Florida panthers once roamed throughout the Southeast, but today they're restricted to less than 5 percent of their historic range in a single population in South Florida.
Recovery has been slow, but there have been gains. Today there are an estimated 100 to 180 wild panthers -- up from just a dozen or so in the early 1970s. These panthers, however, continue to face numerous threats due to our increasing human population and relentless development. And it's sickening, but dozens of these cats are still lost each year to collisions with cars.
The limiting factors for panther recovery are habitat availability, prey availability and lack of human tolerance. Which is why any strategy to bring back this big cat must work to not only maintain, restore and expand the existing panther population and its habitat but add at least two new populations outside South Florida.
May 15, 2015 Action Alert ID# 221
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