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Florida Matters Gets An Update On Florida Panthers

Brian_Kelly_cameraPanther biologist Brian Kelly inspects a camera trap
Steve Newborn
/
WUSF Public Media
Panther biologist Brian Kelly inspects a camera trap

We check back in with WUSF reporter Steve Newborn about recent developments in panther protections. His feature story about a National Geographic cover story highlighting the endangered species first aired in April.

On this week’s episode, we revisit the topic of the Florida panther.

At least eight endangered Florida panthers have died this year after being struck by vehicles.

While their deaths highlight a problem, it also shows a success story. A panther population reduced to a couple dozen now has reached more than 200.

Their plight — and progress — was highlighted in April's National Geographic magazine.

Tampa-based conservation photographer Carlton Ward Jr. and panther biologist Brian Kelly are featured in that cover story. Ward shot the accompanying photos, which he said took him a few years to capture. In April, we first
aired an extended conversation with Ward and Kelly. WUSF's Steve Newborn traveled to an area just north of the Everglades to talk with them. You will hear it again in this episode — as well as Newborn's original feature story.

Later on, host Bradley George gets an update from Newborn. He said there have been some major developments in panther protection.

In late April, Florida legislators passed the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act. It will provide funding to preserve the migration paths of Florida wildlife including the endangered panther.

You can listen to Steve’s full conversation with Ward and Kelly and his update with Bradley above by clicking on the “Listen” button. Or you can listen to the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

I was born and raised in North Carolina, but my career in public radio has taken me all over the Southeast: Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham. Along the way, I’ve reported for NPR, Here and Now, BBC, and The Takeaway. I’ve also done quite a few stories for Marketplace.
Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.