Stop further development on the FAU Preserve; SAVE the FAU Preserve

The FAU Preserve is home to the Burrowing Owl, the threatened Gopher Tortoise, and many other plant and animal species. Since 2009, the preserve has decreased more than 40 acres in size, and there are current blueprints in place to potentially build "phase 2' of new dormitories on another portion of the preserve. This would not only crowd the tortoises into smaller and smaller areas, but all the construction would force more owls farther away from the campus. It is ironic and unfortunate as the Owl is our school's mascot, and FAU was declared an Owl Sanctuary in 1971 by the Audubon Society. If the habitat becomes too small, tortoises can be relocated, however, due to their threatened status and lack of information on how moving these animals affects their health, we would like to keep these animals here and not move them over and over again as their habitats slowly diminish and humans continue to destroy their habitat. Current research within the Preserve also suggests that  moving tortoises to new areas may negatively effect the new tortoise population's health. 

This preserve not only benefits the animals that call it home, but it also benefits the University and its students in more ways than not. It provides research opportunities for Ecology, Environmental, Biological, Chemistry, Geosience, and many other majors that students are pursuing. The Undergraduate Research Journal also has papers published from work conducted within this very preserve.The abundance of life and questions that this small habitat can help answer are innumerable, and it would be a shame if future students do not have these same opportunities. The Preserve is also incorporated into many of the Biology labs/ classes and these curriculums would all have to be changed if the Preserve were eventually destroyed.

Not only are there educational benefits, but the entire student body benefits from this habitat -ranging from exercise, to photographers, club activities and university events. 

The time is now to stand up for both students that use the FAU Preserve and the animals that live within it. We will not stand idle and watch this habitat get destroyed as the years go by. We can save what is left of the FAU Preserve........

Please, Florida Atlantic University, we would like you to create a legal easment and not develop anymore on the FAU Preserve. Help us maintain this habitat, as it will benefit the University more than a few hundred dorms will. If you destroy it, you will not only negatively effect its inhabitants and your student body, but it will also put you behind most other major universities that have preserves/ land set aside that they will not be developed on. 

Here are a few links that also explain previous attempts to save the preserve:

http://proteus.fau.edu/owl_spring_11/news_intro.html http://seedsfau.wordpress.com/news/

Thank you, 

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