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The plan to make plans for panther recovery to what has already been identified as marginal Central Florida habitat is a pyrrhic recovery gesture. 2 X 240 new target recovery populations isn’t unrealistic; it’s mandated in the recovery plan, where relocation sites in North Florida, Southern Georgia and elsewhere throughout the Southeast have already been identified, where public attitude surveys overwhelmingly support panther restorations, and a successful test release of Texas cougars along the Georgia-Florida line has already been completed.

One Commissioner’s concluding quote misses the point entirely. Pregnant females need every avenue they can find, including a wildlife bridge across the Caloosahatchee, to allow them out of the South Florida graveyard where panthers have been marooned.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/wildlife-officials-prepare-to-smooth-path-for-panther-into-central-florida/1249947

Tamba Bay Times

TAMPA — Because scientists say the rebounding Florida panther has filled nearly all the available habitat in Southwest Florida, state wildlife officials Wednesday told their staff to start working on expanding its population into Central Florida.

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