Florida panthers. Get an inside look at panthers in the historic Everglades. – Chad Gillis/news-press.com
Four stretches of road in Collier County rank among the worst hot spots for vehicle collisions with endangered Florida panthers, according to a new report.
The report by a committee of panther advocates, road planners and wildlife agency representatives lists almost 20 road segments in Collier and Hendry counties as candidates for wildlife crossings to reduce panther deaths.
“This should send up some red flags about the need to look at these segments more closely,” said Florida Wildlife Federation field representative Nancy Payton, the committee chairwoman.
The study of vehicle collisions, the most common cause of death for panthers, is part of a larger effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to review the pace of Florida panther recovery.
Scientists estimate the panther population has rebounded from fewer than 30 to as many as 230, leading to record numbers of panther deaths on roads, mostly in Southwest Florida. Last year set another record with 34. This year there have been 19.
This article was republished from the Naples Daily News.