Today the National Research Council of the National Academies released their “Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Fourth Biennial Review,” which assesses the progress made toward accomplishing the goals of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
The assessment provided grades based on the status and trajectories for 10 ecosystem attributes. While many ecosystem attributes received poor grades of “C” or “D,” only the Everglade Snail Kite (Kite) received a failing grade of “F.” The Everglade Snail Kite is a system-wide indicator species for the success or failure of the CERP.
Megan Tinsley, Audubon Florida Everglades Policy Associate, remarked: “As a system-wide indicator species, if the Everglade Snail Kite receives a failing grade, so too does the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. We must drastically improve our ability to move water through the central to southern Everglades to improve habitat for this critically endangered bird. "
Audubon has called extensively for increased effort to remedy the problems plaguing the Everglade Snail Kite before populations decline past their already dangerously-low levels. The report identifies recent Kite declines as being related to the degradation of habitat in previously productive areas, namely Lake Okeechobee and the Water Conservations Areas.
With its own scientists witnessing the effects of continued ecosystem degradation, Audubon Florida supports the independent panel of scientists’ statement that “substantial near-term progress to address both water quality and hydrology in the central Everglades is needed to prevent further declines.”
Audubon Fact Sheets and Other Everglade Snail Kite Links:
- January 2012: Central Everglades Planning Project: Roadmap to Achieve Restoration Results - http://bit.ly/HW1BQS
- November 2011: 2011 Everglade Snail Kite Nesting Summary - http://bit.ly/LEkzdE
- July 2011: Everglade Snail Kites: Barometer for the Health of the Everglades and Progress of Restoration- http://bit.ly/LEkgiM
For continuing coverage of Audubon Florida’s work with Everglade Snail Kites, please see the Everglade Snail Kite category section of our blog: http://bit.ly/LEkHd5.