Although the Florida panther has been listed as an endangered species since 1967, its habitat has never been protected. Endangered species are twice as likely to resist extinction if their habitat is granted protective status.
Two years ago, the Sierra Club and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida set out to protect the Florida panther. We are at a critical point in our funding efforts. The Sierra Club needs funding to protect habitat and migration corridors critical to the survival of the Florida panther and to achieve the near-term objectives:
Secure critical habitat designation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Florida panther to protect existing habitat and to provide room for the panther to migrate;
Work with federal, state, and local governments and major landowners to permanently protect panther habitat and connective corridors; and
Oppose proposed urban and industrial development on primary and secondary habitat for the Florida panther.
Since this partnership began, we have already filed federal lawsuits and petitions to protect the Florida panther’s habitat, but much more needs to be done. To accomplish the above, we will work with stakeholders to create consensus on where the corridors should be, strengthen our cause by working with our broad base of diverse partners, and utilize our tremendous grassroots network to educate the public.