About them: These are a subspecies of Tiger Beetles which, are really awesome bugs. They have a beautiful iridescent our shell, which makes them highly desirable for collection. They are predators. They can run over 1 miles per hour and lose site as they are running because photons can’t entire their eyes fast enough to create an image. They use their antenna at this time to feel for obstacles and move around them. They use specific habitat, thats needs regular fires, for breeding and survival which, makes them indicator species. These are the species that make visible too much change to the environment.
Their plight: They were discovered in the 1930’s and not seen again until 2007. Once they were found it was discovered they were relying on very small, fragmented sections of land. When you look at a map of this area it is easy to imagine how local people would be frustrated to offer more land for other species. This is right next to the Everglades which is huge. The land they live on is very specific pine rockland forests with limestone sand floors. Much of this has been cleared for development.
What we should consider: I think there is a large difference between an individual’s private property and a company building. A company will benefit many and tends to need to alter the land drastically. Given that a company deals with a different level of profit from community purchasing I think the desires of that community should be apart of their business plan.
As a community member remember you have a vote more times than during an election cycle. Every call you make for or against new policy is counted. Anytime you purchase from a company, you just voted with your dollars. These little actions sway change.
What is being done: They were given permission under the ESA in November of 2016. This means any development has to consider how it will affect the Tiger Beetle.
How to help: If you live in Miami-Dade county and are a land owner with this specific habitat contact fish and wildlife. Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife and waterways. Support locally.
Support can be:
- donating to science groups
- helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
- being a citizen scientist through
- land restoration project
- trash clean ups
- species counts
- bio blitzes
- getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.
Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.
Further Reading, my sources:
[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]