Face-to-Face With Wildlife in Florida’s Hidden Wilderness: #bestjobever

Encounters with massive alligator gars, manatees, and rattlesnakes are all par for the course when National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward embarks on a 1,000 mile, 70 day trek to protect Florida’s hidden wilderness.

Black Bears Show Us How to Save Wild Florida

I am a multi-generation Floridian and a photographer focused on wild Florida. I’m also a lifelong hunter who has killed my share of deer and hogs, so when I decided to document the first bear hunt in 21 years, I tried to keep an open mind. I met my first Florida black bear up-close nine…

Florida black bear facts

• The Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) is one of 16 recognized subspecies of the American black bear. • Approximately 80 percent of the natural bear foods in Florida are plant material. Insects make up around 15 percent of diets. The remaining 5 percent is animal matter such as raccoons, opossums, armadillos, white-tailed deer…

Bombing Range Is National Example for Wildlife Conservation

Walking through a wildlife underpass from Nokuse Plantation to Eglin Air Force base feels like traveling back in time. This is some of the richest wildland in the U.S.

Trek Crosses Largest Remaining Longleaf Pine Landscape

Daybreak in the Longleaf Pine Forest 14 March 2015: Morning light pouring into a longleaf pine forest finds filmmaker Jeff Reed dangling 25 feet off the ground, suspended in his tree-climbing harness, steadying the long range zoom lens on his RED Epic camera. A small missile darts from a silver dollar-sized hole in the trunk…

An Oysterman Hero in Apalachicola

On day 44, the Glades to Gulf expedition had an opportunity to spend a day with third-generation Apalachicola oysterman, Kendall Schoelles, who gives hope that the oyster fishery and lifestyle can still be saved.

Big River: the Apalachicola

Two weeks ago the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition paddled the lower Apalachicola River system downstream for five days to Apalachicola Bay at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Winter has been chilly and wet in north Florida, and Week 6 of the Expedition was the coldest we’ve yet experienced, with rain, wind and sub-freezing temperatures across the region. The budding branch-ends…

Swamp Stomping, Animal Sightings, and the Value of Trails

Halfway through the #Glades2Gulf Expedition, explorers offer tips on navigating Florida’s back country, give an update on the species seen so far, and put some numbers to the value of nature trails.

Biking Adds Miles, Perspective to 1000-mile Expedition

Four weeks into our trek we’ve covered a lot of ground, but there are many miles yet to go and much to see and explore.

Diving Into Florida’s Springs

Florida is said to have the highest concentration of freshwater springs on Earth. The Florida Wildlife Corridor #Glades2Gulf Expedition is traversing springs country near the Gulf of Mexico and recently explored several of these wonderful windows into the underground aquifer. Our first plunge was into the head spring of the Chassahowitzka River before following the river’s five-mile journey downstream…

Keeping True to the Nature Coast of Florida

Joe Guthrie paddles a kayak down one of the many creeks of the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, a key protected area along the Nature Coast of Florida. “Chass” and its neighboring conservation properties support a very small and imperiled population of the Florida black bear. The expedition team reached the area at the beginning the…

Weathering Rain, Setting a Swamp on Fire

The highlight of our Green Swamp experience, after backpacking and camping in a soaking rain, was participating in a controlled burn with land managers from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

2015 Expedition Launches in Everglades Headwaters

We are poised at the brink of the 2015 Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, beginning in the northern reaches of the Everglades Headwaters, on the banks of Lake Hatchineha in Polk County, Florida.

Expedition Ready to Launch

Beginning January 10th, I will join fellow explorers Mallory Dimmitt and Joe Guthrie on a 70-day trek to raise visibility for a wildlife corridor from the Evergaldes Headwaters near Orlando to Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola. Our work is supported by the National Geographic Society and we’ll be sharing stories here every week. The map below provides an overview…

30 Days Till 2015 Expedition Launches

On January 10, 2015 we begin a new 1000-mile leg of our Expedition, to highlight a wildlife corridor from Central Florida to the Gulf Coast, through the Big Bend, and across the Panhandle all the way to Alabama, where our trek will conclude.