Why are Florida panthers endangered?

Why are Florida panthers endangered?

 Panther” is actually not the proper name for any big cat.

A “black panther” refers to melanistic individuals among jaguars (new world) and leopards (old world).

The subspecies of Puma concolor that is native to Florida is commonly called the Florida panther, but Puma concolor goes by many dozens of common names, depending on where it lives and who is talking about it.

Some common names include: cougar, mountain lion, catamount, puma, panther, painter, and so on. Same cat.

By the way, Puma concolor is not a “big cat” species. It is the biggest of the small cats.


The Florida panther is the most endangered cat in North America. With only 100 – 160 cats in the wild, the panther most likely would not exist without the Endangered Species Act. The only known breeding population of panthers is in south Florida, although its historic range covered the entire southeastern United States.



The Florida panther is a subspecies of puma which goes by many names; mountain lion, cougar, painter, American lion. They don’t use Everglades habitat or Everglades National Park to much extent and are centered in Big Cypress National Preserve, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, and other public and private lands in southwest Florida.








FOR THE FIRST time, two Florida panthers have been filmed fighting, sparring over territory in South Florida.

On a turkey hunt with his son, Andres Pis was holed up in a blind when he saw movement to his right. Sure enough, it was a young male Florida panther. Just as he began filming with his smartphone, an older male “came out of nowhere and hit him like a freight train,” Pis recalls.

What ensued was a vicious battle, with the older male gaining the upper hand. After grappling for nearly a minute, the young male ran off, though Pis thinks it’s likely that the older male later killed the youngster.

Eight female Texas cougars were brought into the genetically at-risk panther population in 1995 to reinvigorate the gene pool and reduce congenital abnormalities. This action under the Endangered Species Act was the real turning point in preventing the extinction of these amazing cats and building their population size from 50-70 panthers to 100-160 today.

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