comments on panther wanted.

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Eric Kimmel
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comments on panther wanted.

Postby Eric Kimmel » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:52 pm

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15 hrs ago
Panther Delisting - Our opinions Requested
Frank Denninger to you + 88 moreshow details
Hello All,

This article below should be distributed to every club member of every club within the ECC - IMHO with a request that every member comment to USFWS (David Shindle - a good guy) and highlighted below as specified at the bottom of the article and here - emailed to david_shindle@fws.gov; or faxed to 772-562-4288. - At a minimum comment to the request from USFWS for your opinion IF the panther should be a specific species - the answer is - NO the florida panther should not be a separate sub species it's just a panther like all the rest of them in America and elsewhere-

Now is our chance to have a meaningful say in the matter at LONG LAST

It looks like they really want us to comment so as to give them a foundation to do what we have wanted for decades

Also Please forward this to everyone you know cares about this - if for no other reason than to help young hunters of the future - involving many many people is what got rid of River of Grass Greenway and the same can work on this.

Thanks to All in Advance

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389
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to review Florida panther's endangered status
Eric Staats , eric.staats@naplesnews.com; 239-263-4780 Published 2:48 p.m. ET June 30, 2017 | Updated 8:56 p.m. ET June 30, 2017





Watch a panther, bear, bobcat and a turkey family take selfies as they are photographed with a camera trap Andrew West/news-press.com
#stockphoto Florida Panther Stock Photo

(Photo: Tom Fawls, Getty Images/iStockphoto)
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday that it will review whether Florida panthers are still an endangered species.

The review, a requirement of the Endangered Species Act, comes after a panther population rebound has led to growing calls from hunters and ranchers to take the big cats off the endangered species list.

Panther advocates have urged caution.

"The review is going to address a lot of speculation about the panther, its status, its health and its range," said Nancy Payton, a field representative for the Florida Wildlife Federation in Southwest Florida.

The Endangered Species Act requires that a species' status be reviewed every five years; the panther's last status review was announced in 2005. A decision to keep the panther's endangered status was announced in 2009.

"I think it's time (for a new review)," said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Liesa Priddy, an Immokalee rancher who drew criticism for a controversial memo that said Southwest Florida had reached its "carrying capacity" for panthers.

A later version of the memo, adopted by the Conservation Commission, called for the federal Fish and Wildlife Service to take the lead on recovery of Florida's iconic state animal.

Priddy said Friday she couldn't say whether panthers should qualify for downlisting.

"I think there's more evidence than there ever was before," she said. "That goes without saying."

As part of the status review, the Fish and Wildlife Service asked Friday that the public submit any new information about population trends, habitat conditions, threats and whether the panther still should be considered a separate subspecies.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has increased its estimate of the Florida panther population to as many as 230 adults, up from 180, most of them in Southwest Florida.

More: Fencing raised along Alligator Alley to protect Florida panthers, drivers

More: Panther roadkill in Hendry marks 15th big cat death of the year

More: Good news for Florida panther population, after FWC documents panther kittens north of Caloosahatchee

More: Scientists estimate growing Florida panther population

That is a rebound from as few as 30 panthers before a genetic restoration experiment brought in female Texas cougars to mix with the Florida population.

The current federal recovery plan for Florida panthers requires at least two breeding populations of 240 panthers each before the panther can be listed as threatened instead of endangered; three such populations are required before the panther can be taken off the list altogether. That plan also is under review.

Panther roadkills are reaching annual records, and reports of panthers preying on cattle and backyard livestock in Golden Gate Estates also are on the rise.

Earlier this year, females and kittens were seen for the first time since 1973 north of the Caloosahatchee River in Lee County, a long-awaited milestone for panther recovery.

In a statement Friday, the agency's Florida ecological services supervisor, Larry Williams, cited the natural expansion of panther habitat.

“The Florida panther population has made significant strides towards recovery since it first received federal protection in 1967," Williams said in the statement.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida CEO Rob Moher said panthers have expanded their range but still are losing core habitat.

"We have to look holistically at this," Moher said. "It's still very concerning to us."

Have your say

Input on the Florida panther status review should be sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 12085 S.R. 20 S., Immokalee, FL 34142; emailed to david_shindle@fws.gov; or faxed to 772-562-4288.

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