The Florida Panther: An Endangered Species
There are approximately 120-130 adult panthers in the Florida panther population, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). On Nov. 12, 2023, the FWC announced two panther deaths in one day, amounting to five within one week. The cause of death?
There have been 13 reported deaths so far this year of endangered Florida panthers, and all of them died as a result of vehicle strikes. The core population is found south of Lake Okeechobee.
Why Save the Panthers?
According to the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Florida panther is an umbrella species, which means they are the heart of the ecological community within their habitat. Protecting panthers in Florida indirectly helps conserve other threatened and endangered wildlife in the state. Florida panthers are most active at night and most want to avoid humans.
The Florida panther’s biggest threats are human-caused, with habitat destruction and land encroachment limiting where these animals can live and hunt.
On the Road Again
This holiday season, be sure to follow local speed limits and be alert and cautious while driving. Always be on the lookout for possible wildlife crossings.
Report Panther Sightings
If you see a sick, injured or dead Florida panther, or if you experience a panther depredation, you can report online or call 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922). Cell phone users can also call #FWC, or send a text to Tip@MyFWC.com
Information from the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC), Tampa Bay Times, and the Florida Wildlife Federation.