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Photos by @CarltonWard // A large section of Blackbeard’s Ranch in Southwest Florida inland of Sarasota has just been protected by a conservation easement [news article link in my bio]. The photo shows important longleaf pine habitat near where the 4,500-acre ranch connects to Myakka River State Park. The new protections contribute to an important regional wildlife corridor that is home to burrowing owls, Sherman fox squirrels, swallow-tailed kites, and Florida black bears. It also also important to the northward recovery of the endangered Florida panther and protecting the headwaters of the Myakka watershed, essential to the health of the Charlotte Harbor estuary and Gulf of Mexico. The easement was funded by @nfwf through the @usdagov Wetland Reserve Program. Blackbeard’s Ranch raises Braford, Brangus and Beefmaster cattle in pastures interspersed with oak hammocks, palms and pines. Florida ranches preserve some of the state’s best wildlife habitat while connecting public lands through the statewide @fl_wildcorridor. Please follow @carltonward for more. #pathofthepanther #floridawild #keepFLWild @flcattlemen @carltonwardgallery

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