Florida Panther Essay

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Osceola is a male Florida Panther, a critically endangered species with less than 200 individuals remaining in the wild. His territory stretches across about 200 square miles of land in South Florida, and he travels about 20 miles a day within it searching for prey. When Osceola first established his territory, it encompassed 200 square miles of prime hunting land. Food was plentiful and Osceola was able to mate with several females in and around his territory. Recently, however, Osceola has had a hard time finding food. A long path of very hard stone has crossed the middle of his territory, and large, very fast moving creatures are always travelling the path, usually at speeds up to double Osceola’s top speed of 35 miles per hour. Afraid …show more content…

According to Defenders of Wildlife, loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation due to human activity is the number one threat to Florida Panthers, and death by vehicle collision is the number one cause of human related mortality (Threats to Florida Panthers). As human activity increases in the area, Florida Panthers, Black Bears, and many other species find their territory fragmented, drastically decreasing their chances of …show more content…

Deeply affected by human encroachment into its territory, when the species was declared federally endangered in 1967, only about 12 individuals remained in the wild (Threats to Florida Panthers). Currently there are around 180 individuals in the wild, and the US Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Florida panther plan defines a successful panther population worthy of delisting the species as endangered. Its requirements for delisting are as follows: “Three viable, self-sustaining populations of at least 240 individuals (adults and subadults) each have been established and subsequently maintained for a minimum of twelve years. Sufficient habitat quality, quantity, and spatial configuration to support these populations is retained / protected or secured for the long-term.(fwc panther

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