The Florida Panther - Facts and Conservation Efforts

Florida Panther

The Florida panther is critically endangered.
The Florida panther is critically endangered. | Source

The Florida Panther - On the Bridge of Extinction?

The Florida panther, (puma concolor coryi), is the state animal of Florida and is considered to be one of the most endangered mammals on earth. It has long been considered a subspecies of puma, that lives in the forests and swamps of southern Florida in the United States. There is debate as to whether the Florida panther is actually a subspecies or the same species of the puma, also known as the mountain lion, cougar and catamount. A genetic study of the cougar mitochondrial DNA suggests that the results are too close to be considered an actual subspecies. However, the puma species found in the southern areas of Florida is still commonly known as the Florida panther. Their number are growing but at a slow pace. In the 1970’s there were only known to be around 20 Florida panthers in the wild. As of 2012, their numbers have increased to somewhere between 100 to 160.

Male Florida Panther

Florida panthers are smaller than the typical mountain lion or puma.
Florida panthers are smaller than the typical mountain lion or puma. | Source

Description

The Florida panther is typically smaller than the cougars found in the northern regions of the US, yet larger than those of South America. The females weigh from 60 to 100 pounds and are the males weight ranges from 100 to 160 pounds. Their length ranges from 5.9 to 7.2 feet and their shoulder height from 24 to 28 inches. They have a black tip on their long tail and also on their ears. The sides of their nose is dark brown. Florida panthers do not roar. They do make various sounds such as growls, whistles, chirps, hisses, purrs and screams.

Florida Panther Close-Up

Florida panther resting in the shade.
Florida panther resting in the shade. | Source

Behavior

The Florida panther is mainly nocturnal, resting during the heat of the day. They are most often seen during the early morning and late evening hours. They are generally solitary animals and travel alone. They are territorial animals with the males traveling a territory of approximately 200 square miles and the females traveling only approximately 75 square miles.

Florida Panther Kittens

The kittens have blue eyes and spots, which will fade away.
The kittens have blue eyes and spots, which will fade away. | Source

Reproduction

The Florida panther’s peak mating season is in winter and spring, however, they will mate throughout the year as the opportunity arises. Litters are generally 1 to 4 kittens, but rarely do all kittens survive. At birth, Florida panthers are spotted and have blue eyes. At about 9 to 12 months old, their spots will fade until their color is a solid tan with a creamy white underbelly and their eyes will take on a yellow hue. The kittens will stay with their mother for up to 2 years before going out on their own.

Diet

The Florida panther’s diet consists mainly of small animals such as mice, rabbits, raccoons, armadillos and waterfowl. However they will also dine on some larger animals such as white-tailed deer and wild pigs that also live in and around the Everglades. Unlike western Mountain Lions, the Florida panther is not a livestock killer and attacks on humans are unknown of.

Florida Alligator

The alligator is the only natural predator of the Florida panther.
The alligator is the only natural predator of the Florida panther. | Source

Natural Predators

The only natural predator of the Florida panther is the alligator. The alligator will lay, just under the water, near the shore, waiting for the panther to come close to drink or perhaps hunt for waterfowl. Alligators have enormously powerful jaws and when the alligator strikes, it will drag the panther into the water and drown it. The average life span of the Florida panther in the wild is approximately 10 years.

Burmese Python Found in the Florida Everglades

Burmese python are devastating Florida's ecosystem.
Burmese python are devastating Florida's ecosystem. | Source

An Unusual Threat

An evasive species introduced into the Florida Everglades is causing problems for the Florida panther, it is the Burmese python. The Burmese python is a constrictor snake that is not native to southern Florida. It has been introduced there by people releasing their unwanted “pets” into the swamps and waterways. The Florida panther is probably too large to be caught and killed by this snake, but the damage to the panthers food source is a growing problem. Research shows the huge decline in the number of small mammals such as rabbits, raccoon and small waterfowl, due to the rising numbers of the Burmese python in this area. By consuming so much of the Florida panther’s natural food source, this can only lead to further decline of the endangered wild cat. This has become such a large problem that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has sponsored a hunting contest to run from mid-January 2013 to mid February 2013 in order to reduce the numbers of this invasive species of python in the Everglades.

Florida Panther Habitat Areas

Southern Florida Panther Habitat Locations
Southern Florida Panther Habitat Locations | Source

Habitat Reduction

Human population expansion is the largest threat to the Florida panther. Efforts are underway to try to preserve and increase the numbers of panthers in this area but the ever growing population and limitation of habitat, it is a difficult task. The recent drop in the freeze line in the state of Florida has increased the movement of citrus orchards further south, increasing the human population in that area.

