Conservation Foundation connecting protected lands for people and nature

Southwest Florida Wildlife Corridor serves as Foundation’s regional corridor initiative

A Florida panther stalks prey through a forest. Photo courtesy Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

In observance of its 20th anniversary this year, the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, which is based in Osprey, has been putting a figurative spotlight on different aspects of its work and its impact. For March, the topic is connectivity, the nonprofit has announced.

“One of our top priorities when evaluating opportunities for conservation is connectivity,” explained Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, in a news release “By linking conserved properties and connecting protected landscapes, we create corridors, which are critical to the future of both people and nature.”

“Corridors of protected land give wildlife the space they need,” the release points out. “These corridors increase survival for numerous at-risk species, including the Florida panther and Florida black bear, by reconnecting isolated populations and increasing access to food and shelter. Corridors are also essential in supporting human well-being, sustaining healthy ecosystems, and fostering sustainable development for present and future generations,” the release adds.

The Southwest Florida Wildlife Corridor is the Conservation Foundation’s regional corridor initiative, stretching from Tampa Bay down to the Everglades, the release notes. To date, the Conservation Foundation has protected almost 20,000 acres, of which almost 18,000 are within this corridor, the release says.

“Tremendous amounts of funding are available from local, state, and federal government programs to conserve priority lands falling within corridor focus areas,” the release points out. “By partnering with willing landowners to find the best ways to conserve their land,” the Conservation Foundation “creatively and collaboratively protects the natural areas and working lands essential to the future of Southwest Florida,” the release says.

To learn more about the Southwest Florida Wildlife Corridor and how, together with its conservation community, the Conservation Foundation is creating corridors for wildlife and recreation, visit conservationfoundation.com/marchspotlight.

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