Halifax River Audubon
Halifax River Audubon A Florida Chapter of the National Audubon Society
Serving The Greater Daytona Beach Area

HRA Chapter Meeting - Path of the Panther

5/15/2023 at 6:45 PM to 8:30 PM

Event Description


This evening we will feature a fascinating program about the Florida panther in the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in Collier County, Florida. The Florida panther is currently an important component to galvanizing support for a huge legislative process dedicating funding source to protect wildlife corridors. Our presenter is Mercedes McAllen who has extensive experience with this elusive animal. (See her biographical info below.) She will also have information about initiatives to save this magnificent cat.

The meeting will be conducted over Zoom. Other business on the agenda will be the election of officers for the next year. Please plan to join us!

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Meeting ID: 857 4033 5440

Passcode: 226696


My educational background is biology and ecology in the environmental sciences at the City University New York at Hunter college. Then my plan was to head south to where my family was living in Ormond Beach Florida. The Florida panther is one of the reasons I moved to Florida in 1985. The move from NYC to Ormond Beach catapulted me into my journey to find the panther in the wild. I worked as the conservation chair with the Sierra Club and was a land acquisition coordinator of several land referendums for parkland additions to Tomoka State Park and North Peninsula State Park.

Word came that a position opened in Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve (FSSP) the home of Florida Panther. Charles Dutoit, my husband and park biologist for the Florida State Parks, said, “you’ve got to see the Fakahatchee” the panthers' haven for its remote and challenging location. This habitat in southwest Florida is a vital intact seventy-thousand-acre subtropical cypress swamp for the panther. Lands like this preserve are becoming scarcer every day throughout Florida.

(Photos courtesy of FWS)