Target: Director of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Daniel Ashe
Goal: Stop further urban development on Florida panthers’ habitat and provide adequate space for them to thrive
As urban development increases, the already scarce habitat of the endangered Florida panther decreases. In fact, 95% of Florida panthers’ original habitat has been destroyed due to development. The species have been forced into the southern part of Florida, where they have reached the maximum capacity for the size of their habitat. Even though panthers require special protection, a special amendment in the Endangered Species Act allows land reserved for panther habitat to be destroyed and built on if significant economic gain is projected.
According to Matthew Schwartz, the Executive Director of South Florida Wildlands Association, the panthers should continue to be considered endangered until “three separate populations of about 240” exist. There are currently between 100-160 panthers in Florida. It is for this reason that they require an abundantly sized habitat in order to increase their population.
There are concerns of aggression between panthers when they are forced into an inadequately sized habitat. Male panthers have been getting into territorial quarrels and killing each other because they do not have enough space to live. There have also been reports of male-female aggression, which is not normal for this species. Concerns of inbreeding have increased, also due to the small-sized habitat, which can lead to birth defects or other major health issues. The development of highways is also a big threat to panthers due to the high rate of car-panther collisions.
The decline of the Florida panther can have a major impact on the area’s whole ecosystem. Demand that these beautiful creatures get the protection they deserve. By signing this petition, you will help urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cease further development on panthers’ habitat and provide adequate space for them species to thrive.
Dear Director Ashe,
I am writing you to express a significant concern that requires immediate attention. Urban development is steadily increasing in Florida, which has caused the habitat of the endangered Florida panther to progressively diminish. The development of highways is a major threat to panthers’ survival due to the high rate of car-panther collisions. The underlying issue, however, is the fact that they have been forced into the southern part of Florida, where they have reached the maximum capacity for the size of their habitat.
When panthers are forced into an inadequately sized habitat, there are major concerns for aggression between male panthers. There have been reports of territorial disputes and male panthers killing each other because they do not have enough space to live. There have also been reports of male-female aggression, which is not normal for this species. Increased concernsof inbreeding exist, which is another issue due to the small habitat.
Florida’s whole ecosystem can suffer greatly from the decline of the panther. Please give these majestic creatures the protection they deserve by prohibiting further development on panthers’ habitat and provide adequate space for them to thrive.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dan Bodenstein via Flickr