Lawsuit Focuses on Two Everglades Bird Species

What do you do when efforts to help one endangered species apparently are killing another?
That dilemma has surfaced in Florida, where efforts to stem water flows into Everglades National Park to help Cape Sable seaside sparrows during their breeding season arguably are harming snail kite populations to the north of the park.
A recent story in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says the Miccosukee Tribe is suing the U.S. Interior Department over U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service water management decisions intended to keep sparrow habitat in the park from being flooded. However, the tribe claims that when water gates are shut to halt the flows, water backs up and floods snail kite habitat on tribal land.
"Basically their biological opinion is authorizing the killing of snail kites . . . purportedly to help another endangered species," tribe spokeswoman Joette Lorion told the newspaper.
The lawsuit asks that the FWS be ordered to come up with a new water management plan and assess its environmental impacts before implementing it.

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