Sunday, April 22, 2012

Florida Panthers Safer

Florida Panther Project
A 1.3 mile segment of state highway in Florida has claimed the lives of seven critically endangered Florida panthers in just eight years. The hundred or so pumas (Puma concolor) are the last documented cougars in the eastern United States. US Person advocated building a crossing for the panthers in a previous post. {panthers} Undoubtably because of budget problems, the Florida department of transportation did not build an overpass but did install a roadside detection system that uses solar powered sensors to detect the presence of large animals near the road and alerts drivers to their presence with flashing signals on six warning signs. The system was put in place with a federal grant. Now, if the drivers will obey the law, there should be fewer panthers killed in collisions on the East Tamiami Trail (US 41). Another deadly road for panthers is County Road 832 that cuts through Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest. Authorities lowered the nighttime speed limit there to allow panthers safer passage. Remember: speed kills!