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Tune in this Tuesday (tomorrow, July 7) at 5:30 PM ET to learn how to draw a Florida Panther with @canvasofthewild and @flwildcorridor on the @pathofthepanther Instagram page. Protecting the @flwildcorridor is a key step in ensuring a future for the Florida panther. Photo by @carltonward . . . Photo caption: This young male Florida panther, still showing spots on his rear legs, triggers a camera trap on Babcock Ranch. It is possible that he swam across the Caloosahatchee River himself, or that he was born north of the river as part of the first generation of panthers documented is in this region in more than 40 years. Whether or not there will be enough land for panthers to continue their northward recovery in now up to us. If we can protect the Path of the Panther, we can ultimately save Florida, for wildlife and ourselves. . . . . #floridawild #keepflwild #florida #everglades #panther #floridapanther #conservation #nature #paint #art #wildernessculture #cameratrap #wildlife #explore #natgeo

6 days ago 0
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As summer begins, swallow-tailed kites are gathering from their nesting grounds across the southeastern US to prepare for their 5,000-mile annual migration to their wintering grounds Pantanal of southern Brazil. During this epic journey, the ranch lands and conservation lands of South Florida provide essential foraging habitat, where kites come together in large aggregations before flying south over open waters of the Carribean and Gulf. I just rediscovered this photo from 2015 when more than a thousand kites roosting in cypress trees near Lake Okeechobee. I captured it from a helicopter using a 400 mm lens that allowed me to be far enough away not to cause the birds to fly. I love what the swallow-tailed kite represents. It shows us that the lands that make up the Florida Wildlife Corridor are not only important for regional movements of Florida species like bears and panthers, but also transcontinental migrations. To learn more about swallow-tailed kites, check out @arcinst where a dedicated scientists have been discovering the amazing journey of the kite using miniature GPS satelite backpacks. And look to the skies this summer for the signature forked tail of the graceful fliers and imaging where they might go. Photo by @carltonward. . . . . #keepflwild #floridawild #florida #everglades #flwild #pathofthepanther #conservation #nature #explore #wilderness #bird #swallowtailedkites

16 days ago 0
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1 months ago 0
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A large male panther emerges from a wildlife underpass that allows safe passage beneath State Road 80 near Labelle, Florida. The properties on either side of the road are private ranches that have been protected by perpetual conservation easements funded by The Nature Conservancy (natureorg) and partners. There was already a bridge at this site for cars and trucks to cross over a canal. By adding flat ledges to the sides of the canal and adding high fencing on either side of the bridge, conservationists were able to encourage panthers to cross beneath the road rather than through traffic above. Vehicles kill nearly 30 Florida panthers on roads each year — the leading cause of death for the endangered puma. With the pictured segment of the statewide Florida Wildlife Corridor secure, panthers and other wildlife can now move safely northwards from large public lands to the south up to the southern banks of the Caloosahatchee River and Northern Everglades beyond. The Caloosahatchee has been a longstanding barrier to the northward movement of female panthers until late 2016, when the first female panthers were detected on the north side of the river in nearly 50 years. For Florida panthers to reach sustainable numbers, they need access to their historic territory in Central and North Florida. Shot by @carltonward for Nature Conservancy Magazine. Read the full article on @natureorg’s website titled “The Panther’s Path”

1 months ago 0
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A boar hog triggers a camera trap at Babcock Ranch, the same location from my previous post. Hogs were introduced to North America from Spain via Florida in the 1500s. They are considered a major pest today because they root up the ground on farms, ranches and nature preserves. But hogs also provide important prey for panthers (like deer) and have undoubtedly been helpful to the recovery of panthers in recent decades. One benefit to panthers reclaiming their historic territory in the northern Everglades is that they could help farmers and ranchers by reducing hog populations. Check back tomorrow for a panther using this same trail. . . . . #keepflwild #floridawild #florida #everglades #flwild #panther #floridapanther #pathofthepanther #conservation #nature #explore #wilderness

2 months ago 0
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This is an 8-foot gator we would regularly see on the way to service our ghost orchid cameras. Fortunately alligators are relatively docile and not interested in adult size humans. It is a good idea to carry a walking stick to poke the ground ahead of you when wading through dark water to avoid surprises. Photo by @carltonward. . . . . #keepflwild #floridawild #florida #everglades #flwild #pathofthepanther #conservation #nature #explore #wilderness #alligator

