The Unlikely Upside of Reports of Florida Panther Deaths

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The Unlikely Upside of Reports of Florida Panther Deaths

pantherOf course it’s bad news that a record number of Florida panthers – 17 – have been killed this year, mainly hit by cars. But wildlife experts and the media are reporting that there is a positive side to this news, and that is simply that the population of panthers is growing. For an animal that people believed would go extinct and is certainly still on the brink of extinction, an increase in sightings actually points to progress. The panther population had dwindled to about 30 panthers statewide two decades ago and now has reportedly grown to between 100 and 160. It’s all due to genetic restoration (breeding Florida panthers with their cougar relatives in Texas) and the conservation efforts of biologists, state organizations, and concerned citizens. Check out this WFTX-TV story on the Florida panther – with a reminder for people in the Collier County panther-crossing areas to observe posted speed limits to protect Florida’s most endangered state symbol.

Learn more about the Florida Panther from the FWC’s Florida PantherNet and the Florida Panther Protection Program.

Image Credits: Florida Department of State Division of Historical Resources, Florida PantherNet

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2 responses »

  1. This is bad news and good news simultaneously! Living in Florida my entire life I have only had the privilege of seeing a panther in nature one time, but I did get the chance to work with them at a rehabilitation center in central Fl. Hopefully getting more information about them and how they can be protected will help there numbers continue to grow. Awesome job for spreading the news!

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