Grant supports a “Mosaic” of conservation needs
St. Petersburg, FL (September 17, 2020) – The Mosaic Company is again teaming with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida to tackle pressing conservation needs.
The latest Mosaic grant of over $25,000 marks a full decade of Mosaic support for the Foundation, said Foundation president and CEO Andrew Walker. “Mosaic has been one of our most dedicated corporate partners, helping us address some of Florida’s most important conservation issues.”
One such issue is feline leukomyelopathy (FLM), a neurological condition characterized by a degeneration of the spinal cord. The condition compromises the ability of some Florida panthers and bobcats to walk and run normally. So far, FLM has been confirmed in six bobcats and two Florida panthers with additional probable cases involving 15 panthers and 14 bobcats. Because FLM has the potential to jeopardize years of conservation successes achieved for the endangered panther, Mosaic is helping to fund tests to better understand the affliction’s spread. These tests will also help FWC efforts at determining the cause of the disease. Mosaic’s support continues the Foundation’s efforts to help FWC collect and analyze data on the diseased big cats via trail cameras.
“We’re very excited to continue to partner with the Foundation and FWC,” said Callie Neslund, director of government affairs. “The work it has undertaken in recent years is critical for the preservation and conservation of our wildlife and the habitats that remain in Florida’s ever-changing landscape. Together we’re better and that’s especially true working alongside these partners.”
Mosaic is aiding another endangered native species, the Florida bonneted bat. Thanks to their help, FWC can purchase a thermal imaging camera that allows biologists to observe bats via their body heat. Being able to watch the animals without light is vital since most bat activity occurs after dark and lights disturb their normal activity. At FWC’s Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area near Punta Gorda, the technology will be used to confirm how many and when baby bats are born each year. It will also allow biologists to determine the size of bonneted bat colonies in natural roosts in tree cavities and which types of trees the bats prefer.
Mosaic’s grant is also combatting invasive species. Brazilian pepper and other invasive plants dominate a new addition to the Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area east of Ft. Myers. A vast landscape of pine flatwoods and wetlands, the habitat has attracted wildlife and humans for thousands of years, but the infestation of invasive plants currently threatens it. Mosaic is donating funds to assist in their removal, an expensive and time-consuming process involving hand pulling, chainsaws and other techniques.
And to ensure future generations of Floridians are also committed to conservation, Mosaic provided new kayaks and other educational and recreational equipment for FWC’s Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Apollo Beach. Suncoast provides thousands of children and teens annually with opportunities to study and explore Florida’s rich Gulf Coast ecosystem. Marine science lessons and responsible stewardship of the environment are woven into each recreational skill students learn. For some, it’s their first in-depth experience with nature.
“We are committed to conserving wild Florida for every generation to follow,” said Walker. “Having a long-term partner like The Mosaic Company is invaluable.”
About The Mosaic Company
The Mosaic Company is one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Mosaic is a single source provider of phosphates and potash fertilizers and feed ingredients for the global agriculture industry. More information on the company is available at www.mosaicco.com. For a focus on its Florida operations, check out mosaicfloridaphosphate.com.