A normal “breeding unit” consists of one male and two to five females. For a healthy breeding unit, it would require the panthers a range of approximately 200 square miles of habitat. A population of 160 panthers would require a habitat of around 6,000 to 10,000 square miles.

Kinked Tail of Florida Panther

A kinked tail is a definite sign of inbreeding amoung the Florida panthers.
A kinked tail is a definite sign of inbreeding amoung the Florida panthers. | Source

At one time, the reduction of natural habitat was such a problem that the small numbers of these panthers created a “inbreeding” situation. This was determined by panthers being born with “kinked” tails, bad hearts and sperm problems. Once this problem revealed itself, eight female panthers were introduced from a closely related panther population from Texas. This has, at least temporarily, helped solve the inbreeding problem, but as their population grows and their habitat continues to decline, this can occur again.

Map of Florida Panther Wildlife Refuge

Trail maps in the Florida Wildlife Refuge
Trail maps in the Florida Wildlife Refuge | Source

Conservation

The Florida panther has been protected from legal hunting since 1958 and it was added to the “endangered list” but the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1967. It was added to Florida’s state endangered list in in 1973. In June of 1989, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge was established under authority of the Endangered Species Act. The refuge is located in the heart of the Big Cypress Basin in southern Florida. It consists of 26,400 acres and was set up to provide the optimum habitat for the endangered panther.



Florida Panther Underpass

An underpass used to funnel the panthers under the hi-way instead of crossing in traffic.
An underpass used to funnel the panthers under the hi-way instead of crossing in traffic. | Source

Leading Cause of Death

The leading cause of death of the Florida panther is collisions with automobiles. In 2012, 19 panthers were killed by vehicles, while crossing the road. With population numbers of 160 or less, 19 panthers being killed in a year is a devastating number. Completed in 2011, a $1.3 million dollar wildlife crossing was created using fencing and a large culvert to “funnel” wildlife under a stretch of road on CR 846. This stretch of road had proven deadly for panthers in the past. This was Florida’s first privately funded wildlife crossing and it is hoped that it will save the lives of many panthers as well as other wildlife.

Panther Crossing Sign

One of many panther signs placed along the hi-way to help protect the panthers.
One of many panther signs placed along the hi-way to help protect the panthers. | Source

Also in 2011, an organization called The Defenders of Wildlife, lead a group to improve safe passage for panthers in certain areas, such as CR 832/Keri Road, where 9 panthers have been killed since 1996. The county has since dedicated 5.25 miles of this road as a slow speed nighttime panther zone. This organization has also been instrumental in creating many new wildlife crossings as well as improving public awareness about the need for safe passage for panthers as well as other wildlife.

Just this month, March of 2013, the current Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has proclaimed Saturday, March 16th as “Save the Florida Panther Day”.

More Resources for the Conservation of the Florida Panther

If you would like to keep up with the current population of the Florida panther, there is an awesome site called FloridaPanthernet.org Panther Pulse, where you can see updated information on new births of the panthers as well as deaths. This site records the size of the litters as well as sex and where they were born. It also records panthers deaths and the causes.

It is important to all of us to protect our endangered species of animals and I hope that this article will help bring attention to the critical endangerment of the Florida panther. There are many things we can do to help such as donating to the many organizations that are trying to save them from extinction. If you live in, or are just visiting southern Florida, keep the Florida panther in mind and slow down when driving through “panther country”.

Were you aware the Florida panther was in danger of extinction?

See results without voting

© 2013 Sheila Brown

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Comments 68 comments

sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 15 months ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

The Florida panther is a beautiful animal and they are making a come back. I think I would have a "run away" if I were to come across a gator in my yard! Thank you for stopping in, Patricia and have a blessed day!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida

Hi Sheila just stopping in to say good morning....these are such majestic creatures....making every effort possible to see that my grandchildren know of them in the wild rather than in books or on line.

The gators are bad ass...habitats have changed for them too so it is not terribly uncommon for them to wander into a neighborhood that is on the waters of Florida.

Angels are on the way this morning ps shared g+ tweeted


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 21 months ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Thank you, MJ! I appreciate your kind comment!


MJ Martin profile image

MJ Martin 21 months ago from Washington State

I read not too long ago about a refuge for wild cats, more attention does need to be made to protect them, you have done a marvelous job sharing such great information about them with us.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas

Excellent information. Voted up, interesting and awesome!

