In the News in FL
Beautiful, elusive, powerful – and critically endangered.
The Florida panther is one of the most endangered mammals on earth and the future of this subspecies is in our hands.
Florida panthers once prowled and flourished in America’s southeastern woodlands and swamps, but today, fewer than 160 of these majestic cats remain in a tiny portion of their historic range. And that habitat is shrinking every day – gobbled up by highway construction, subdivisions and commercial development.
In recent months, vehicle collisions between panthers and humans have taken a deadly turn. Vehicles are a leading cause of panther mortality – a total of 19 panthers were killed on Florida highways in 2012. That’s the highest recorded number of panthers killed by cars in a single year.
We’re in a race against time. As panther habitat becomes more and more fragmented, it will be increasingly difficult for these creatures to stay out of harm’s way.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must prioritize efforts to create and expand wildlife refuges by obtaining and allocating funding and working with landowners to protect habitat that secures the Florida panthers’ future in the wild.
The Center for Biological Diversity
is participating in two exciting — and free — events in Florida this week, and we hope you’ll join us.
Tomorrow, Feb. 19, is the National Climate Assessment Town Hall Meeting in Tampa — a discussion of the federal “Draft Third National Climate Assessment,” an important document that predicts dire real-world effects from climate change across the country. The day-long meeting will bring together climate change experts, local government officials, nonprofit organizations, business and industry to discuss those impacts.
Attend the meeting to learn more about the assessment, speak with the authors and share information. After the town hall, stick around for a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Chasing Ice, as well as a reception and panel discussion. Learn more about the meeting — including how to RSVP — on our events page.
Then on Feb. 21, be there for the Santa Fe River Springs Basin Working Group quarterly meeting in High Springs. Center attorney Jaclyn Lopez, who is based in Florida, will present on Florida Springs and endangered species. Learn more about the event, then RSVP to Jaclyn if you’ll be attending.
Details for both events below:
What: National Climate Assessment Town Hall Meeting and Chasing Ice screening
When: Feb. 19, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: University of South Florida’s Patel School of Global Sustainability, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa (movie screening across the street)
What: Santa Fe River Springs Basin Working Group quarterly meeting
When: Feb. 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Jaclyn’s presentation is at 3 p.m.)
Where: The Opera House (above the Great Outdoors Restaurant), 65 N. Main St., High Springs
CALL TO CITES – STOP STIMULATING DEMAND FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES
LONDON: The campaigning Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is calling on international policy-makers to Stop Stimulating Demand for critically endangered species.
The London-based NGO cautioned that conflicting decisions and top-level discussions regarding trades in the products of endangered species such as elephants, tigers and precious woods create consumer confusion and ultimately drive poaching/theft by criminals to supply rising demand.
EIA will be promoting its Stop Stimulating Demand message at the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP16) to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Bangkok, Thailand, from March 3-14, 2013.
Executive Director Mary Rice said: “International criminal networks are decimating key species worldwide to feed a growing demand for wildlife products that is being stimulated by contradictory signals and messages which undermine existing prohibitions or fuel the anticipation of future legalised markets.
“Both actions serve to confuse consumers as to the illegality of a product, working against demand-reduction initiatives and effectively encouraging stockpiling by those speculating on future trade.”
The Stop Stimulating Demand message frames EIA’s key goals at CITES CoP16, pressing Parties on:
= close down all ivory markets, both legal and illegal;
= amend policies that currently stimulate demand for ivory products;
= tackle the criminal networks behind the illegal ivory trade.
= stop all trade in parts and products of captive-bred tigers;
= commission an independent body to review implementation of existing resolutions and decisions relating to tigers and other Asian big cats;
= enact trade suspensions against countries found to be in non-compliance with the letter and/or spirit of CITES resolutions.
= support the proposal by Thailand and Vietnam to list Siam rosewood on Appendix II of CITES to allow for more rigorous monitoring of regulated trade;
=support proposals for listing Malagasy ebony and rosewood, Honduran rosewood, black rosewood and granadillo rosewood.
For footage, images, interviews or background briefings on these issues, please contact the lead members of EIA’s CITES CoP16 team:
1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK-based Non Governmental Organisation and charitable trust (registered charity number 1145359) that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.
2. A short film about EIA’s Stop Stimulating Demand message and the organisation’s ambitions for CITES CoP16 is available to view and embed at https://vimeo.com/59588468.