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Lending a Helping Hand to Florida's Endagered Species

written by: KelLightningbug•edited by: Jason C. Chavis•updated: 5/24/2010

An overview of Florida's endangered species and how we can help protect these amazing but endangered animals.

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    Ways in Which We Can Help Save Florida's Endangered Species

    Florida topographic map-en There is an excessive number of species in the state of Florida which unfortunately fall on the endangered species list. The manatee and eastern indigo snake are inhabitants residing on this list. Many factors have kept them endangered, including but not limited to injuries from boats and habitat loss due to deforestation for developmental purposes.

    What can be done to get them off the endangered species list? It is not only possible but not too hard once folks become aware of the potential harm that we, as humans, are unknowingly causing these magnificent, endangered animals. What can we do to help save our fellow animal neighbors?

    Has anyone ever wanted to own a snake that wasn’t harmful to others? Well, the Eastern Indigo snakes make particularly good pets but they are becoming endangered as more trees are being cut down and our forests become narrower in scope. With population on the rise, it’s hard to determine if these endangered snakes will make it off the list anytime soon.

    Measures are currently being taken by the North Florida Fish and Wildlife Service to protect certain forest areas that the Eastern Indigo Snake inhabits by outfitting some of the snakes with radio transmitters. Sometimes, the problem with finding the Eastern Indigo Snake arises due to the fact that they prefer the same type of den that rattle snakes inhabit as well.

    Back in 2001 action was taken in favor of Wildlaw and logging was called to a halt in Osceola County in Florida, which helped to save the snakes. The number of acres saved were 1,040, which is about the size of a football field. Currently, action is being taken by the Nature Conservancy to protect the Eastern Indigo Snake in Southwestern Florida, as well. Fifteen thousand acres are protected under the wing of the Nature Conservancy in Florida. More than a hundred thousand acres are in negotiations at this time to help protect the snakes among other creatures in the state of Florida.

    Beautiful manatees share the Florida waterways but it’s possible that, if we are not careful, we could lose these gentle mammals. Problems have cropped up due to the population boom in Florida. This influx of people leads to more pollution and an increase in boaters on the state rivers. Manatees swim slowly but the speed of boaters is much faster which leads to harmful collisions. Most of our fun recreation activities can be harmful to the manatees if we don’t pick up after ourselves. Fishing lines and any beverage containers should be thrown in a trash bag and tossed out after your excursion. That way, you can have fun and help the manatees out at the same time. We, as humans, aren’t the only threat that these mammals face, though; cold weather can cause harm to the manatees if the water temperature becomes too low. So, let’s do our part so at least we know that their threat isn’t due to us.

    With only a bit of thought, we as humans can all do our part to help protect Florida’s Eastern Indigo Snake and the manatees. Next time you happen to be vacationing in Florida, be sure to think about where your plastic food wraps and beverages are going and by doing this one simple thing, more animals’ lives will be saved.

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    Image Source

    Florida. (Supplied by Eric Gabba at Wikimedia Commons;