This nation had so much wonderful wildlife when it was "discovered" by the white man. We have laid waste to so much of it. Apparently, there was once a native parrot species that ate cocklebur seeds. In our great wisdom we did away with them, so now we have cockleburs galore!

http://www.outdooralabama.com/watchable-wildlife/W...


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Thank you Deborah! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

This was interesting. We live in California near a wilderness area where there are several mountain lions or panthers. I enjoyed reading about the Florida panthers!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Such an informative hub!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Florida Panther - Facts and Conservation Efforts with lovely photos and most informative. Sad to read about the extinction of many animals including the Florida Panther something most individuals take for granted about life


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi lyricwriter! It would be so sad to loose the Florida panther, but it does look like they are trying very hard to save the it. I was impressed by some of the measures they are taking. Thank you so much for stopping in and ALL your support! Have a wonderful day! :)


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 3 years ago from West Virginia

SGBrown, very interesting article on the Florida Panther and other animals. I wasn't aware that they were endangered as well. I'm glad that their taking proper measurements because it would be sad to lose them forever. It really shows you the fragile existence of animals. Hopefully, others will notice and take responsibility for the sake of the Florida Panther. Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared. Best wishes.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Nell! Thankfully, their numbers are coming back up some. The people of Florida seem to care about the panther and are trying to make some important changes. Thank you for stopping by and your kind words and vote! Have a wonderful day! :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi sgbrown, I didn't realise that this beautiful cat was near extinction, there are so many being lost these days, ever since cars were invented so many animals die this way, along with other predators of course, great job, and voted up!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Thank you Eddy! I am glad you enjoyed my hub. My favorite things to write about are animals and nature. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, I always enjoy hearing from you, my friend! Have a wonderful day! :)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

This is a wonderful hub my friend I love anything to do with animals nature etc. and this one is indeed a treat.

Enjoy your day.

Eddy.


JoyLevine profile image

JoyLevine 3 years ago

I'm going to tell you something. I followed a link to your page because I saw a post you had posted regarding something else entirely and yet I agreed and wanted to tell you. Yet, I followed your name to your articles and have forgotten completely.... No, that's a good thing.

I LOVE your articles. I am a new hubber (haven't even published my first article) but I can tell you that I am a science fiend and just scanning over your material I know I have a few weeks worth of articles to read. I LOVE your article here on the Florida panther, especially since I Just moved to FL (married someone here in June) and am finding it hard to adjust. The way I adjust to the heat and humidity and boring flat topography? Nature. I LOVE nature and science.... and it always makes it interesting. I worked at a science center, a dream job for me back in NC, but here I now work aviation. I love aviation... But I love animals more. Got accepted at a nature center but for only 20 hrs/wk. who can live on that? I console myself with my butterfly garden and my rock garden waterfall my husband built. He is the only reason I am in FL and he remains the reason I cope. (No offense to FL residents).

Anyway, your article is wonderful and I hope after I get a few "required society hubs off, " (what I mean is, not writing what you want to write about , but writing about what you know will sell and get the quality ppl off your back), I can write more articles dear to my heart. Nature, science, physics, music, art...... and mostly, just love.... love of being alive.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Pamela! I'm glad I could give you some information about the situation with the Florida panther. I agree that the penalties for releasing invasive species should have a very stiff penalty. People don't think about the repercussions! Thank you for your kind comment, vote and pin, it is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Rebekah! I agree, it is very important to educate our youth or the importance of conserving our wildlife. The FWC is a wonderful organization and I think the "panther plates" are a wonderful idea! Thank you for you wonderful comment! :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

Here I am a FL resident and I did not know half of the information. They are really a beautiful animal and extinction would be a heartbreak. I get so mad about people putting their dangerous snacks into the Everglades. I think if anyone is caught doing that, the penalty should be extremely stiff. This was a very thorough, informative hub that I'm sure took a great deal of research time. Voted up and pinned.