2 months ago 0
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We’ve been so inspired by the #pathofthepanther #isolationcreations you’ve been sharing with us. For the month of May, we will be posting art highlighting the landscapes, people and wildlife of the Florida Wildlife Corridor on our story. Make sure to tag @pathofthepanther #floridawild #pathofthepanther and challenge your friends to create their own works. . . . Miami artist @magnificentmagnus’s mural @buildmckenzie depicts the first female panther to cross the Caloosahatchee River since the 1970s. This moment brought new hope for the recovery of the Florida panther and an urgency to protection of the species’ habitat. Photo of mural by @carltonward. . . . #florida #explore #floridawild #keepflwild #wildlife #nature #wilderness #wildernessculture #explore #art #everglades #floridawildlife #floridapanther #alligator #crocodile #spoonbill #swallowtailkite #blackbear #gophertortoise #indigosnake #caracara #whitetaildeer #snailkite #woodpecker #scrubjay #woodstork #sandhillcrane #manatee @flwildcorridor

2 months ago 0
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Nestled in the Everglades Headwaters at the edge of suburban Orlando, @natureflorida’s Disney Wilderness Preserve is a gateway to the Florida Wildlife Corridor and Everglades ecosystem that extends relatively unbroken from there south to Lake Okeechobee. The trees silhouetted by sunrise and fog are long leaf pines. Today, less than 5% of historic long leaf pine range remains intact. Longleaf pine forest restoration projects across the Southeast are benefitting humans and wildlife. @carltonward @natureorg @flwildcorridor. . . . . #florida #keepflwild #disney #tnc #explore #optoutside #wilderness #wildernessculture #nature #pathofthepanther #floridawild #forest #longleafpine #restoration #everglades #greatereverglades

3 months ago 0
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Here’s a recent photo from a camera trap at CREW, which stands for Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. The bobcat is carrying a cotton rat that appears to be its breakfast. CREW is an important piece of the statewide Florida Wildlife Corridor and provides habitat for a variety of endangered species, including the Florida panther. The photo is slightly out of focus on the bobcat but still worth sharing. Bears have been terrorizing this same camera so I blame the focus shift on them! @flwildcorridor @insidenatgeo @myfwc @maliabyrtus @carltonward . . . . #keepflwild #floridawild #florida #everglades #flwild #pathofthepanther #conservation #nature #explore #wilderness #bobcat

3 months ago 0
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A Florida black bear checks out a Path of the Panther camera trap set last year on the CREW Marsh Trail near Naples and Ft Myers. @flwildcorridor @insidenatgeo @myfwc @ilcpphotographers @carltonward . . . . #keepflwild #floridawild #florida #everglades #flwild #panther #floridapanther #pathofthepanther #conservation #nature #explore #wilderness #blackbear

3 months ago 0
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A crested caracara (Caracara cheriway) feeding on a raccoon along a dirt road at Archbold Biological Station’s Buck Island Ranch. Cacacaras are widespread in the American tropics but in the United States only occur near the Mexico border and in Florida, where the semi open rangelands and prairies of Greater Everglades ranches provide ideal habitat. Caracaras spend much of their time on the ground and flying low over pastures hunting for small mammals and insects. They also target carrion and aggressively chase away other birds, including larger buzzards. @archboldstation @insidenatgeo @flwildcorridor @flcattlemen. Photos by @carltonward . . . #everglades #greatereverglades #birdsofprey #florida #keepflwild #floridawild #explore #nature #ranch #pathofthepanther

3 months ago 0
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On Earth Day, we share a story of hope and inspiration. Two Florida panther kittens were stranded when their mother, FP-224, was hit by a car near Naples. Because she was wearing a radio collar, FWC biologists knew the mother had kittens from investigating her den a few months before. They were able to find the kittens near the crash site and the family was rehabilitated at White Oak Conservation Center. Here, the panther family is released in southwestern Florida, with the mother leading the charge and two kittens still waiting in their transport crates. People from left to right: FWC panther biologist Mark Lotz, White Oak Conservation carnivore keeper Karen Meeks, FWC panther vet Lara Cusack. Our team has great admiration for the vets and biologists who are helping give this species a chance to recover. @myfwc @flwildcorridor @ilcpphotographers @insidenatgeo. Photo by @carltonward. . . . . . #keepflwild #floridawild #pathofthepanther #floridapanther #earthday #everglades

