Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Take Action to Save Panther Habitat

SierraRise -- Why stand apart, when we can rise together?

There are fewer than 180 Florida panthers left, and 33 were unnecessarily killed last year.

Take action now to tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect thepanthers' habitat!
Take action!

Take action today!
Dear Friend,

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just announced that a record-breaking number of endangered Florida panthers were killed in 2014.

What little habitat remains for this endangered species is under constant siege from development, oil drilling and mining. The development on their habitat creates a profound threat to their survival and led to the death of 33 Florida panthers last year.

The fragile Florida panther population can't afford such a devastating loss. But unless we act, it will continue as more developers and fossil fuel businesses request permits to build and operate on their land.

Send a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now telling them to protect the Florida panthers' habitat and put a stop to the development that threatens their survival.
These majestic panthers once roamed throughout the Southeastern U.S. -- from Arkansas to Florida. Now, fewer than180 can be found in just three Florida counties.

As their habitat disappears, the panthers are forced to survive in smaller areas, leading to more aggression between cats as they try to protect their territory. [1] And, as more development leads to more and more roads running through their habitat, even more are killed by cars: 76% of the Florida panthers killed in 2014 were hit by cars.

Each year Florida panther habitat has continued to shrink, but we can put a stop to it now. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the power to grant critical habitat designation to the lands that are essential to the continued existence of an endangered species.

Take action now to tell the USFWS it's time to put a stop to unnecessary killings of Florida panthers by providing them with the critical habitat designation they so desperately need!

Critical habitat designation would protect Florida panthers by requiring federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on any actions they carry out, fund or authorize on the panther habitat, to ensure these actions don't destroy or harm the area. [2] It will halt federal permits that aid developers who want to take over thepanther's dwindling habitat and give them their best chance of survival. In fact, research shows that animals with a defined critical habitat are twice as likely to recover. [3]

The Sierra Club already took legal action to try to force the USFWS to provide critical habitat protection to Florida panthers, but the court decided the decision is up to the USFWS. While the courts may not have the power to compel action, SierraRise supporters like you do -- and already have. You have been leaders in this fight: after you sent 167,000 comments to the Environmental Protection Agency last year, a Big Oil project that threatened the panthers' habitat was cancelled.

It's time to speak up to defend the panthers once again and put a stop to all of the projects that threaten their habitat.

Send your letter to the USFWS now demanding they protect the remaining Florida panthers by protecting their home with a critical habitat designation.

In it together,

Molly Brooksbank

P.S. Five signatures are even more powerful than one -- after you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends, family, and colleagues!

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1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff (accessed 2015 January 7). "Frequently Asked Questions About the Florida Panther." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff (accessed 2015 January 7). "Critical Habitat - What is it?" U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

3. Robinson, Michael (2010 February 11). "Critical Habitat Denied for the Endangered Florida Panther." Center for Biological Diversity.

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceCC BY 2.0