Florida Panther

Florida Panther

Florida Panther

The Florida Panther – (Puma concolor coryi)  is Florida’s state animal and was placed on the endangered species list in 1967 because of hunting and continued loss of habitat. It is one of Florida’s most popular animals besides the American Alligator and one that is most protected.  The Florida Panther can weigh up to 150 lbs., breed about every 18 months and have litters of 2-3 kits. They feed on white tailed deer, rabbits, raccoons, wild hogs, armadillo and birds. They are closely related to Mountain Lions, Puma’s and  Cougars. Panthers are actually one of 32 subspecies of the Puma concolor. Cougars from Texas have been introduced to Florida to add to the Panther population since they interbreed and to add to genetic variability.  Panthers require a large territory to hunt and roam (200 sq. miles)  and use to occupy the entire southeastern U.S. Their territory has been reduced to the interior and lower parts of Florida, mostly the Florida Everglades and Big Cypress Basin. Every year the population of Panthers declines because of automobile accidents, loss of hunting grounds or other factors.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fixes radio collars to some Panthers to track their movements and to try and determine their movements and migration habits.  This picture is from the Ft. Myers News Press. The Defenders of Wildlife website has some good information about the Florida Panther besides the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

 

 

 

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