PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Florida Panthers: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Larry W. Richardson/ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr creative commons

The Florida panther is one of the sunshine state’s most iconic animals. It’s also one of Florida’s most endangered species.

A boon for the Florida panther and many other species came in 2021 with passage of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act, which aims to create and maintain a contiguous wildlife corridor throughout the state. In this year’s legislative session, it’s led to hundreds of millions of dollars in the budget to create a wildlife connection between the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Caloosahatchee River.

Also, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking to expand or establish a new conservation area in Southwest Florida.

Still panthers face some new and ongoing threats. One newer threat has come with the emergence of a neurological disorder called feline leukomyelopathy, or FLM, which causes the cats to lose their coordination to the degree that walking can become difficult, much less hunting. What scientists definitively know about FLM is currently very limited. Panthers also face threats from a number of proposed new developments in Lee and Collier counties.

We cover the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to protecting the Florida panther in a conversation with Conservancy of Southwest FloridaEnvironmental Policy Manager Amber Crooks.

Related Content
  1. Highly endangered Florida panther has more space in South Florida