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$1.5 Million for Panther Habitat Protection

The Florida panther, our state mammal, once faced near extinction due to hunting and habitat loss, but thanks to conservation efforts since the late 1950s, the panther has clawed its way back from the brink. With population estimates teetering between 120 and 230 panthers, conservation efforts are still in grave need.

Our Foundation supports FWC’s Florida Panther Project by funding tracking collars, veterinary care, and research on disorders like FLM that affect panthers and bobcats. More recently, the Foundation secured a $1.5 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to protect and expand panther habitat, particularly north of the Caloosahatchee River.

Historically, Florida panthers roamed widely in the southeast but are now limited to a small area of land in south Florida. Their survival depends on large, connected habitats, making private landowners a crucial piece of the conservation puzzle.

“Over half of Florida’s land area is private ownership,” Tindl Rainey, Director of Conservation, points out. “So clearly, private landowners will play a critical role in wildlife and habitat conservation.”

The sizable grant will incentivize landowners to create panther-friendly environments, potentially establishing a second breeding population north of the Caloosahatchee River. This initiative is a prime example of collaborative conservation efforts and signifies hope for the future of the iconic Florida panther.

You can support work like this by donating to our Florida Panther Fund. You can read more about this project in Garden & Gun Magazine.

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