Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Location: Enjoying the CYBER-JUNGLE!
|Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:52 pm Post subject: Florida Panther - Felis concolor coryi (Endangered Status)
|I just finished reading an article on the SCWF website (South Carolina Wildlife Federation) concerning the florida panther's endangered species status. Felis concolor is my "new favorite animal." (Check back next week - and it might be another animal ). Surely, if they were everyone's favorite animal - they wouldn't be endangered. However, because of some people's perceptions of big cats as well as encroachment upon their territories - the numbers of this graceful and beautiful animal have been severely reduced. I find the "public perception" element of threats to this big cat to be ironic - considering that there are more TIGERS here in America than there are in the wild. Many in the hands of private owners. And tigers are the LARGEST of the big cats!
Excerpt from Tigerhomes website:
Florida Panther - felis concolor coryi
"Primary threat is contact with man and, as is true with our extremely rare Key Deer (odocoileus virginianus clavium) with an exclusive population in Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys, is the danger of vehicular death on the highways. The Florida Panther is not a good candidate for EcoTourism because of the extremely small population and due to their elusive nature. We have very little chance to see one in the wild. In order to protect the species from extinction we must make every effort to preserve their natural habitat and implement conservation methods, such as highway underpasses allowing them access to their territory and prey in order for them to survive."
More information on the Florida panther from the Defenders of Wildlife website:
Endangered Species Spotlight - Florida Panther- Felis concolor coryi
By Deborah Ray, Executive Director Native Communications/ SCWF Volunteer (article on the South Carolina Wildlife Federation's website)
Because The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) estimates there are only 40-50 adults surviving in the wild, their chances for survival as a species appears bleak. The article emphasizes how informed citizens can use their influence as a conterbalance to the negative perceptions about this awesome cat.
"As scientists and biologists continue to study habitat needs for the Florida Panther and other big cat species, the challenge of changing the publicâ€™s perception of this species falls not only to environmental and animal conservation groups, but to you and I as well. For every one of us supporting protections for the Florida Panther, there are dozens more that see wild cats as threatening predators and they are more than willing to take their arguments all the way to Washington.
You can help by explaining how increasing human activities affect cats, their behavior and their habitat. Start public education campaigns that illustrate the need for all species, including big cats like the Florida Panther, to survive for a balanced ecosystem. Public education programs, public service announcements and even letters to the Editor of your local newspaper can all serve to create an environment of acceptance for your conservation efforts.
With resources like the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, the National Wildlife Federation and dozens of other conservation groups around our state and the country, creating your own public education campaign, whether for elementary school children or Senior Citizenâ€™s groups, has never been easier.
Now, more than ever before, we have the knowledge to save a species from total extinction and protect the delicate balance of our ecosystem. What each of us decides to do with that knowledge is yet to be seen. Will there be a wild Florida Panther population surviving for future generations to experience? Only time will tell."
This is YET ANOTHER REASON to support those who's goals are to stimulate an appreciation of wildlife (ROCK ON TIGERHOMES ).
Long live the cougar!
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." - Henry Ford