OSPREY, FL (March 29, 2022) Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announces the permanent protection of 10 acres within a high-priority wildlife corridor in northern Collier County. Located near the Lee County line at the southwest corner of the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) preservation area, this newly protected land serves as primary habitat for the endangered Florida panther. The protection was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the property’s owners, Dr. and Mrs. Ambrose D. Pare. It was completed on March 28.
The property’s proximity to the CREW preservation area, managed by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), allows Conservation Foundation to work with Collier County and SFWMD to protect adjoining lands and strengthen the existing wildlife corridor. With habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation among the top threats to the Florida panther, linkages such as this are critical to the survival of the species. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, only 120 to 230 adults currently remain in the wild.
“Creating and supporting wildlife corridors for iconic species such as the Florida panther is an integral component of our work,” says Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful to the Pares for donating this conservation easement and helping to safeguard the future of one of Florida’s most vulnerable natives.”
Beyond the Florida panther, the wildlife corridor supports other species of greatest conservation need including the wood stork, the Big Cypress fox squirrel, and the Florida black bear. The newly protected land is also near the Imperial River, which flows into the southern part of Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, a major conservation target in Southwest Florida.
In addition to donating the 10-acre easement, the Pares contributed to Conservation Foundation’s stewardship endowment fund which provides dedicated resources for the ongoing stewardship of the land.
Landowners interested in learning how to safeguard the future of their land, and the potential tax benefits available, are encouraged to contact Conservation Foundation’s land protection team by calling 941.918.2100.
About Conservation Foundation
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast protects land and water in Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature. Working with landowners, businesses, and government, Conservation Foundation saves land forever, protecting those special places that make this region extraordinary. A nationally accredited land trust, Conservation Foundation purchases natural areas, holds voluntary land protection agreements, and educates for responsible land and water stewardship in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties. Learn more and join in their mission at conservationfoundation.com.