In secret, behind locked gates, our Nation's Oldest City dumped a landfill in a lake (Old City Reservoir), while emitting sewage in our rivers and salt marsh. Organized citizens exposed and defeated pollution, racism and cronyism. We elected a new Mayor. We're transforming our City -- advanced citizenship. Ask questions. Make disclosures. Demand answers. Be involved. Expect democracy. Report and expose corruption. Smile! Help enact a St. Augustine National Park and Seashore. We shall overcome!
Saturday, July 08, 2017
Save the Panther
I agree with the ineluctable logic of the Tampa Bay Times:
Editorial: Florida panther should remain on endangered species list
The Florida panther is the Sunshine State's official animal, namesake of South Florida's hockey team and featured on tens of thousands of Protect the Panther state license plates. Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the big cat's endangered species status. The Florida panther deserves federal protection, and without it one of this state's most iconic animals would be unnecessarily endangered.
Since the endangered list was created in 1967, the Florida panther has been on it. Protection has worked, with a current estimated population of about 200. In the mid-1990s, there were no more than 20 to 30 Florida panthers. The endangered designation helps stabilize populations, prevent extinction and conserve habitat. As this federal review begins, some are looking for the panther to lose that status, arguing the Florida panther may not technically be a different subspecies from other pumas, which are common in the western United States.
Others have questioned if the animal is special enough to warrant the status in the first place and should be hunted. That's ridiculous, and Floridians should stand up for this treasured animal that has become a part of the state's identity.
While this is a routine five-year review, concerned citizens should be alert for a possible change. In March, the federal agency foolishly downgraded manatees from endangered to threatened, despite opposition from the public and scientists. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should heed the slogan on those specialty Florida license plates: Protect the panther.
Editorial: Florida panther should remain on endangered species list 07/07/17 [Last modified: Saturday, July 8, 2017 2:15pm]