Discovering the Elusive Florida Panther: A Small & Critically Endangered Population of North American Cougars

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Source- Everglades National Park

Once Cougars were found all over the United States, but they have been reduced to miniscule numbers in the eastern part of the country. A small population in the Everglades of southern Florida still remains supported and cared for. The Florida Panther is a small population of cougars found in Florida and remains the only confirmed population of cougars in the Eastern United States.

The Florida Panther is critically endangered, and only a 120–230 adult panther population is left in Florida. They remain threatened due to causes like inbreeding, car accidents, and habitat loss. The Florida Panthers can roar and are mid-sized cougars across the Americas.

Feral hogs, white-tailed deer, raccoons, and armadillos make up nearly 90% of their diet. It is illegal to harm or harass the endangered Florida Panthers, and they are elusive and hard to find in the wild.

Lucky visitors can experience them in the Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, the Picayune Strand State Forest, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, and several rural parts of counties in South Florida.

The chances of witnessing them are greater in the early morning or the evening. The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is home to two Florida Panthers that are unable to survive in the wild on their own and provide an opportunity for visitors to learn about Florida’s elusive kitties.

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