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Migration patterns of Florida

When an animal migrates what they are doing is simply moving from one place to another and back to their original location. Animals migrate to find good breeding grounds or areas with large amounts of food. When man made objects or constructs get in the way of an animal's routine migratory path it is forced to change its usual breeding ground or area of sustenance.
The Florida panther is listed as endangered. This is because of the encroachment of developing lands and highways and other man made structures that have mostly destroyed or diminished their natural habitats. They also have trouble hunting the white-tailed deer, which is their main source of food, as they have been cut off from each other because of human developments as well. Due to these developments Florida Panthers have had to change their migration routes, as well as become adjusted to smaller hunting and breeding grounds than they previously had.
Many birds spend summer in New England or farther North on the East coast of the U.S. and migrate through Florida on their way to South America or the Caribbean. Water birds that winter in Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico use Florida as their last land stop before the islands, while most land birds will fly from Florida to the coast of Mexico in order to continue moving to South America while remaining over land. Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) that spend summers in the Eastern half of the U.S. use multiple routes through Florida to reach the Yucatán peninsula, the Caribbean islands, and South America. Upon their return, birds crossing the Gulf of Mexico need to stop in Florida to feed and replenish their energy after the strenuous flight over water. Some species like the Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa) stay in Florida for the winter. In the case of the Red Knot, the east coast of the state is used as a stopover on the way to the Caribbean and as a over-wintering area. Some birds returning North in the fall have migration patterns that bring them into the path of Gulf hurricanes, increasing the danger of the flight as well as the need for abundant resources on the North coast of the Gulf. Migrating birds arrive in highest densities in areas with dense hardwood forests. For those in need of food, this habitat could indicate to them an abundance of resources, and many stop over in the panhandle of Florida in hardwood and pine forests close to the coast. Conservation of these forests will be important for the future of many migrating bird species; with so many birds using these forests to forage after strenuous flights, degradation or loss of this habitat could lead to high mortality as the birds quickly use up a smaller pool of resources. The same can be said for the East coast of the state, where habitat loss caused by sea level rise, beach erosion, and development threaten migratory routes with habitat loss. Although the Migratory Bird Treaty Act made the "taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds unlawful," habitat must also be protected to help birds that migrate through Florida survive.