The Florida Panther is of the Puma subspecies which goes from mountain lions, cougars, and then some. This particular kind of big cat lives inside the Everglades of Florida just in the swamp higher grounds, islands and pine forests. Pumas hold the wild pig population in check so they are necessary. The Florida panther is the official state animal and they are highly protected.

Everglades Florida Panther

This Florida swamp feline was jeopardized by land development, car accidents and poisoning by cattle ranchers. It suffered much decline before yet additionally the steady depleting and demolition of the Florida Everglades it calls home. A solitary male panther needs about 200 square miles to roam, hunt and reproduce.

Panthers prefer forest or grassy dry areas where they can walk and stalk prey. They need dry land to raise their litters. Most kittens succumb to other predators, disease and and humans and therefore don’t make it. Litters average of 1 to 4 small cats. The male panther is a lonely ranger and usually pairs up only to mate with females pumas.

The Florida Panther Is Protected

Florida has programs in place to repopulate and bring new blood lines to the local Florida panther populations. Decreases in population by car accidents and habitat loss have decimated numbers of cats. The reduced and isolated populations were causing inbreeding which leads to unhealthy litters seriously affecting survival chances.

While it is unlikely that you will see a Florida panther on an airboat ride our tour you can still appreciate what was once their whole living range. Efforts to increase populations in South Florida have been going on for over 3 decades.