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Florida Gulf Coast University

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Wings of Hope

Florida Panther Information

 
 

Puma concolor coryi

Status:  Endgangerd — Risk of extinction without protection and careful habitat management
Population:  80-100 adult Florida panthers left in the wild
Originally roaming all of the southern states, panthers are now restricted to South Florida.
Habitat:  Large home ranges consisting of hardwood swamps, upland pine and oak hammock forests.
Coloration of Adult:

  •   2/3 of body is tawny (tan)
  •   Black around face, paws, legs and tip of tail
  •   White around face, chest and tummy
  •   Eyes:  amber
  •   Panthers are not black— wild cats that can be black in color include Jaguars and Leopards. 

Male Panthers

Weight:  130-160 pounds
Length:  6-8 feet (tip of nose to end of tail)
Territory:  200 square miles, overlapping with several females.
Reach maturity in 3 years with an average lifespan of 10 years if they reach adulthood.

Female Panthers

Weight:  70-100 pounds
Length: 5-7 feet (tip of nose to end of tail)
Territory:  80 square miles overlapping with other females.
Breeding:  Year-round with peak denning periods in spring; den is saw palmetto shrubs.
Gestation:   3 months, litters size 1-4 kittens, most average two.
Reach maturity at 1.5 years with an average lifespan of 12 years if they reach adulthood. 

Kittens

   The deep blue eyes and spotted coat of panther kittens fade as they reach six months of age.  At two months they follow their monther on hunting trips.  By 12 months they can catch prey on their own.  By two years, the mother leaves them at a kill site while feeding and does not return.  The kittens need to find a territory and begin their own family.  Kittens are too small to wear radio collars, panther biologists insert a rice-sized transponder chip under the kittens skin.  It helps identify kittens later and aids in recovery and survival of the Florida Panther. 

Panther Grocery shopping List (prey):

  • White-tailed Deer
  • Wild Hog
  • Raccoon
  • Armadillo’s and small mammals
  • Alligators

Top Threats to Florida Panthers:

  •  Increasing human population
  •  Habitat loss and fragmentation of land 
  •  Panthers killing panthers for territory
  •  Collisions with vehicles
  •  Disease (Feline Leukemia)