• How can the state of Florida balance the reality of urbanization with the need to protect the Florida panther?
• A large developer in Collier County has just unveiled plans to build a new town on 8,000 acres of farmland surrounded by 14,000 acres of preserve. The proposed town would include space for 9,000 residential units, offices, a golf course, a 500-room hotel, a 200-bed hospital, civic and cultural buildings and parks. The land developer claims that the community will be a sustainable one that will preserve the rural quality of the area.
• Florida panther is an endangered animal and the building project will be located right in their primary habitat zone.• “Now the panther faces multiple threats, the largest those is habitat loss, which can be resolved by re-establishing breeding populations in appropriate portions of its former range of the southeastern United States. For more information on current threats to the panther population, see Panther Info.”.
• Florida’s state animal, the panther, has been on the state’s endangered species list since 1973. About 80 - 100 panthers remain in the Florida panther population. As recent as the early 1990s, only about 30 Florida panthers existed. Although the numbers have risen due to recovery programs, the Florida panther is still critically endangered.
• His primary concern is to preserve Florida’s natural beauty. He wishes to build this town over the next 10-15 years and believes he can build it in a way that will not endanger the Florida panther. He is partnering with the Rural Lands Stewardship program to ensure the preservation of more than 7,000 to 11,000 acres of land and historic ranches and farms. He believes that the proposed community will be a sustainable one where humans and animals can co-habitat in harmony.
• As out environment and habitat continues to erode around us, it is important that we begin to think about sustainable growth.• Growth that allows us to expand but to preserve the earth as well.• All of these programs and policies combined are clearly capable of cutting per capita auto fuel use over the next couple of decades to a fraction of what it is today. Without even getting into alternative or "clean" fuels, this could make a major impact on air pollution, acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions.
• They work for the Florida Tourist Board and their primary concern is to continue to attract tourists to Southwest Florida, not only for its beaches but for its unique rural quality and huge preserves of land and water. They see this development opportunity as a way to market Florida’s beauty.
• Today, tourism is the most important factor driving Floridas economy. About forty million people visit Florida yearly. The money visitors spend in Florida supports many businesses. Amounting to over $40 billion dollars each year, tourism is the states greatest source of income. As tourism continues to grow, so will Florida
Overcrowding• But the population growth that has transformed Florida into a crowded mass of subdivisions, congested highways, and paved- over pastures has just begun. If current trends continue, the state’s population will increase by 5.5 million by 2025 and will have doubled by 2050, when its population could surpass 32 million – or twice the 15,982,378 counted in the 2000 census. (That does not include the close to one million “snowbirds” who reside in the state every winter.5 )
Near Extinction• The Florida panther has been on the endangered species list since 1967, but its habitat has been egregiously under protected. The Florida Panther Recovery Plan (2008) and the September 2009 critical habitat petition identify three areas needed for protection: a “primary zone” where panthers currently live and reproduce, a “secondary zone” of adjoining areas that panthers sometimes roam, and a “dispersal zone” consisting of a narrow travel
Important to the environment• The Florida Panther is special simply because it exists. As a top predator this subspecies of mountain lion is known as an “Umbrella Species” because its survival means the survival of the flora and fauna (plants and animals) that live in its range. If we are losing big cats, it is because we are losing natural wilderness areas to urban sprawl. Preserving wilderness protects the quality of soil, water and air that all species, including us depend on for life.
• I agree that sustainability is important but to me preservation of nature and the animals that live in this habitat is more important than growth. That is just my personal opinion.
For the panther• More land is given to the panthers this should be the number one priority seeing as they lead to a stable wildlife.• Also more needs to be done to exclusively protect Florida panthers.
For the communities• This is also very important because it plays such a huge role in our economy as well as providing for our needs more economically friendly.• So more housing developments should be converted to sustainable communities but only after the panther is cared for.