USFWS Statement of Support for FWC Florida Panther Management Strategy
September 23, 2015
Yuma (Florida panther) plays with a piece of loose sod from his enclosure. Photo: Ken Warren
Ken Warren, email@example.com, 772-469-4323
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) fully supports the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) revised position paper on Florida panther management.
FWC and the Service have been unwavering partners in panther recovery, and that partnership will continue. In the view of the Service, the position paper aligns with and reiterates many of the high priority action items the Florida Panther Recovery Implementation Team is working on, which can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/FloridaPantherRIT.html.
Where some have interpreted the FWC position papers to be suggestive of de-listing or opening a hunting season on panthers, the Service has not interpreted them that way nor have the two agencies contemplated either of those actions. More information about the FWC’s plans can be found at: http://www.floridapanthernet.org/images/field_notes/Panther_position_FAQs_09162015wbdFINAL.pdf.
Panther recovery is transitioning from a phase of saving the last few dozen animals from extinction, to a new phase of managing a population that is close to 200 animals and exploring opportunities to expand this population outside of South Florida. The Service will continue working closely with FWC in this current phase and phases yet to come in completing panther recovery.