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Report Confirms Southwest Central Connector Would Harm Florida Panther

A Florida Panther
Courtesy The Nature Conservancy
A Florida Panther

A new report from the Nature Conservancy shows the proposed toll road is a high risk to already critically endangered species

It’s a long road with a long name: Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, or M-CORES as it’s commonly referred to, the Southwest Central Corridor Connector toll road.

Conservationists are concerned it’s cutting a swath right through critically endangered panther habitat.

The Nature Conservancy’s new report says the proposed toll road connecting I-4 to I-75 through Southwest Florida would further harm the endangered Florida Panther and would accelerate loss of panther habitat, increase roadkill mortality, and further limit the population’s survival by facilitating development.

The report also says without growth management and acquisition of conservation land, the toll road has the potential to threaten the continued existence of the Florida panther.

On September 29, The Florida Department of Transportation will publish a draft report on the impact of the project. The public will then have 15 days to send comments and concerns, before it is presented to the governor. To learn more, read the report when it is published, and to comment, visitFlorida M-CORES.

You can also read the Nature Conservancy's report here.