A rare glimpse of Wild Florida

Primal. Graceful. Elusive. Threatened. This video, sent to us by a Friend of the Everglades, captures footage that not even lifelong Floridians are all lucky enough to see.

Florida’s most iconic animal is also one of the most endangered mammals in the country. The state’s booming population and tendency toward fast and furious development are creating major issues for the species, as habitat encroachment and disturbed territorial roaming patterns cut into the expansive acreage necessary for their survival. Studies estimate that there are only 120-230 adult panthers left in the state.

Making this video all the more special.

Friends of the Everglades has stood with the No Roads to Ruin Coalition to take a stand against one of the greatest new threats to Florida panthers. Dozens of environmental organizations worked in tandem to support the repeal of a group of toll roads, known as M-CORES, that threatened to disrupt swaths of remaining wild land by adding 330 miles of new toll roads through rural Northwest and Southwest Florida. The effort has so far been a partial success. A new bill, repealing the massive roadworks legislation, successfully cleared both chambers of the Florida Legislature, but it still retains funding for a northern extension of the Florida Turnpike — meaning Florida’s green space, and Florida panthers, are not out of the woods just yet.

You can learn more about efforts that support the survival of Florida panthers by watching our recent Clean Water Conversation with No Roads to Ruin representatives.