Tampa Bay Times | Environmentalists say new toll road would threaten Florida panthers

By Zachary T. Sampson

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A major toll road project would worsen an already bad situation for endangered Florida panthers, according to a report released Tuesday by The Nature Conservancy in Florida, which reasserts environmentalists’ opposition to the highway expansion.

Calling the road an “existential threat” to panthers, Temperince Morgan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Florida, said in a statement Tuesday: “We continue to provide science-based input to the toll road task force, in an effort to identify the potential catastrophic impacts to nature that this road could have.”

“Wildlife crossings certainly are a tool for reducing the impact of roads, but the bigger loss we think would be from loss of habitat,” said Janet Bowman, senior policy advisor for The Nature Conservancy in Florida. “Wildlife crossings don’t prevent that.”