U.S. Fish and Wildlife looks to list the Panama City Crayfish as threatened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comment on listing the Panama City...
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comment on listing the Panama City Crayfish as threatened.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Panama City is home to an immense variety of wildlife, and in the vast majority of cases that wildlife and the community coexist.

As the city expands, however, one little critter is causing quite a stir.

When asking about the range of the Panama City Crayfish, its almost as if you’re listening to the description of an address.

“Strangely enough, Jenks Avenue, Transmitter Road, Star Avenue,” said Keith Bryant, Chief Infrastructure Officer for Bay County. “It likes wet locations with a lot of pine growth.”

The Panama City Crayfish only lives in the Panama City area, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently accepting public comment on whether or not to list it as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The consequences of its listing would result in the slowing of development, according to the Bay County Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re the Bay County Chamber,” said Carol Roberts, president of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce. “Our mission is community development and paving the way for future growth. This is yet another obstacle that will be thrown not just in front of government, but developers.”

The county is currently trying to buy a parcel of land to turn into a habitat and passive park for the crayfish. It would preserve the species and the growth of the area, and prevent the listing of the species as threatened. This would also help avoid higher development costs and times of review, according to county officials.

“We see the reason for the listing of the species,” Bryant said. “And we also see the effects on development. So what we’re trying to do is take care of both. We’ve worked with Fish and Wildlife to identify the correct property that needs to be acquired. We’re working with the state and the federal government to acquire the money to buy the property.”

Public comment will be accepted until June 14. The link to comment can be found here.

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