Wildlife Warriors: Champions of Florida animals speak out (includes documentary)

To view the accompanying photo essay, click here. To listen to the accompanying audio story, click here.

In Florida’s rich landscapes, renowned for diverse wildlife, a delicate balance between nature’s beauty and looming threats plays out. With over 700 types of land animal and more than 1,000 marine species, Florida’s biodiversity is impressive. However, it grapples with a stark truth—ranking high among states with many animals facing extinction, spanning mammals, birds, and reptiles.

The passionate endeavors of wildlife advocates like Maria Fernanda, once a preschool teacher, and Anabella Alfert, a former senior federal agent turned professor, inject hope into the conservation narrative. Their commitment becomes increasingly crucial as Florida grapples with ongoing habitat loss due to relentless development. This challenge underscores the importance of organizations like the South Florida Wildlife Center (SFWC) and Everglades Outpost, where individuals like Carolina Montano, Charlotte Cournoyer, and Amanda Mazorra lead valiant efforts to protect and rehabilitate native wildlife.

Ron Magill, communications director at Zoo Miami and a strong defender of the voiceless, delivers a poignant message that reverberates throughout the documentary: “Your power as a consumer is very strong… Choose wisely what you buy because what you buy will help dictate how things are acquired, how things are manufactured, and, in the end, how the environment is protected.” These words encapsulate the collective responsibility to safeguard Florida’s precious ecosystems, emphasizing that the choices we make as consumers play a pivotal role in the preservation of the state’s diverse wildlife.

Juan Aguirre Saravia is a college student from Buenos Aires, Argentina who is majoring in Digital and Interactive Media and Communication. He's currently engaged in a digital internship at Inter Miami CF in which he's determined to fuse his digital skills with his passion for 'fútbol,' aiming for a career in the digital landscape of this sport's world.

Daniel Suarez is a Digital TV and Multimedia Production student at FIU. He was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and has a passion for sports and the world of production. He likes to edit videos from his trips and create photogenic compositions wherever he goes. In the future, he aspires to work on television as a producer and at the same time contribute or create alternate projects that exploit his creativity to the maximum.

Tomas Horcada is a junior Digital TV + Broadcasting student at Florida International University. He was raised and born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, until 2017 when he moved to Weston, Florida. He loves his home country Argentina, but his biggest passion is soccer. His dream is to become a Soccer Journalist, and get to cover the biggest event in the world of sports, The FIFA World Cup.

Valerie Diez is a junior Digital Communication and Multimedia Production student at Florida International University. She was born and raised in Venezuela where she began her career for Audiovisual Communications. In later years, she moved to Miami and obtained an associate degree in Communication Arts from Broward College. She enjoys any kind of fine arts and learning about other cultures through different forms of entertainment. Her goal is to combine visual design and informational media as she firmly believes that images and words complement each other.