Our mission is to champion the public and partner support needed to permanently connect, protect and restore the Florida Wildlife Corridor.
Follow @natgeo to get the full story! #Repost@natgeo・・・Photos by @CarltonWard | Cooperative Bear, Frustrating Panther…That was the title of the blog I wrote about my attempt to camera trap a Florida panther at Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in 2015. I was on assignment for @NatGeoTravel and after a month of trying, I had one bear kindly pose facing the camera and one panther show me her tail as she walked away. Frustrating and motivating at the same time, it was like she was daring me to try to tell her story. Three years and two National Geographic grants later, I'm still trying. I now have a network of camera traps (think photo studios hidden in the woods) pointed at game trails on refuges and ranches throughout South Florida for my #PathofthePanther project, which seeks to inspire the land protection needed for the endangered Florida panther to expand its range. I've had some successes with panthers over the past three years, but more often than not, my "cooperative bear, frustrating panther" mantra, still applies. Please follow my quest here and @CarltonWard as we focus on the story of the Florida panther and the habitat corridors it needs to recover and help us save wild Florida. The third photo is an alligator that should have been a warning that the water was about to rise. A wet winter, followed by strong summer rains proceeded to flood this trail for the next 18 months. @insidenatgeo@natgeocreative#FloridaWildlifeCorridor#FloridaWild#KeepFLWild#panther#bear#gator#alligator#swamp#Everglades
・・・Florida’s night sky can be downright dreamy. Did you know that we have a state park with an astronomy pad dedicated to observing the night sky? In 2016, Kissimmee Prairie was also recognized as Florida's first Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association. How magnificent! : @juddpattersonphoto
・・・Over the past year I’ve started incorporating video into my camera trapping efforts for the #PathofthePanther project. While I am still driven by the pursuit of decisive moments that still photographs provide, I have a growing appreciation for the power of video to give longer views and context for behavior. Here is a pair of clips from last month at @corkscrewswamp where the @audubonsociety has permitted me to deploy a camera system in the backcountry of their preserve. Although increasingly squeezed by development from Naples, this preserve protects habitat that allows the Florida panther population to welcome new generations. If we can protect the #FloridaWildlifeCorridor, it’s possible that a panther born at Corkscrew will one day cross the Caloosahatchee River to the north and help the endangered species recover into its historic territory throughout the Florida peninsula. The mother panther in this video is the same individual I witnessed with my own eyes and photographed a couple weeks before — perhaps the most memorable experience in my career as a conservation photographer. Click the link in my bio for the full story online @natgeo. @fl_wildcorridor#Florida#panther
・・・It is an incredible feeling to look into the eyes of a bear at ground level in its habitat. This Florida black bear was one of the first I photographed while focusing on the research that ultimately inspired the #FloridaWildlifeCorridor campaign. I was following biologist Joe Guthrie (@joeguthrie8) on foot as he stalked towards this female bear with a dart rifle in a bay head forest on the Hendrie Ranch in Highlands County. The Highlands-Glades Bear Project was a collaboration between University of Kentucky and @ArchboldStation. Joe’s professor David Maehr, who was lost in a plane crash tracking a missing black bear with rancher Mason Smoak, often made the point that there would be no bears in that part of Florida without the proactive stewardship of ranchers. GPS tracking showed that bears traveled as far as 500 miles across a patchwork or ranches, groves and public preserves that keep the Northern Everglades connected for wide ranging wildlife. Through research, bears have shown us what we need to do to save the Corridor, and in that way are preparing the path of recovery for the Florida panther as it reclaims historic territory northwards out of the Everglades. #PathofthePanther@FL_WildCorridor#floridawild#keepflwild#bear#forest#conservation#florida#wildlife@myfwc@natgeo@insidenatgeo#pureflorida@pureflorida
・・・Much of my job as a filmmaker depends on understanding the form of nature; reading and anticipating the relationships it contains. Over time, I grow confident in my ability; even a little smug. Then I visit Florida, and that idea is exposed for what it is: a delusion. In the Everglades, I cannot help but feel that deciphering Yellowstone has been like untying a shoelace while 2000 miles southeast, there is vast knot of fishing line waiting for me…underwater…in the dark. Luckily, others have endured the chaos of the swamps to reveal rare, tiny bits of order: Ghost Orchids. With @carltonward@macstonephoto@peter_houlihan@bendicci.
・・・Every day should be International Owl Awareness Day! I’m a day late, but can’t help but share an old favorite.
Burrowing owls stole my heart since the first time I saw them. Living underground, they inhabit upland prairies in Florida and spend much of their time outside the burrow standing sentry for potential predators. I made a custom camera hide to trigger the camera remotely as they went about their daily routine on the edge of the Everglades. #internationalowlawarenessday#everglades#florida#owl