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Abstract or Description

The purpose of this study was to conduct a habitat suitability analysis of the critically endangered Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi) in Florida. We gathered land cover, population and road data from the Florida Geographic Data Library and performed map algebra using ESRI’s ArcGIS to compile a suitable habitat map. We found that there is 20381.7 km² of highly suitable habitat and 557124.4 km² of less desirable but usable habitat for the Florida panther. The highest concentration of highly suitable habitat is in Big Cypress National Park, with smaller patches in Tates Hell State Forest and along the southeast portion of the Panhandle. Due to extensive fragmentation, however, and without establishment of habitat linkages to the existing southern population, there is little chance of survival of additional panther populations in much of northern Florida.

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