Wildlife: Florida panther deaths reach record high

Summit County Citizens Voice

Can panthers survive the onslaught of continued development in southwest Florida?

sdfg No slowdown in Florida panther deaths. Graph courtesy PEER.

An endangered Florida panther. PHOTO BY RODNEY CAMMAUF, COURTESY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. An endangered Florida panther. PHOTO BY RODNEY CAMMAUF, COURTESY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Panther deaths in Florida climbed to a record level in 2014, as the wild cats continue to succumb to collisions with vehicles on highways in southwest Florida.

In all, 30 panther deaths were reported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission this year, topping the previous record of 27 deaths tallied in 2012. More than half of this year’s deaths were the result of collisions with vehicles.

Panther mortality this year could represent as much as one-fourth of the entire population, which the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates at between 100 and 180 animals.  The reason for this wide variation is that the number of cats monitored through radio…

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