October 16, 2008

Deer Trapped in Flooded Everglades

Florida wildlife officials say near-record flooding in the Everglades have left few dry places for white-tailed deer and other animals.

The concern is greatest in the sawgrass prairies north of Tamiami Trail, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday. ''If we don't start doing something, we're going to end up with a total massacre,'' Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ron Bergeron said.

Similar flooding in 1982 and 1995 decimated the deer population.

State and federal water managers say there isn't much more they can do to protect the animals until the overhaul of the Tamiami Trail finally moves forward. The newspaper said the road dams up the marshes to the north and dries out Everglades National Park to the south. A plan to fix the road as been tied up for 19 years by competing concerns of environmentalists, the Miccosukee Tribe, and local, state and federal agencies, the newspaper reported.