Big cat comeback? Florida strikes bipartisan deal to help endangered panthers

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In a political culture where bipartisan legislation is a rare species, lawmakers in one state have come together to agree major new conservation efforts that will help that other endangered animal – the Florida panther. The big cat, whose habitat has a history of being swallowed up and its numbers hunted by humans, is expected to benefit from a $400m cash boost. Legislation recently passed in Florida with unanimous support will boost protected land and expand “wildlife corridors” running almost the length of the state. Conservationists believe the bill has a good chance of being signed when it reaches Republican governor Ron DeSantis’s desk, ready to go into effect 1 July. The bulk of the spending will be set aside to protect wildlife corridors under the Florida Forever land conservation program, creating a network of undeveloped public and private patches of land so animals can safely cross the state, a local CBS affiliate reported . Expanding protected territory will help the threatened panther roam more freely and safely, as well as helping other wildlife, such as bears and plant life, with connected land “spanning from the Florida Bay in the south to the Georgia and Alabama borders,” Tori Linder, […]

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