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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.


Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.


Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

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Panthers vs. ORVs, and coral critical habitat

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From the Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 Palm Beach Post...Panther Safety at heart of fight over off-road vehicles.

"Off-road vehicles were prohibited in 2000 in much of the region north of Interstate 75, known as Alligator Alley. But preserve Superintendent Karen Gustin decided to reopen the Bear Island area to vehicle use a year ago after a heavy lobbying effort by off-roaders..." but environmentalists "allege that vehicle access to the sensitive area constitutes federal neglect of the National Park Service's obligation to protect the highly endangered panthers."

Florida Panther photo by Ralph Arwood available atBig Cypress National Preserve

COMMENTARY: The struggle between natural resource management and recreational use, especially in the context of off-road vehicle use, is a well trod path in environmental litigation. See Natural Trails and Waters Coalition page.   But while it is indisputable that ORV's cause some degree of habitat impact, see National Park Service article on human/panther interactions, another question needs to be considered: in the absence of the use of at least portions of that habitat, would the motivation exist to preserve the rest of the habitat?

* * * * *

In other South Florida news, NOAA has announced its plans to designate critical habitat for threatened Elkhorn and Staghorn corals. See NOAA press release.  The proposed rule and related fact sheets are also available online.

COMMENTARY: The listing and protection of coral may also have significant benefits for the fish that depend upon them.  However, as ENN reported today, the well-known Butterfly fish 'may face extinction' because it is an "obligate specialist" with a very strong dietary preference for one sort of food -- namely, Acropora hyacinthus.  Here, NOAA seeks to protect only the elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), and staghorn coral (A. cervicornis).