Saturday, September 15, 2007
Bad news for the Florida panther
Florida wildlife officials confirmed that the 15th Florida panther this year was killed on by a vehicle, eclipsing last year’s record of 11 panthers killed by vehicles. The panther was a two-year-old male discovered on I-75 just west of SR-29. After hitting a bottleneck of 20-30 surviving animals, the Florida panther has climbed precariously back to 90-100 cats in total. However, no species can handle having 10-15% of its population killed every year. The panther's case is a reminder that even an intense, well-funded conservation program may not succeed unless accompanied by the provision of adequate habitat with minimal road hazards.