People are also worried about the extensive roads that will need to be built for the new developments. Florida panthers are all too often hit by cars and killed. Most recently, a 9-year-old female panther was killed by a car in December, and 29 of these cats were killed last year, mostly because of collisions with vehicles.
"The best available science tells us the panther needs all its available habitat to survive and ultimately recover,” Amber Crooks, environmental policy manager of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, told The Guardian.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) needs to approve the plan before development can begin, so there's still time to push back. But giving people a chance to speak up for the panther has been another challenge. Last year, the public had 45 days to comment on the plan, which felt all too short to conservationists when it ended in December. Some conservation groups filed to extend the public comment period — and were turned down.