The Florida Panther (Puma concolor coryi)

General Description

  • Cougar Adults are uniform tan color with a lighter fur on lower chest, belly and inner legs

  • Some panthers are a grayish to reddish to yellowish which helps conceal them in a variety of settings
  • Kittens are spotted
  • The panther has long round tails which help balance the body
  • It has skinnier and longer legs, smaller feet, and shorter, darker coat
  • Males tend to weigh in between 100 and 160 pounds and females tend to weigh between 70 and 100 pound

Sentences of Scientific Info

  • The Florida Panther can live up to 12 years.
  • The main cause for their deaths are panthers killing panthers. Males kill juvenile males and females.
  • They are effected by infections, rabies, pseudorabies and congenial heart defects
  • The Florida Panther will be extinct in 24-63 years.
  • The Florida Panther once ranged throughout the Southeastern Untied States.
  • It was reduced from years of persecution and habit destruction.
  • The only survivors were in south Florida.
  • In the early 1970's, they barely escaped extinction and it was only 6 in population.
  • They will be extinct due to small population size and inbreeding.
  • Females are sexually mature at 1 1/2-2 1/2 years of age and males were 3 years of age

5 Bulleted Quickfacts

  • Males are typically 7 feet from nose to tip of tails
  • Females are typically 6 feet from nose to tip of tails
  • They primarily eat white-tailed deer
  • They are fewer than 100 adults and subadults left in the breeding population
  • The Florida Panthers are typically active during dawn and dusk and resting during the rest of the day

Link to Other Topics

  • There has been a major genetic depression in the Florida Panther. Previously, panthers mated with pumas in Texas and Eastern regions because their ranges overlapped. The exchange of genetic material kept the subspecies healthy. Yet, because the Florida Panther has been reduced to the southern tip of Florida, inbreeding has led to heart deformities, low sperm count, malformed sperm, and cyrptorchidism. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) held the genetic restoration program with the introdution of eight Texas pumas into the population. By 2001, five of pumas mated with panthers which produced 30 kittens. Genetic restoration helped gene flow and reduced problems with inbreeding. Now, there are fewer than 100 panthers.
  • Intraspecific Agression is a natural behavior involving competition between males for range territory. It results in death and injury. Habitat protection has to be implemented to stop this competition. Although this is a natural behavior, the major problem is linked to continued habitat loss due to development. The male is compteting to survive in his shrinking habitat. Since 2001, numbers of males killing females have rised because male home ranges have overlapped with female home ranges.
  • The Florida Panther is also exposed to much pollution from suburban, industrial, and agricultural industries. As top predator, the Florida Panther gathers mercury in its system. Panthers are exposed to mercury through the food they eat, including racoons, who acquire it from crayfish they eat. In 2004, Florida health officials released 172 state rivers and lakes contain mercury which harm the animals and the community. Mercury poisoning has been the cause of death for 3 panthers.

Charts/Diagrams

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external image how_mercury_poisons.jpg

The Florida Panther was historically ranged across the southeastern United States which included Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississppi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and parts of Tennesse and South Carolina. Now the breeding population is found on southern tip of Florida, south Caloosahatchee River. In recent years, young males have traveled as far as northeast Florida. Females do not roam widely.
The Florida Panther was historically ranged across the southeastern United States which included Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississppi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and parts of Tennesse and South Carolina. Now the breeding population is found on southern tip of Florida, south Caloosahatchee River. In recent years, young males have traveled as far as northeast Florida. Females do not roam widely.
This chart shows the main causes of death in Florida Panthers between 1979 and 1997. Agression has rised, road kill has decreased, disease has increased, shootings has decreased, and infection has increased.
This chart shows the main causes of death in Florida Panthers between 1979 and 1997. Agression has rised, road kill has decreased, disease has increased, shootings has decreased, and infection has increased.
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Pictures w/captions
Found in Big Cypress National Preserve. She was first captured and radio-collared at 9 months of age and weighed 49 pounds. In the picture, she weighed 70 pounds. She is youngest known female to produce kittens, which was at 22 months.
Found in Big Cypress National Preserve. She was first captured and radio-collared at 9 months of age and weighed 49 pounds. In the picture, she weighed 70 pounds. She is youngest known female to produce kittens, which was at 22 months.
9 year old Florida Panther male. He weighed 142 pounds and inhabited ranch land in norther Collier and southern Hendry counties. He was found dead on top of an alligator den.
9 year old Florida Panther male. He weighed 142 pounds and inhabited ranch land in norther Collier and southern Hendry counties. He was found dead on top of an alligator den.

Wildlife crossings make room for other panthers to cross
Wildlife crossings make room for other panthers to cross
A Florida Panther kitten caught at night in the wild. Kittens are typically spotted.
A Florida Panther kitten caught at night in the wild. Kittens are typically spotted.
Florida Panther killed by vehicle collision. Vehicle collision is a major contributor to the deaths of Florida Panther.
Florida Panther killed by vehicle collision. Vehicle collision is a major contributor to the deaths of Florida Panther.



2nd Item of Flair

http://www.floridapantherprotection.com/Default.aspx?n=6

MLA Citation


"Endangered Florida Panther." National Parks. 2006. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. http://www.eparks.org/wildlife_protection/wildlife_facts/florida_panther.asp.

"Florida Panther Facts and Video - Puma Concolor Coryi - Defenders of Wildlife - Defenders of Wildlife." Defenders of Wildlife - Protection of Endangered Species, Imperiled Species, Habitats. 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/panther.php

"Florida Panther Protection Program." Florida Panther Protection Program. 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. http://www.floridapantherprotection.com/Default.aspx?n=6.

"Florida State Animal, Florida Panther, (Puma Concolor Coryi) from NETSTATE.COM." 50 States - Capitals, Maps, Geography, State Symbols, State Facts, Songs, History, Famous People from NETSTATE.COM. 29 Apr. 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://www.netstate.com/states/symb/animals/fl_panther.htm>.