Florida Panther

When I visited Everglades National Park a few weeks ago, this was unsurprisingly the closest I came to a Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi, Felidae):

Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi, Felidae) crossing sign photographed 04/08/2012 at Everglades National Park, Florida.

With fewer than 100 individuals left in the wild, this distinct subspecies of cougar now inhabits less than 5% of its historical range in the deep south. These big cats were nearly hunted to extinction, feared and despised for their predatory nature. Although saved from the brink by conservation efforts they are still critically endangered. Along with threats from disease, alligators and other panthers, their greatest hazards are from human activity.  Habitat loss from agricultural and urban development, environmental toxins like mercury, and automobile collisions are responsible for many animal deaths.  Signs like these are both an effort to protect remaining animals and a reminder that there is still some semblance of wild nature to be found within our country.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in National Parks, Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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