Monday, August 4, 2008

Florida tries to shield wildlife from climate change

Environment News Service: Florida's wildlife will face unprecedented consequences associated with climate change, warns the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC, a government agency that is organizing a conference in Orlando this month to find ways of protecting Florida species in a warming world. Florida is inhabited by endangered and threatened land mammals such as bears, panthers, Key deer, mink and otters, rats and mice, voles and bats. Florida waters host manatees, and endangered humpback, fin, sperm, sei whales, and Atlantic right whales.

On August 20 through 22, experts from the FWC and other state and federal agencies will meet to discuss the predicted impacts of climate change on these and other species of Florida wildlife. The conference, entitled Florida's Wildlife: On the Frontline of Climate Change, will highlight the climate challenges facing wildlife managers, governments, industry leaders and the public in the next 50 years.

"This summit has global significance, because the effects of climate change on places like Florida and Alaska will be a prelude to what's going to happen elsewhere in the world," said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto....

Conference participants will consider habitat and species management, human needs, hunting, fishing, boating, and outdoor recreation; invasive species; linking climate change initiatives with the conservation community; congressional climate change and cap and trade legislation; increasing awareness of climate change impacts and human capacity to respond; education and outreach....

Alligators in Florida, shot by Eva Hejda, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 Germany License

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