New Traffic Warning System Aims to Cut Florida Panther Road-kill Deaths.
In the November-December issue, Kurt Repanshek writes about an innovative approach to decrease Florida panther deaths:
Depending on which system officials opt for, a roadside warning sign will flash when a panther—or any large mammal—crosses an infrared or laser beam, or when a sensor detects body heat and movement.
The system selected will be installed near the junction of Turner River Road and U.S. 41 in southwestern Big Cypress National Preserve, which offers top-notch panther habitat. Placing it here, where roughly 2,700 vehicles a day zoom by, could significantly reduce road-kill mortality.
“Florida panther conservation and recovery is arguably among the most challenging species conservation questions in the country,” says Paul Souza, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s South Florida Ecological Services Office field supervisor. “It’s an extraordinarily wide-ranging animal, and this is one of our highest priorities.”
Read more stories from the November-December 2010 issue.