Senator Nelson Urges Continued Panther Protection

Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is urging the Trump administration to keep the Florida panther on the federal endangered species list.

The move comes as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced recently that it is conducting a review of whether to maintain the Florida panther's current listing under the Endangered Species Act.

In a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Nelson wrote that as the review continued, he urged the secretary "to maintain the endangered classification and intensify efforts to preserve the Florida panther."

In his letter, Nelson noted that more than 140 Florida panthers were killed by cars in the last decade. 

He says additional measures such as wildlife crossings and roadway fencing will be needed to further protect panthers from vehicle collisions.

The Endangered Species Act requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to review the status of each species on the federal endangered list at least once every five years to determine whether any species should be removed from the list, reclassified or maintained at its current classification.

On June 29, FWS announced that it was reviewing the classifications of 22 endangered species, including the Florida panther.

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