Congrats, South Florida! You've Driven Two New Species Toward The Endangered List

Here in South Florida, we've done a number to Mother Nature that few other regions in this fine country can match. 

In just over a century, we've dammed the Everglades, plopped whole cities down in the middle of supposedly protected wetlands, funneled Niagara-worthy loads of sewage into the ocean and paved a whole highway right through the most important waterway in the state.

(Cue the music): South Florida, f#ck yeah!!!

Our misadventures in destroying -- and failing to rebuild -- the Everglades have led to one of the highest concentrations of endangered and threatened animals in the U.S. There are 13 endangered species in the Glades today and another nine on the threatened list, according to FIU's database.

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced two more lucky winners that have been sufficiently screwed by South Florida to merit consideration under the Endangered Species Act.

Meet the Florida bonneted bat and the Florida bristle fern. Please be kind to them, because apparently there aren't too many left.

Today's announcement means that the bonneted bat -- which is found in 12 locations around central and South Florida -- and the fern, native only to Miami-Dade and Sumter, are both fading quickly enough to merit further study.

Once the agency has enough data, they'll decide whether to move the species up onto the "endangered" or "threatened" lists, says Elsie Davis, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service.

There was a bit of good news from the FWS today, though.

You can all breathe a big sigh of relief. The Utah fat whirled pondsnail, at long last, has been removed from consideration on the list.

Breed, fat whirled pondsnail! Breed, damn you!

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink