The proposed Kingston development project in eastern Lee County will have devastating impacts on the Western Everglades, including a keystone species – the Florida panther.
Kingston is massive. The proposed development would add more than 10,000 homes and associated development at the edge of Lee County, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) – a 60,000-acre preserve that spans the eastern border of Lee and Collier counties.
The proposed Kingston development threatens these critical wetland ecosystems. The project would also destroy more than 3,330 acres of primary and secondary Florida panther habitat essential to its survival and recovery.
Compounding endangered species habitat and public lands impacts is the threat of panther-vehicle collisions, the number one documented source of mortality for this species. Development on the Kingston site will add more than 95,000 vehicle trips per day onto already-deadly roadways.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has authorized that up to ~23 panthers per year could be harmed, harassed, or killed incidentally as a result of the Kingston project. The current panther population is only estimated at 120-230 panthers. The panther population may no longer be growing, and such an authorization is irresponsible.
The panther population may not be able to survive if the projected number of panthers is killed as a result of this proposed development.
Speak up now to protect the panther!