About The Florida Wildlife Corridor
About the Organization
The Florida Wildlife Corridor organization champions the public and partner support needed to permanently connect, protect and restore the Florida Wildlife Corridor – a statewide network of lands and waters that supports wildlife and people.
Using a science-based approach, on-the-ground knowledge of the Corridor, and the support of thousands of followers throughout the state and nation, the Florida Wildlife Corridor now embarks on its most important journey – to accelerate the rate of conservation in Florida by 10% annually in order to protect 300,000 acres within the Corridor by the end of 2020.
The first Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition launched January 17, 2012, and traversed the Everglades ecosystem into Big Cypress, over to the Everglades Agricultural Area, back to the Okaloacoochee Slough, across the Caloosahatchee, over to Babcock Ranch, back along Fisheating Creek toward Lake Okeechobee, up the Kissimmee River with excursions toward the Lake Wales Ridge, up the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, east around Orlando into Ocala National Forest, and north along the O2O corridor (Ocala to Osceola) to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The trek covered over 1,000 miles in 100 days.
The Glades to Gulf Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition launched on January 10, 2015 in the Everglades Headwaters and concluded on March 20 at the Gulf Islands National Seashore in the Florida Panhandle. Despite extensive fragmentation of the landscape in recent decades, a statewide network of connected natural areas is still possible (see the Maps Tab).
In April, 2018, the Exploration Team completed a mini-trek to bring attention to the corridor chokepoints near Orlando.
- The Florida Wildlife Corridor encompasses 15.8 million acres – 9.5 million acres that are already protected and 6.3 million acres of remaining opportunity area that do not have conservation status. The exact proportion of the opportunity area that needs to be protected for functional connectivity within the Corridor has not yet been determined.
- Protected areas include 4.7 million acres of federal land, 4.5 million acres of state land, 162,776 acres of county and city land and 204,232 acres of private land with permanent conservation status.
- There are 1.46 million acres within the Corridor opportunity area that are high priority for conservation through the State of Florida’s Florida Forever program and approximately 600,000 acres that are priorities for conservation through US Fish & Wildlife Services Greater Everglades Program (including the new 150,000 acre Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area project).
- The Corridor provides habitat for 42 federally listed endangered species, 24 threatened species and 15 candidate species. At the state level, there are an additional 176 species listed as endanged, 56 as threatened and 29 as species of special concern.
- Examples of threatened and endangered species include Crested Caracara, Everglades Snail Kite, Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, Florida Scrub-Jay, Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Whooping Crane, Wood Stork, Florida Panther, West Indian Manatee, Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Gulf Sturgeon, Okaloosa Darter, Sand Skink, Eastern Indigo Snake, Frosted Flatwoods Salamander, Highland’s Tiger Beetle, Choctawatchee Beach Mouse, Piping Plover, Etonia Rosemary and Okeechobee Gourd.
- There are 992 named rivers and streams crossing the Corridor that include 1150 miles of designated paddling trails. There are also 920 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail within the Corridor.