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Florida Wildlife Corridor

Our mission is to champion the public and partner support needed to permanently connect, protect and restore the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

PO Box 1802 Tampa, Florida

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Please check out the reception for Adam Strang Bass and his "Keep Florida Wild" exhibition at the Lake Wales Arts Council this Friday at 6pm! He's donating a portion of his proceeds to the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Thank you so much for your support, Adam! @afloridawildman・・・Keep Florida Wild. This Friday the 20th from 6-740 is the reception for my exhibition. It is open to the public and catered by @missionbbq The reception is at @lakewalesartscouncil, 1099 Hwy 60, Lake Wales, FL. I have 25 prints at this show and will be donating a portion of proceeds to @lakewalesartscouncil and @fl_wildcorridor hope you can make it.

What's your favorite spring?? @fcvoters・・・Summer is fading, but there's still time to enjoy Florida's springs. What's your favorite spring? . . .  

@luisgfalcon ・・・Do you ever think about roads? I have a strong association with the roads and the outdoors. It's what connects my home to those places and allows me to get there quickly to enjoy it or work in it. Still, roads can adversely affect natural areas. Not only since thousands of wildlife die in them in accidents but also it can separate entire systems. I can't think of a better example than Tamiami Road or SW 8th Street. A road, I constantly take to get to Big Cypress, Naples and the Gulf Coast. Yet, this is also a road that cuts through a wetland essentially stopping the Everglades from sending the water south. Some mitigations have been successfully done such as raising parts of the road to allow for water flow. Still, that's only in one short section. Sadly, I feel this is just a trade-off we have to make. Since, this road is vital for many people from the Conservationist to the Travelers.

Stetson University College of Law

Thanks to Stetson University for hosting us for the very first Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture! @stetsondean @stetsonu > > > From left to right: Law Professor Lance Long, FLWC Executive Director Jason Lauritsen, Law Professor Roy Gardner and Stetson Law Dean Michele Alexandre.

Tune in today at NOON to hear our executive director, Jason Lauritsen, speak at the first Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture at Stetson University in Gulfport. Click the link for bio to watch the LIVEstream.

Coming up tomorrow! Our executive director, Jason Lauritsen, will be speaking at the first Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture at Stetson University in Gulfport on September 12th! Click the link in our bio for details and to RSVP. @stetsonu @jalauritsen

@macstonephoto ・・・One of the theories on why swallow-tailed kite roost together before migration is that they are stronger as a group; they can intimidate potential predators if acting together. Kites aren’t particularly fierce or strong raptors, like an eagle, owl or hawk, so they don’t have much in terms of defense. I was fortunate to see this first hand one evening and experience the bewildering spectacle of thousands of kites lifting off their roost. A few moments before they exploded into the sky, it was eerily quiet until the stillness was interrupted by whining screams and a thrashing through the swampy thicket just below the roost. I was so excited I thought I was going to see my first Florida panther. Just as the sound got closer, all 3,000 kites bursted upward and I was overwhelmed and torn between photographing the kites and trying to get photos of this “panther.” Luckily, I had two camera bodies dangling off my shoulders. I made some frames of the kites and then looked through the 600mm only to see it was just a coyote making all that noise. The kites continued swarming overhead and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. In that moment I saw the power of their unity, the sheer chaos and visual mayhem those black bat-like wings caused cutting through the air. Power in numbers, indeed.

Action Alert! The Florida Department of Transportation created a task force for the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program - which is researching three regional corridors that are intended to accommodate multiple modes of transportation and multiple types of infrastructure. They'll be considering how wildlife corridors and environmentally sensitive areas will be impacted. The task force is charged with making recommendations to the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives next year. Here's how YOU can help: - Register your comments directly on the official M-CORES website (link in bio) - Email us at with the subject line MCORES INPUT. Share your comments with us directly. - Attend the upcoming M-CORES Task Force meetings and share your comments in person. Hearing your perspective helps inform our approach and identify local impacts or enhancement opportunities. We are making the case to avoid impacts to the corridor, and enhance the connectivity where possible. We will also be stressing the importance of impact minimization and adequate mitigation in the planning process. At the first task force meeting on August 27 in Tampa 36 people shared comments with the task force in person. All but one of them stressed the importance of protecting wildlife, habitat, and connectivity. Dozens more registered their comments in writing. Stay tuned to our newsletters and social media posts for updates. You can sign up for FDOT updates at the M-CORES website, keep up on the schedule, review library of documents being created and get informed.

