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More effort needed to save panthers

By Staff | Jan 12, 2023

To the editor:

The killing of Florida panthers on the highways is a travesty for their numbers in Florida.Twenty-four panthers a year, on average, are killed on Florida roads year after year. This says nothing for our law enforcement officers that should be protecting them. It shows that we need more law enforcement on the roads that panthers frequently use.

How do we get more troopers and deputies on our roads to stop this panther carnage? The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and other environmental groups need to pitch in and give the Florida Highway Patrol and county sheriff’s offices grants of several thousand dollars to patrol panther habitat roads on their free and patrol time with a goal to cut the death toll of panthers on our roads in half each year. Right now we have about 125 panthers in Florida. If we kill 25 panthers a year on our roads and have about 25 kittens born a year we are just maintaining that 125 panther population. If we save just a dozen a year, our total population will go up by 12 to grow our panther counts year after year.

Other things we must do is put panther-proof fences in all panther and deer habitat roads but especially out on all new towns in eastern Collier County and along Corkscrew and Alico Roads in Lee County and all other counties that have panthers as well. All wildlife corridors will have wildlife underpasses under them designated by FWC and federal Wildlife officials. This would also go for Babcock Ranch.

County commissioners in all panther counties and FWC should help with this and heartily endorse these panther saving edits and pass legislation to protect our panthers.

Carl Veaux

Cape Coral