Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Floridians push to preserve endangered panther

Florida members of Congress urged the Obama administration today to designate a protected habitat for the endangered Florida panther.

They say the panther is one of the most endangered species in the world, with only 80 to 100 in existence.

The main problems: loss of habitat and car-related deaths, both caused by increased development in environmentally sensitive areas. Three were killed by cars in January.

`` The best available science suggests that current lands in conservation do not provide enough suitable habitat area to support even the limited number of existing panthers,’’ Congressman Alcee Hastings and four colleagues wrote to President Obama.

A protected area in Southwest Florida, they wrote, would also help protect other resources, such as wetlands, aquifer-recharge areas, drinking water supplies and other endangered species.

The designation would not block all development but would require additional review for getting federal permits.

The letter was signed by Hastings and fellow Democrats Corrine Brown, Robert Wexler, Alan Grayson and Ron Klein.



Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

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