Frustrated residents in southern Florida gathered last night at a community meeting to discuss a proposed development project on roughly 150,000 acres in Collier County.
Eight protected species, including the endangered Florida panther, live on the land. But the landowners say they only want to develop 45,000 acres of the property and will leave the rest protected for wildlife.
Panther habitat is constantly being whittled away by developments and roads, and residents say we can't spare losing another acre. More houses means more people and more cars. Roadkill has been the leading cause of death for panthers, with roughly ten percent of the population killed annually by vehicle strikes. The second most common cause of death is from fights with other panthers over limited habitat. The proposed development project would only exacerbate current conflicts.
How much longer can the species survive in this shrinking patch of everglades?
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement related to the development project and is accept pubic comments until April 24th.
Share your opinions on this issue by submitting written comments.
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Comments-Eastern Collier HCP EIS
US Fish and Wildlife Service
South Florida Ecological Services Field Office
1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32960-3559