Protect Endangered Florida Panthers from Land Developers

Target: Greg Sheehan, acting director for the US Fish and Wildlife Services

Goal: Protect critically endangered Florida panthers from extinction at the hands of developers.

Habitats for the Florida panther are in danger of destruction by land developers. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is about to finalize a “Habitat Conservation Plan” that would transform nearly 150,000 acres of southern Florida into a combination of nature reserves and land open to development. Ideally, the plan, written by Florida landowners, would cluster development around Immokalee and keep about 100,000 acres from being developed. However, conservationists claim that the patches of development will cut off natural corridors the Florida panther uses to hunt and live. The Florida panther was officially declared critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature nearly a decade ago. Human development puts the panthers in constant danger of poaching, automobile collisions, and poisoning from industrial chemicals.

Florida panthers require large amounts of land to flourish as a species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has noted that a single family of panthers, one male and two to five females, requires at least 200 square miles, over 100,000 acres, of free habitat. A study published in Biological Conservation claims that, on average, Florida panthers currently have access to a third of the land they need to thrive. Animal conservation groups claim the plan to partition land in southern Florida will only decrease the amount of land available for the panthers and fragment their territory into even less manageable pieces. All the while, new development will only bring the panthers closer to humans.

Please sign this petition to demand the end to development that would further endanger the Florida panther.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Sheehan,

A plan to further develop parts of South Florida is being considered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Although the “Habitat Conservation Plan” claims to protect nearly 100,000 acres of land for nature reserves, studies by conservation organizations claim the partitioning of land will fragment existing habitats for the critically endangered Florida panther and cut off natural corridors they use to hunt and thrive.

There are only 230 surviving Florida panthers left. Human developments consistently open up the panthers to the threats of poaching, automobile collisions, and poisoning from industrial runoff. Furthermore, even the small population surviving requires much more land than is currently available to them. Memos of the US Fish and Wildlife Service confirm the surviving population would require nearly three times the amount of land they currently have to safely thrive. The current “Habitat Conservation Plan” will not only further decrease the amount of land they need, but will break up their current territories into unmanageable sections.

Please do not allow land developers to further destroy the Florida panther’s habitat. I demand that you stop this “Habitat Conservation Plan” that fails to conserve the habitat in question.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rodney Camauff


One Comment

  1. Gloria Navan says:

    I was raised in South Florida. The habitat of these panthers as well as all of
    the creatures in the Everglades has slowly been taken away from them. They have almost no chance of survival if drastic action is not taken now.

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