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Rare Panther Sighting on Duette Preserve

Duette Preserve in Manatee County, a sprawling 21,000-acre wild paradise and the headwaters of the Myakka River, is home to a diverse population of species including the endemic Florida scrub-jay, and more recently, the elusive Florida panther.

Duette Preserve is a welcoming haven for dozens of species, in part thanks to a $28,000 grant from our Foundation in September 2018. Manatee County used the grant to purchase a Grasslander seeder and native seeds to plant over 700 pounds of seed and provide food and habitat for deer, turkey, and quail.

Despite only 200 individuals in the state, Florida’s state animal made an appearance on a trail cam located on the preserve in mid-January. Seeing a panther in general is great news for the endangered species, but particularly fantastic in this instance due to its location. The species hasn’t had much luck expanding its territory north of the Caloosahatchee River, which experts say is crucial to its survival. Barred by urban sprawl and habitat fragmentation, few individuals have made the journey beyond the 67-mile river that cuts across the southwest portion of the peninsula.

If you share our passion for preserving wildlife habitats and promoting outdoor recreation, support us by purchasing our deer license plate online – each purchase contributes to funding projects like habitat improvement at Duette Preserve.

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