The sighting of a Florida Panther last occurred about 30 years ago in the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area. All that time without a single sighting symbolizes the environmental changes that have occurred in South Florida in recent decades.
For years, Wellington Radio Club members have volunteered with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission at Corbett and its Everglades Youth Conservation Center. Members will help promote the theme of preservation and conservation by setting up and operating a “special event” shortwave station later this month at the Everglades Youth Conservation Center.
The radio amateurs hope to raise consciousness by contacting their colleagues worldwide. The station they will operate has already been assigned a special FCC call-sign: “W4P… Whiskey Four Panther.” The weekend of Feb. 21 and 22, for 24 hours straight, club members will inform as many of the two million hams and shortwave listeners as possible of the role the FWC plays in protecting Florida’s native, endangered species.
“This year, we are excited to call the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida a supporting sponsor for the event,” said Wellington Radio Club President Larry Lazar, a longtime FWC volunteer.
The FWFF provides assistance, funding and promotional support to contribute to the health and well-being of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources.
“Florida is like no other place on Earth, and working together with the Wellington Radio Club, we can further communicate and share our fish and wildlife resources locally, nationally and globally, so they survive and thrive for current and future generations,” said Judie Gibson, director of development for the FWFF.
Club members will man their station from 1 p.m. Saturday through 1 p.m. Sunday, and the public is invited to observe their operation during daylight hours.