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New wildlife refuge established in Florida


  • Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar today announced the creation of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area in an effort to preserve the community’s ranching heritage and conserve the headwaters and fish and wildlife of the Everglades.

  • The Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to protect approximately 150,000 acres of important environmental and cultural landscapes in the Kissimmee River Valley south of Orlando.

  • In addition to improving water quality, the proposed conservation area and refuge would protect important habitat for 88 federal and state listed species, including the Florida panther, Florida black bear and whooping crane.

WASHINGTON (January 18, 2012) - The following is a statement by Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife:

“The creation of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is not only critical for restoring imperiled wildlife, like Florida panthers and whooping cranes that depend on the region, but also for preserving a way of life for the ranchers who have made their living off the land for decades. This endeavor is the perfect example of the payoff when diverse shareholders come together with a common conservation goal, and sets the stage for future collaboration to preserve Florida’s natural assets.”



Learn more about the challenges facing the Everglades and the species who call it home.

Contact(s): Caitlin Leutwiler, (202) 772-3226

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.