May 28, 2010

the Florida Panther and Human sprawl

We read a disturbing piece in the St Pete Times yesterday about the death of 3 Florida panthers recently in Collier county Florida bringing the total Florida panther deaths for this year to 8.

The problem is largely that the animal requires a large range, as do bears and many other professional predators, to make their living. As Florida grows and continues to develop boundaries outside the normal existing urban areas, Panther habitat is under stress.

In many places heavy fencing and underpasses have been built to force the animals to stay off the roads. Where these cats were killed is an area that had been planned for these enhancements but the efforts had been stopped by the hunting lobby since the hunters do not want to be bothered by the fences

The paper says there are as few as 100 Florida panthers left in Florida

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