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 3 years ago from Tampa Bay

A beautiful, informative hub about a beautiful, endangered animal. The more awareness is brought to the issue, the more people can help to preserve our natural wildlife. Also it is important to help educate our youth about ways to conserve and preserve a future for these endangered species. Florida residents can also help spread more awareness by purchasing specialty panther license plates. Fees for these tags are a primary funding source for FWC research and management of this beautiful animal. Thanks for doing your part with this informative hub!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Vespa! Humans seem to be the main reason for most animals becoming endangered. The people of Florida seem to be taking this problem seriously and do seem to be trying to do all they can to help the Florida panther, I just hope it is enough. Thank you for your kind comment, votes and share! It is always appreciated. Have a wonderful day! :)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

What a fascinating read about the Florida panther! Really, all of the threats to its existence originate with humans: the release of Burmese Pythons into their habitat, humans moving into their habitat due to climate changes and collisions with automobiles. Hopefully, something can be done to halt their march toward extinction. Thank you for this very informative and interesting article! Voted up and shared.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Peggy! Sorry for the delay replying to your comment, it's been a busy day!

It is so upsetting that we humans can interfere with the wildlife and their habitat to the point that we cause the extinction of some animals. I had known of the Florida panther previously, but did not know that this beautiful cat was so endangered. It does seem that the Floridians are taking steps to prevent the numbers from falling any further. I sure hope they are successful!

People have no idea how they can upset a natural ecosystem by releasing unwanted pets into the wild. This problem needs attention brought to it also.

Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and all your support! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Sheila,

You certainly did your part in helping to raise awareness of this problem. I found this hub to be extremely interesting. Hope the Florida panther will survive with all the threats posed by man. So sad that the python is interfering with the natural habitat! UUI votes and pinning and tweeting.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Jackie! I am pretty sure either one would just scare me to death. I would really like to see a panther in the wild, but he better be really far away from me. I live in the country now and don't like to go outside after dark. There have been people say that there are mountain lions around here now. I haven't seen one, but would just die if I heard one after dark. You kept your cool, I don't know how you did it! Thank you for your interesting comment, I loved your story! :)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Very interesting. I don't know which I would rather not see; a panther or a python. Both just make me want to sit on my feet and scream! I had a panther right at me late one night where I lived years ago and it made that sound maybe because I walked upon it, although I didn't see it. I think the fence that was between us was all that saved me and I turned and walked away without running until I got close to my door! Close call!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Au fait! Bill Clinton...Ha Ha Ha! :) I had known of the Florida panther before, but didn't realize they were endangered until recently. I'm glad you enjoyed my hub, thank you for the cute comment, votes and share! Have a wonderful day! :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

I didn't even know Florida had panthers! I thought it was too hot for them, but I guess if they can live in Texas they can stand it anywhere. Excellent and informative and great photos. I thought the picture of the panther's tail was interesting with the kink and what causes it. Made me think of Bill Clinton for just a moment . . . ;)

Voted up, IB, and will share!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Alastar! Apparently these gators are pretty "badass", I know I would hate to run into to one! The Defenders of Wildlife are really doing a good job for many endangered species and I wasn't even aware of their exsistance until recently. I am glad to hear that the panthers are expanding out into other areas, I would really hate to loose them. Thank you for your very kind words and informative comment. I always enjoy hearing from you! Have a wonderful day! :)


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

This so enlightening and a well written story on the Florida panthers, Shelia. That surprised me that the gators would try to take the wary cats, lord knows they are facing so much to boot for their existence as it is. Kudos to the Defenders of Wildlife efforts on they're behalf. They really have no way of expanding from the Everglades which is interesting when we consider what appears to be an extant presence of them in the southern Appalachians. They are appearing in greater numbers, though still small, and are actually ranging farther out in some cases to lower elevations.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello chef-de-jour! It is impressive how people do come together to help the endangered animals, it's just a shame that it gets to the point they need help in the first place. I can see where badgers could have the same problem with traffic. It's good to know that they are getting the same kind of help there in the UK! Thank you for your kind comment and votes, it is greatly appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)


chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 3 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

This is a great flag up for the plight of this beautiful rare cat. Thank you. It's impressive the way people get together to help animals in dire straits. The panther crossings are excellent. We have similar devices for badgers in the UK - they just don't get on with traffic.

Votes.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Shanmarie! Thank you. I can't imagine coming across a huge python in Florida. No, people don't consider the consequences of releasing them into the wild when they are not a native species. Now the pythons are multiplying and eating most of the panthers food source. I recently read where the largest python ever found in Florida was a little over 18 feet long. Can you imagine how much it has to eat every day! Thank you for your kind words and comment. Have a wonderful day! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello B! I'm glad your back, you've been missed! Unfortunately, Man is responsible for most of the declining number of animals on our planet. Hopefully we are learing from our mistakes and not allow any more animals to become extinct. Yeah, the python thing is really scary. I recently saw where the largest python ever taken out of Florida was caught and killed a week or so ago, it was 18.8 feet long! OMG! Thank you for your kind comment and I'm glad your back! :)


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas

Well researched and very interesting! The idea of a snake like that around....almost makes me shiver....but people don't consider the consequences of releasing unwanted pets back into the wild, especially where they are not a native species. And then there is the human factor contributing to extinction of animals.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 3 years ago

Hi SGbrown,

I've been away, but now I'm BACK!

