Florida Wildlife Corridor: Missing Links

Background

Panther Glades by Mac Stone

You get the feeling that this is where wild things still roam, where the laws of nature still rule, 100%. Without connected lands the panther and bear don’t stand much of a chance of surviving.

One of the core foci of our current and future mission is to advocate for the protection of the Missing Links in the Corridor.

These “Missing Links” are built on a foundation of wildlife corridor work in Florida over two decades, and follow the map of the Florida Ecological Greenways Network (FEGN; See Map). In the early 2000s the FEGN identified those corridors considered most important for providing habitat for wide-ranging species like the Florida panther and Florida black bear.

The FEGN’s highest priorities, named “Critical Linkages”, identify the best remaining opportunities to functionally connect major existing public and private conservation lands across the state. Once protected, the Critical Linkages would connect all of Florida’s largest existing conservation lands in to one functional statewide ecological network.

These same Critical Linkages are our “Missing Links” in the Florida Wildlife Corridor. In fact, the 2012 Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition followed their trail through much of the Florida peninsula.

In 2013, the Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture (LINC) — now part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor — commissioned prominent conservation photographers to capture images of priority lands that remained unprotected to help raise awareness about their importance.

As a result, 15 Florida Forever projects are showcased via photographs, parcel descriptions and the blog series “A View From the Other Side of the Lens.” LINC also produced the Florida Wildlife Corridor Critical Linkages GeoStory in partnership with National Geographic’s Map Division.

Although the Missing Links spotlighted to date are limited to peninsular Florida, our content will soon be expanded statewide.