Everglades Declared Engangered

Florida national park joins Glacier and Madagascar's rain forests on list of threatened UNESCO World Heritage sites

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First Glacier, now Everglades: the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has decreed that the nation’s largest subtropical wilderness is officially endangered. Threats to the .5 million acres of estuaries, prairies, and forests include high pollution levels killing marine life and water inflows that have been reduced by 60 percent.

The Committee declared the Everglades endangered at their 34th annual meeting in Brasilia, Brazil. The Everglades joins Madagascar’s rain forests as new inductees to their list of threatened wild places across the world. Perhaps worst of all, this isn’t even the first time Everglades has made the list: The park was declared endangered between 1993 and 1997 in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.

More than a mere swamp, the famous “River of grass” houses countless threatened species and ecosystems, including the ultra-rare Florida panther. Recent invasive species have also taken a toll, especially exotic constrictor snakes. Despite the negative impacts to the environment, I hoped to catch one of those infamous alligator vs. python battles. Now it looks like they might all be poisoned to death before I get a chance.

—Ted Alvarez

via CNN

image credit: minds_eye