) 490-9190,

South Florida's Miami Tiger Beetle Gains Endangered Species Act Protection

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— In response to a scientific petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and partners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected the Miami tiger beetle under the Endangered Species Act. Found only in the pine rocklands of South Florida, the tiger beetle was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 2007. The Center petitioned for Endangered Species Act protections in December 2014 after learning that the beetle is threatened by a planned strip mall featuring a Walmart and a proposed theme park.

Miami tiger beetle
Miami tiger beetle photo © Chris Wirth.

“It’s a huge relief to know that this tiny, mighty creature will now be around for years to come,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center. “Endangered Species Act protection will help ensure the beetle’s rare pine rockland hunting grounds remain intact in the face of ever-pressing development.”

The shiny-green Miami tiger beetle is so named for its aggressive, predatory behavior, strong mandibles and fast running speed. The South Florida pine rocklands where it’s found are some of the most imperiled lands in the world. Other endangered species that make their homes in the pine rockland habitat include the Florida bonneted bat, Carter’s small-flowered flax, Florida brickell-bush, Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak butterfly, Florida leafwing butterfly, deltoid spurge, tiny polygala and sand flax. Pine rockland habitat has been fragmented and degraded by agricultural and urban development.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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