📷 by @paulmarcellini @fcvoters・・・Wetlands play a crucial role in buffering our communities against hurricane impacts, during and after the storm. Some coastal plants take the brunt of high winds, while marshlands hold excess water during storm surges. Photo: Horse Trail Over the Marsh, by Paul Marcellini

This is heartbreaking to see. Please read the article in @carltonward’s bio to learn how panther deaths like this can be avoided. @carltonward ・・・Vehicle strikes are the leading cause of death for Florida panthers — nearly 30 panthers are killed on roads each year. Here Lara Cusack, panther veterinarian with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, examines a young male panther killed on Collier Boulevard in Naples, where development continues to sprawl east cutting further into primary panther habitat and the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Please see the new National Geographic article by @douglas_main (link in my bio) about how new toll roads threaten to block the recovery of the Florida panther. Learn how landscape scale conservation planning, including wide wildlife habitat corridors and wildlife crossings at roads can help reduce habitat fragmentation and road kills. @myfwc @fl_wildcorridor @pathofthepanther

Ocala National Forest

A view from below...👀 @joseph_ricketts ・・・8 / 24 / 2019 ———————————————This is my last post in the series of photos from this particular spring. The change I noticed in this area was a severe thinning of these patches of “underwater forest.” These images are not meant to discourage people from exploring Florida’ springs. These places capture our imagination and help root a love for the natural world within us. After all, how can we love something that we have never experienced? People protect what they love, and my goal here is to show the beauty of the springs but also to give light to the often ignored/forgotten/unseen ecological change that is happening, quite literally, beneath our feet. We need to be careful not to take these places in the natural world for granted, because they are as vulnerable as they are beautiful. Follow @floridaspringsinstitute @floridaspringscouncil to learn more about spring conservation and opportunities to become involved in restoration and clean-up activities. You can also help protect springs by voting for legislation that ensures their protection. Thanks for following along with these posts!

🙌🏽🐾 @carltonward ・・・This is my favorite photo from my new National Geographic story about the future of the Florida panther. Please check it out at (link in by bio). Writer @douglas_main explores how new toll roads could block the panther’s path to recovery. I’ve been covering the story of the Florida panther for the past three years using custom-made camera traps through my Path of the Panther project with National Geographic Society (@insidenatgeo) and numerous partners. It took me nearly two years to capture this photo at Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. During that time, the panther came down this trail approximately once per month, every two months facing the camera and only once or twice a year in the daylight. Then the laser triggers, camera and flashes had to work at the exact moment the panther was jumping over the log. This photo was captured in the days leading up to Hurricane Irma, which made landfall near Naples, just 20 miles from this camera site. My entire camera system was destroyed. Two weeks later, when allowed to enter the Panther Refuge, we had to chainsaw our way back to the camera, which we found bobbing in the creek, it’s case full of swamp water. But buried beneath 3,000 false triggers during the hurricane landfall, I found this photo! Here you can see the tenacity and resiliency of the Florida panther — the last puma in the east that has survived to this day because of its ability to persevere in the hurricane battered swamps of the southern Everglades. Here, as few as 20 panthers survived the hunting and persecution that vanquished the species everywhere else east of the Mississippi River, and it’s from these Everglades swamps that the panther has staged its recovery to reclaim its historic territory in the Northern Everglades and beyond. Please follow my work @carltonward and at @pathofthepanther as we use the story of our endangered state animal to inspire protection of the Florida Wildlife Corridor (@fl_wildcorridor). @ilcp_photographers

