Celebrate “Florida Panther” Week in Naples
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2007
Starting March 10, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and The Friends of Florida Panther Refuge invite everyone to join in a week of celebration events leading up to the State designated “Save the Panther Day” on March 17.
Panthers once kept the balance of nature throughout the entire Southeastern United States. But just like Asia’s majestic tiger, America’s signature cat faced overhunting, habitat destruction, and the loss of natural prey. Pushed to the brink of extinction, a remnant population was concentrated in the tip of Florida leaving an imbalance in nature throughout the Southeast. Finally protected in March 1967, their survival and the continuing efforts to save them is the cause for our celebration!
During this highlight week, everyone is invited to participate to learn more about the greater Everglades ecosystem that affects both panthers and people. Join special events and tours to meet experts or have your own first-hand experience in your local wilderness areas. Sign up for tours starting March 5!
To celebrate the culmination of Florida Panther Week, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge will hold a morning open house on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17. Be “green” by learning about this fascinating and important natural area by signing up for a tour. Outdoor activities include a bird walk, swamp buggy tours, a native plant walk, photography workshop, and orchid tours. Thanks to the Duncan Memorial fund, Naples-Fort Myers chapter of Safari Club International, and The Friends of Florida Panther Refuge, an observation platform now enhances the Duncan Memorial Trail. A dedication ceremony will be held at 10am to officially open the newly completed platform. The trail is open daily during daylight hours.
Panther Week Events
All activities are free and tours will be available by reservation only. Space is limited. Unless otherwise noted above, call the refuge office at (239) 353-8442, ext. 233 starting from March 5 between 12 noon – 3:30 p.m. to reserve spaces. Reservations will be made on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge work with the refuge to protect and conserve one of earth's rarest animals. To learn more details about the activities and what you can do- Click www.floridapanther.org.
Driving Directions to the refuge’s public trail: From Naples, take I-75 West to Alligator Alley to Exit 80. Take the exit for SR 29, North towards Immokalee. Turn left into the Parking lot for Florida Panther Refuge, within ¼ mile from the highway.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts.
Information about the Florida
Panther -- http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/Florida_Panther.htm
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/. Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286