Very Interesting read, and sadly Man is responsible for the Florida Panthers deaths. I also didn't know that the Panther is the State Animal. As for the Python, I'd give him a WIDE berth! SCARY! Wonderful Hub.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello baja2013! I'm glad you enjoyed my hub. Actually the Florida panther has not shown to be dangerous to man, but you never know. I would be afraid to run into one in the wild as well! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate your vote as well. Have a wonderful day! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello truthfornow! The panter crossing zones, lowering the speed limit and the underpasses are all really great ideas to help with the traffic problem which has been the number one cause of death for some years. The pythons were a very unexpected problem, but have turned out to be a big problem indeed. The introduction of the python has caused problems, not only for the cougars, but for the entire ecosystem in that area. I read recently where the largest python ever found in Florida was recently captured and killed, it was more than 18 feet in length. Can you imagine how much that thing had to eat per day! Thank you for stopping by and commenting, it is always appreciated! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Peg! That sounds like something my dad would have said too, but they mean well! LOL I was not aware of their near extinction until recently. They are beautiful cats and it would so sad to see them disappear from our world. Their habitat has become so small that it cannot sustain many of them, we must protect the ones we still have. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I always enjoy hearing from you! Have a wonderful day! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello livingsta! You are right, most of the animals that have gone extinct is due to humans interfering with their natural habitats. The habitat of the Florida panther has become so small, it can't sustain these animals in decent numbers. There are many organizations that are trying to help, I just hope it is not too late. Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your comment and all your support! Have a wonderful day! :)


baja2013 profile image

baja2013 3 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

I am glad to find some new info about north American big cats. Look very dangerous and I am not sure if I would like to meet them in the nature environment.

Voted interesting!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Thank you vertualit! I appreciate your kind comment and votes. :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Bravewarrior! I agree, we should respect all animals we share this world with. I think Floridians are really trying to help the Florida panther. I was really impressed by the underpasses they have built to keep the panthers, as well as other wildlife, from having to cross the hiways. Lowering the speed limits along the roads can also be a big help. Thank you for your wonderful comment! Have a great day! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello FloridaFacts! I agree with your "humble opinion". :) It would be a horrible tragedy to allow these beautiful cats to disappear. Thank you for stopping and commenting. It is always appreciated! :)


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

I like the idea of panther crossing zones and I know those pythons are a serious problem, multiplying like crazy and really taking over. The python problem is another problem caused by humans. Hope we are able to save panthers and all endangered animals.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Quite interesting article and information on the Florida Panther. I lived in Florida for many years and was unaware of their near extinction, although, I did see one of those Panther crossing signs when visiting my Dad years ago. His comment was, "Well, they'll have to teach panthers to read for these signs to work." He had a dry sense of humor. lol.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

They are such beautiful cats, thank you for sharing this with us. Most of the species that have gone extinct or on the verge of extinction are due to the effects we humans have directly on them or their habitat. As you have said here, the numbers are too low and huge efforts are needed to conserve, protect and increase their population.

Thank you for sharing this with us. Voted up, useful and interesting and sharing. I am also pinning this hub!


vertualit profile image

vertualit 3 years ago from Bangladesh

very informative and useful hub.

Up and share!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida

Shiela, thank you for bringing this matter to attention. As a Floridian, it is near and dear to my heart. The Florida Panther is so beautiful and not a threat to Mankind. Why can't we return the respect?


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello mperrottet! I would love to visit Florida again, it has been several years since we were there. I hope that bringing the Florida panthers situation more attention will possible help to save them. Thank you for your kind comment and votes! It is always appreciated! Have a safe and happy Memorial Day! :)


FloridaFacts profile image

FloridaFacts 3 years ago from Florida USA

A beautiful animal. It should be preserved at all costs, in my humble opinion.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Thank Mary, it is very kind of you to comment again and let me know this! I wish I had more of my own pictures to use. Thank you so much! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Mary! It is sad that we cannot seem to share this planet with the animals without killing them off. I just heard from one of our fellow hubbers that he has personally seen several Florida panthers in southern Georgia, so I am hoping the numbers are not as low as they say. Thank you for your kind comment and support, I always enjoy hearing from you! I hope you have a safe and happy Memorial Day! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Bill! They are beautiful cats, aren't they. I too hope that enough is being done to assure their survival. It seems as though the government in Florida is really trying. It would truly be a shame for them to disappear as so many other species have. Thank you for your kind comments and all your support. I hope you have a safe and happy Memorial Day! :)


