Problems: As a result of habitat loss, displacement by invasive species, toxins in the environment, and climate change, we are losing species globally at the rate of a mass extinction. For these same reasons within Florida, many populations of our unique plants and animals are declining, but only a few are officially protected (i.e., listed as threatened or endangered).
Solutions: While all species all species and ecosystems should have their own “rights” to life based on their intrinsic value, we know that many species and ecosystems also provide tangible and intangible benefits to humans, including medicinal purposes, control of disease vectors like mosquitoes and ticks, and the joy of viewing them in their natural habitats. Therefore, we must:
- Protect their natural habitats from conversion or misuse with care and restraint.
- Notice and protect wild species in our urban zones and, without fear, give them the space they need to move around.
- Install native plants in urban spaces to extend and connect preserved natural areas
- Reduce use of pesticides and other environmental toxins.
- Minimize use of non-native plants in landscaping.
- Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change.