The Florida panther could go extinct if this toll road is built

One of the controversial toll roads approved by the Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis this year would be a “disaster” for the Florida panther and potentially render the species extinct, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist wrote this year in a candid email to his supervisor.

The road, which is proposed to run from Polk to Collier counties and has been referred to as the Heartland Parkway, would run through the heart of some of the last remaining panther habitat and cause more of the big cats to be killed by cars, the biologist wrote.