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I visit Florida every year, and have gone by the Panther Crossing signs. I'm so glad that you wrote an article about these beautiful animals. Voted up, interesting and useful.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

I tried to edit my comment to say how beautiful your photos are. The one of the panther is amazing!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

How sad that we can't share this big planet without killing species after species. This is a beautiful animal, and like so many others I hope conservation works! You have written another descriptive article about an amazing animal.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Sheila. What a beautiful creature the Florida Panther is. I hope enough is being done to ensure it's long-term survival. It seems that man is always the reason these beautiful animals are at risk, such a shame. Thanks for sharing this info, love the photos. Voted up, shared, etc..


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Patricia! It would be so sad to see these cats disappear from our world. I'm glad to hear that you shared this information with you students. It is important to teach them compassion for our animals we share this world with. It appears that the people of Florida do care and are taking necessary steps to help the situation. Thank you for stopping by and of couse for the angles! Have a safe and happy Memorial Week-end! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Your welcome Randy! The wildlife officials may want to make it sound a bit more serious that it really is, you never know.

Our son was deer hunting on our place last year and felt like something was watching him. He turned around in his stand to find a large bobcat siting in the next tree, staring at him. It scared the crap out of him, excuse the language. I can't imagine what it would be like to have a panther watching you! Knowing that it had tracked him to his stand, does sound really scary, who knows how hungry he may have been. I don't blame him much either! :)


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Thanks Sheila. I live only 50 miles or so from the Florida line and less than that from the Okefenokee swamp. There are also many bays (round cypress swamps) close by which are prime hunting ground for the panthers. So yes, there are more of them around than the wildlife officials admit to.

The hunter which shot the cat near Columbus said he didn't want to shoot it, but it tracked him to his stand and was watching him intently. I suppose I don't blame him too much. lol!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Randy! I am glad to hear that Florida panthers have been seen in your area of Georgia! My information on the range came from the Florida Wildlife Service website, but I'm sure no one really knows for sure. The main thing is that their numbers are growing. I would really hate to see them disappear. I'm so sorry a hunter had to kill one of them, I hope he tried everything he could to scare it away first. There have been some reports of panthers here in southern Oklahoma, but these would be the larger mountain lion or cougar. I would hate to come up on one while in the woods! I appreciate your information and I am going to update my hub to include some personal siteings in southern Georgia. I really appreciate your input! Thank you for not only your kind comment and vote, but the information as well! Have a safe and happy Memorial Week-end! :)


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Thank you, thank you for sharing this Sheila. I would be so sad if this gorgeous creature were to leave the planet forever. We shared this information with our students while I was still teaching as we tried to plant the seed of caring about them in our student's mind. I only hope that enough people care, soon enough, to avoid their extinction.

Angels are on the way and again thank you ps


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Hello Sheila, I must tend to disagree with a bit of your info concerning the range of the Florida panther, although I suppose you got your info some fairly reliable sources. I have personally observed 4 of them in the wild here in south Georgia, with 2 of them being a mating pair observed by several people.

Not too many years ago a hunter killed one near Columbus Georgia when it wouldn't leave the area under a tree the hunter was in. Every thing else in your hub is very good though. Voted up!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hello Faith Reaper! I knew the Florida panther was in danger, but I really had no idea what small number of them there are. I recently read where a 18.8 foot long python was caught and killed in Florida. That is the largest ever found there. I can't imagine coming across that! Thank you for your kind words and all your support. It is always appreciated! Have a blessed day! :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

I was not aware of this, but not surprised the cause is man. I have heard of the python that is really destroying the whole eco-system, plus, YIKES!!! I would hate to come across one of those snakes!

Interesting hub. Great imagery.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless. Faith Reaper


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma Author

Hi Bill! It's horrible, but the leading cause of death of most animals is man. At least there are people that are tackling the problem and trying to solve it. Raising awareness is always helpful in these situations. Thank you for taking time to read my hub and for your kind comment. Have a wonderful day! :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I was aware that it was near extinction and it surprises me not at all that the leading cause of death is man.....thank you for raising awareness about this beautiful animal.

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