Panthers in Florida

Some 80 Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi), the state’s animal, are estimated to survive in the wild.

Endangered Florida Panther

The Florida Panther (Puma concolor coryi) is Florida’s state animal. It is estimated that only 80 Florida Panthers remain in the wild. The Florida Panther was placed on the endangered species list in 1967. About 30 to 35 juvenile and adult Florida Panthers wear radio collars as part of the Florida Panther Recovery Program

Historically Florida Panthers lived in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and some think they reached into Texas. Today they only live in parts of Southern Florida including the Everglades and the Big Cypress Swamp. The Florida Panther is threatened by the destruction of their habitat, collisions with automobiles, and genetic defects caused by extensive inbreeding.

Panthers still dying on Florida’s roads (January 2011 news)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded 23 panther deaths in 201o. Of those, 16 were killed by cars, with another six attributed to “intraspecific aggression”, or panthers killing other panthers.

Record number of endangered Florida panthers killed by vehicles in 2009

Florida wildlife officials have confirmed the death of the 16th Florida panther killed in 2009 on a Florida roadway, eclipsing the 2008 total of 10 panthers and representing a new record high for the imperilled native cat. The latest panther to be killed, a four-year-old female, was discovered on a stretch of the road without protective fencing in known panther habitat. See also Florida panthers getting mauled by cars

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I find it strange that the state animal of Florida is being driven to extinction by the state picking development and the quick money it brings over its own wildlife. (Wildlife does bring in money over a longer period of time, as that is why so many come down here. or is it?) Even though their numbers are slightly higher than reported in the 1980’s after decades of over hunting there are more killed on the roads than ever before.

Florida Panther Facts

The Florida panther, Florida’s state animal, is one of the most endangered mammals on earth. It is tawny brown on the back and pale gray underneath. The Florida panther is one of 30 Puma concolor subspecies known by many names – puma, cougar, mountain lion, painter, catamount and panther.

Historically ranged across the southeastern United States including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and parts of Tennessee and South Carolina. Now, the breeding population of Florida Panthers is found only in the southern tip of Florida, south of the Caloosahatchee River. In recent years, young male panthers have traveled as far as northeast Florida. Females do not roam as widely.

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