3 months ago 0
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From @pathofthepanther Field Program Manager @maliabyrtus // “One of the best parts of my job is collaborating with our partners and friends from the @palmbeachzoo . These ladies are wild and incredibly skilled at what they do. Brooke, Sherry, and Kelly are each carnivore keepers who care for some incredible animals like black bears, tigers, jaguars, alligators, and pumas, including a rescued Florida panther named Sassy. The three of them have been joining me in the field for about 9 months now and it’s truly been the ultimate pleasure. Besides having extra helping hands to service the camera traps, I also learn more about different animal behaviors and tracking techniques from their experiences working closely with particularly black bears, panthers, and gators. While they enjoy being my test shot subjects, they also learn more about the Florida panther’s natural habitat and its elusive life in the wild. Thank you Brooke, Sherry, and Kelly for all you do! I look forward to when we are back in the swamp together again.”

4 months ago 0
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White tailed deer caught on a camera trap at Babcock Ranch. Shot on assignment for @natureflorida and @pathofthepanther project with @insidenatgeo and @flwildcorridor. Photo by @carltonward . . . . . #pathofthepanther #florida #keeflwild #floridawild #nature #deer #wilderness

5 months ago 0
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A mature Florida black bear triggers one of my camera traps at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp sanctuary. This 13,000 acre preserve east of Naples protects some of the best wildlife habitat in the state. But to continue supporting wide ranging wildlife like bears and Florida panthers, adjacent ranches and farms must also be protected from development so that Corkscrew remains connected to the Florida Wildlife Corridor and larger conservation lands, such as Big Cypress National Preserve, further to the east. Photo and text by @carltonward. . . . . . @corkscrewswamp @audubonfl @audubonsociety #keepflwild #floridawild #florida #everglades #flwild #panther #floridapanther #pathofthepanther #conservation #nature #explore #wilderness #blackbear

6 months ago 0
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The Path of the Panther team made great progress in 2019 thanks to your generous support. As the year draws to a close, we share our gratitude and send our best wishes for a bright new year. If you’d like to continue supporting the mission to #KeepFLWild, there's still time to make a year-end tax deductible donation (link in bio) Photo by @carltonward

6 months ago 0
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@zootampa at Lowry Park providing a temporary home to two Florida panther kittens who were rescued from Southwest Florida this summer by @fwcresearch . For a limited time, you can see them in their daily play sessions. I am on the board of directors of ZooTampa and have been following this story through my work with the impressive care team at the zoo and FWC. As someone who has been struggling with camera traps for three years to get fleeting glimpses of panthers in the wild, I encourage you to take advantage of the rare opportunity to observe two panther kittens with your own eyes! I took this photo earlier in December and will definitely be going back to see them again soon. More details from ZooTampa: The brothers, named Cypress and Pepper, were rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after their mother suffered from an unknown neurological disorder that is affecting wild populations of panthers and bobcats. The almost 6-month-old kittens have been hand-raised in human care most of their lives, making them unlikely candidates for release back into the wild. The healthy and energetic duo can be seen playing at ZooTampa daily from 11am-2pm for the next several weeks until a permanent home is identified. Home to 3 other rescued panthers, ZooTampa is a leader in conservation of panthers and other Florida endangered wildlife. Important information for guests: For a limited time, the kittens can be seen daily from 11am-2pm in their yard in the Wallaroo section of the zoo. Viewing times subject to change without notice. Please check boards at the entrance of the park for details. Photo and text by @carltonward . . . #florida #everglades #keepflwild #flwild #floridawild #panther #floridapanther #pathofthepanther #conservation #nature #explore #wilderness

7 months ago 0
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This orange grove was recently protected from ever being developed by a conservation easement funded by The Nature Conservancy (natureorg). It’s location just north of the Caloosahatchee River (on the left side of the river in my post from 3 days ago) makes this property important for the movement of Florida panthers and other wildlife living in this part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. This is the first time TNC has invested in a conservation easement on an orange grove as part of a wildlife corridor. In Florida, the futures of agriculture and wide ranging wildlife are largely one and the same — there will not be one without the other in face of ever present pressure from housing development. Learn more in the new Nature Conservancy Magazine article “The Panther’s Path” (link in my bio). And thanks to my volunteer intern for the week @celinaxchien for holding a strobe to add extra light to this scene! @natureflorida @freshfromflorida // Image and text by @carltonward. . . #panthers #flpanthers #keepflwild #conservation #explore #florida #floridawild #freshfromflorida #agriculture #citrus #floridaagriculture

7 months ago 0
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