@carltonward ・・・Today leaders from around Florida are gathered in Tampa to begin a yearlong process of designing three new toll road corridors through Florida’s least developed wild and rural landscapes — all within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. While some of the environmental impacts of new highways can be mitigated with measures such as wildlife underpasses and fencing to keep animals off of roads, potential damages by roads often go far beyond their physical footprints. Roads can foster development of suburban sprawl, like this new housing complex next to Florida State Road 429 near Orlando. Shot on assignment for @nature_org to illustrate the scale of development in Florida, where the population is currently growing by nearly 1,000 people per day and suburban sprawl is consuming 100,000 acres of wildlife habitat per year. Population and development studies have projected that 5 million acres and most of the missing links in the Florida Wildlife Corridor will be lost in the next 50 years unless major investments in land conservation help steer development closer to existing urban cores. Two panthers have been killed on Interstate 4 within a mile of this new housing complex. While wildlife crossings and cross fencing could have prevented the panther deaths, irreversible loss of habitat corridors on either side of I-4 and nearby roads is even more concerning. My view is that we should not be investing in major new road corridors without first having a robust plan to protect the statewide Florida Wildlife Corridor. The future of wild Florida depends on finding this balance. @fl_wildcorridor @1000friendsofflorida @pathofthepanther

We 💚 National Parks! @federicoacevedophotography ・・・Today marks the 103rd anniversary of the National Parks Service, which was created "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." We all must do our part to conserve our National Parks and the invaluable ecosystems within. I’m fortunate to have the @evergladesnps in my backyard and I can spend my days photographing the park and all the amazing things within it and share it with everyone to get people motivated to take notice of our National Parks and hopefully take action to help preserve them for the future generation.

“Name that bird” would be too easy, right?? @filipe_deandrade・・・Florida sunsets don't disappoint. I took this about 10 years ago as a freshy in college with my first DSLR, still one of my favorites.

Whoooo doesn’t love an awesome shot of an owl? 🦉 @jasmine.explores・・・Anyone fascinated by owls like I am? Because let’s face it they are one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet and I am honored to have witnessed this beauty🦉

@carltonward ・・・Legendary Florida rancher and conservation hero Cary Lightsey. "The panther is going to have to help us save Florida." That's what Cary told me in November 2016, when @myfwc biolgists produced photos and tracks of the first female Florida panther documented north of the Caloosahatchee River in nearly 50 years. I was writing an article for the Tampa Bay Times and had called Cary to get his perspective about the panther’s breeding population showing the first signs of recovering out of South Florida into its historic range in Northern Everglades — the area between Lake Okeechobee and Orlando where the Lightseys have been raising cattle for 150 years. Cary's hope for the panther comes from his understanding that with ever expanding suburban sprawl that both the Florida rancher and Florida panther are endangered species, and that the story of the wide ranging panther, with an individual having an home range of up to 200 square miles, might be our best hope for inspire lawmakers to invest in land conservation programs that can save a future for ranchers, panther and all of the other threatened and endangered species that depend on their shared territories. Lightsey leads by example. By working with dozens of agencies and environmental organizations, his family has permanently protected nearly 90 percent their ranches by conservation easements. That’s tens of thousands of acres of habitat that are critical linkages in the statewide Florida Wildlife Corridor and wetlands that are slowly filtering water to cleanse the Everglades. Moreover, the Lightseys have inspired other ranchers, including some in my own family, to work with conservation organizations to protect their lands. There are now ranchers representing more than a million acres of vital habitat waiting in line to receive funding for conservation easements through programs such as Florida Forever. The problem is that lawmakers are not funding these priorities. My hope is the story of the Florida panther connected to the map of the Florida Wildlife Corridor and voices such as Cary Lightsey's, will help people see what’s at stake and what we can save. @fl_wildcorridor @flcattlemen

@luisgfalcon ・・・It's great to be in the Florida Cypress swamps again. Love to see how the water has risen in some places and completely changed the entire habitat. What I think is even more cool is how many of our native animals have evolved to adapt to these changes and depend on these constant fluctuations of water levels. I'm even more fortunate to be able to photograph these places especially for

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