Airboat Tours Everglades Miami: The Florida Panther

The Florida Panther is an endangered subspecies of the cougar, also referred to as the Puma concord that lives in forests and swamps of southern Florida in the Unites States of America. The Florida Panther is also known as the cougar, mountain lion, puma, and catamount. Here in Florida we address this beautiful animal as the panther. They are usually found in pinelands, hardwood hammocks and mix swamp forests. A male panther can weigh up to 160 pounds and lives within the Everglades. This population is about 5% of its historic range. In the 1970s there were about 20 Florida panthers in the wild and their number has increased to about 100-160 as of the year 2011.

Last year there was noted about 160 Florida panthers still in the population. Panthers are spotted at birth and typically have blue eyes. As a panther begins to age, the spots fade and the coat becomes completely tan while the eyes transform into a yellow hue. The underbelly is a creamy white with the tail and ears with black tips. Unlike similar animals to the panther, the panthers don’t have the ability to roar. They make a whistle, chirp, growl, hiss and purr sound instead. Female panthers weigh 64-100 pounds, where males are 100-159 pounds. Their length is 5.9-7.2 feet and their shoulder height is 24-28 inches. Males grow faster than females and for a longer amount of time.

The Florida panther has a diet of small animals like hares, mice and waterfowl but also larger animals like storks, white-tailed deer, wild boar and even the American Alligator. The female panther in particular is especially dependent on nutrition because of home range and size, movement behavior and their reproductive rates.

The Florida panther does have some threats as well. THE alligator is their natural predator. Humans are also a huge threat to these animals due to poaching and wildlife control measures. The two highest cause of mortality for individual Florida panthers are automobile collisions and territorial aggressions between multiple panthers. This animal has been at the center of a controversy over the science used to manage the species. Recovery efforts are currently underway in Florida to conserve the states remaining population of native panthers. This can be difficult as the panther requires contiguous areas of habitat—each breeding unit, consisting of one male and two to five females in about 200 square miles of the habitat.

Try to see a Florida Panther on one of our  Airboat Tours Everglades Miami!