The Florida Panther population is making a comeback. With development overtaking their territory, panthers had been pushed south in the state and limited to a much smaller area than they need. The state is working on reconnecting panther habitat. “Certainly habitat connectivity is critical. In order for the panther in particular to recolonize its historic range, it needs habitat to remain connected. And that’s certainly key, not just for the panther, but for all wildlife in general,” said Brian Kelly, a panther biologist for the state of Florida. The efforts are making a difference: the Florida Panther population was once about 20 and is now more than 200. “This is a conservation success story that belongs to Florida and Floridians. And this can be a real model of nature and people working together,” said Carlton Ward Jr., a nature photographer.

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