When European settlers arrived in the 1600s, the clear-cutting, building and other human activities that destroy, degrade and fragment habitat began, and the fear and misconceptions that led to panther persecution took root. Since 2010, there has been an uptick in panthers preying upon calves in commercial ranching operations. Now, the breeding population of Florida panthers is found only in the southwestern tip of Florida. Females reach sexual maturity at 1.5 to 2.5 years old, while males reach sexual maturity around three years old. However, the panthers have lost roughly 95% of their historic habitat, and their current range is now squeezed into a few protected areas such as Big Cypress National Preserve and Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, as well as some private lands. 97% of our funds go towards program and support services, with only 3% going towards fundraising. They are solitary and territorial animals that travel hundreds of miles within their home ranges. We take on many of the biggest environmental and health challenges of our time and stick with them. Florida panthers are carnivores (feed only on meat) and their diet consists primarily of deer, raccoons, wild hogs, armadillos, and rabbits. Report fish kills, wildlife emergencies, sightings, etc. Since 2016 – for the first time since the 1970s – a few females with kittens have been documented north of the Caloosahatchee River. Panthers are mostly active between dusk and dawn, resting during the heat of the day. Further loss of adult panther habitat is likely to reduce the prospects for survival of the existing population, and decrease the probability of natural expansion of the population into south-central Florida. Exchange of genetic material between the two subspecies ceased as habitat in the southeastern U.S. became fragmented in the late 1800’s and throughout the 20th century. In any need to get out of a habitat the Florida Panther has developed the ability to be able to travel 15-20 miles a day. 620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL • (850) 488-4676 U.S. Cougar adults are a uniform tan color with lighter fur on their lower chests, belly, and inner legs. If you live in panther country, practice proven coexistence techniques. Florida panthers once prowled and flourished in woodlands and swamps throughout the Southeast. Ages at death average 7.5 years for females and just over five years for males. In recognition of our longstanding commitment to panther recovery, Defenders serves as the conservation representative on the federal Florida Panther Recovery Implementation Team. https://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Puma_concolor_coryi.pdf. The solution is actually quite simple. Young males are often without a home range of their own. But climate change is now changing the Earth as we know it, and animals and plants from the Arctic to the Everglades are feeling the consequences. Births occur throughout the year, but mainly occur in late spring. Feds gut cornerstone environmental protection law, Florida's Natural Assets: Investing In Nature Is Key To Our Prosperity. Through partnerships, education, research support, public outreach, and advocacy, Defenders is working to foster understanding of Florida panthers and to help people share the landscape with these endangered predators. When a Florida panther is born, the first 2 months of its life are spent in a den made from dense scrub. Copyright 1999 - 2020 State of Florida. Not only is the panther literally running out of space given how much of their historic habitat has already been lost to development, but further flooding would also hurt the white-tailed deer population, a critical source of food for this rare cat.
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