Natural Resources

Scrub-Jay Review Package - Territory Search - Review Procedure - USFWS Agreement - USFWS Residential Development Exemptions - Habitat Conservation Plan - Florida Scrub-Jay Species Information

Scrub Jay image courtesy of Bob Paty

Florida Scrub-Jay - Permitting

The Florida Scrub-jay is protected under both State and Federal laws. In addition, Scrub habitats, nests and eggs are also protected by these regulations. Regulatory requirements for protection of Scrub-jays and their habitat are under the Endangered Species Act which is enforced by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The County can not relieve an applicant of Federal nor State regulations regarding listed species, including the Florida Scrub-jay. For properties that contain scrub habitats or are occupied by Florida Scrub-jays, consultation is required with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service prior to initiating a clearing project and before the county may issue a mulching permit, building permit or tree removal and protection permit.

  • Consultation is a process through which a development proposal is reviewed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and a determination made about how impacts may be avoided, minimized or mitigated.
  • After the determination is made and the applicant complies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service issues a release letter for the parcel. Currently, the USFWS will not provide written release for vacant land purchases, only verbal release.
  • The United State Fish and Wildlife Service must release a property before the county can issue any clearing or development permits for a parcel. 

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has oversight of the Endangered Species Act, and staff at the Vero Beach, Florida office can be reached at (772) 562-3909.  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has a web site about Scrub-jays and the Habitat Conservation Plans needed for impacts related Incidental Take Permits.

Note:  On September, 2006, the data sets depicting actual scrub-jay urbanized territories, and actual sightings were updated based on new data that has been gathered and ground-truthed by United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The data sets, which have been downloaded into a search engine, are informational and are designed to approximate where Scrub-jays and Scrub-jay territories exist. The Parcel Identification Number or the Address search is not a definitive finding on where scrub-jays may be present. If your Parcel Identification Number or Address is entered into the search engine and is documented as being in a known Scrub-jay territory, per the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, please contact the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for any possible mitigation responsibility that maybe warranted, if any. Charlotte County has no authority to establish mitigation requirements for impacts related construction within designated Scrub-jay data sets. If the search does not indicate that your property is within updated data set, per the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, then the construction permitting process can move forward without federal delay.

  • Information provided by the County is what is known at this time, per the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, it has been documented that Scrub jays can and will move and can be found outside these identified data sets. It is advised that you perform environmental due diligence to aid you in your decisions. 
  • The United States Fish and Wildlife Service can and will modify the data sets by adding or removing properties as appropriate to documented sightings and observation, to ensure the protection of the Florida Scrub Jay and adhere to the Endangered Species Act.

New Guidelines for conducting Florida Scrub-jay surveys on urban, single family lots that are less than one acre have been issued by the North Florida Ecological Services Office of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service dated September 26, 2005. For scrub-jay surveys on parcels that are one acre or larger, use the protocol dated August 24, 2007. For additional information, please contact the United States Fish and Wildlife Service concerning proper survey protocols (772-562-3909).

Consultation with United States Fish and Wildlife Service will involve providing information which is outlined on the application. An application link is provided for you.

If you need further clarification please call the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at 772-562-3909, or Charlotte County Natural Resources Division at 941-613.3220.

Habitat Conservation Planning Frequently Asked Questions


For more information
Natural Resources
514 Grace St.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941.613.3220
email: Andy.Stevens@charlottefl.com