July marks the one-year anniversary of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act. This piece of legislation, passed with bipartisan, unanimous support, is incentivizing protection of land essential for both wildlife and people. Of the 18 million acres in the Florida Wildlife Corridor, nearly 10 million have already been protected and about 8 million yet-to-be protected.
During the year since the signing of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act, 36,445 acres have been approved by the Florida Cabinet for permanent protection by state funding, including 14 different land parcels. Several of these properties expand Florida’s public recreational lands. Other properties include private ranches, farms, and forests to be managed under conditions where they will never be developed. This investment in green infrastructure has provided safety for approximately 567 imperiled plants and 131 imperiled animals in and around the corridor, including the gopher tortoise, manatee, burrowing owl and swallow-tailed kite. This is also a path to long-term recovery for both the endangered Florida panther and the Florida grasshopper sparrow.
Our team has been photographing and filming these newly protected properties, paired with maps by our partners at Archbold Biological Station. Please see the StoryMap and Social Media toolkits on our website
, celebrating the land protection accomplishments during the past year.
Based on the foundation of progress from the past year, we look to the year ahead, recognizing that a protected corridor for future generations will require accelerating the pace of conservation. A recent economic study
conducted by Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation with support from the Wildpath team, indicates there are more than 900,000 high-priority acres in need of conservation by 2030. That means we need to be conserving an average of 10,000 acres per month to balance conservation with habitat losses to development establishing a path to protecting the Florida Wildlife Corridor for future generations.