Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida
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Supporting a Mosaic of Conservation Needs

By: Kyle Grammatica

In September 2020 The Mosaic Company teamed up with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Foundation to tackle pressing conservation needs.

Mosaic’s grant of over $25,000 marks a full decade of Mosaic support for the Foundation, said 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 pressing issue that Mosaic’s grant will help address is feline leukomyelopathy (FLM). This condition affects Florida’s two native cat species, bobcats and Florida panthers. It causes varying degrees of rear leg weakness, which impacts the cats’ ability to walk and run. This in turn reduces their ability to hunt. FLM is a newly recognized disorder so there is still a lot that biologists don’t know, like the causes of the condition and how it’s spread. That’s where the Foundation and Mosaic come in. Together we’re funding tests and research that will allow FWC to better understand FLM and work towards a solution.

“We’re very excited to continue to partner with the Foundation and FWC,” said Callie Neslund, Director of Government Affairs at Mosaic. “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’s grant is also funding research on the endangered Florida bonneted bat. With their support, thermal imaging cameras can be purchased to help biologists observe bats at night via their body heat. The new tech will be used to confirm how many baby bonneted bats are born each year and when. It will also allow researchers to determine the size of bonneted bat colonies in natural roosts in tree cavities, letting them see which types of trees the species prefers.

Additionally, the grant supports the removal of invasive plant species in the new addition to the Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area east of Ft. Myers. This area is a vast landscape of pine flatwoods and wetlands, but it is currently overrun with nonnative plants like Brazilian pepper. With Mosaic’s funding, restoration efforts are being undertaken. Lastly, new kayaks and other educational and recreational equipment will be purchased for FWC’s Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Apollo Beach. Suncoast provides thousands of children and teens with opportunities to study and explore Florida’s rich Gulf Coast ecosystem.

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 mosaicfloridaphosphate.com.

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