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This beautiful Florida Panther, Puma concolor coryi, Colin, appears to be docile as he rests in his small cave after a rain storm. The Florida Panther is critically endangered with only 30 – 50 left in the wild. It is also known as the cougar, mountain lion, puma, and catamount. Inspired by the critical loss of these beautiful creatures and their habitat.

Conservation status

Recovery efforts are currently underway in Florida to conserve the state’s remaining population of native panthers. This is a difficult task, as the panther requires large contiguous areas of habitat — each breeding unit, consisting of one male and two to five females, requires about 200 square miles (500 km2) of habitat. A population of 240 panthers would require 8,000 to 12,000 square miles (31,000 km2) of habitat and sufficient genetic diversity in order to avoid inbreeding as a result of small population size. The introduction of eight female cougars from a closely related Texas population has apparently been successful in mitigating inbreeding problems.

Southern Florida is a fast-developing area, and declining habitat threatens this species. The two highest causes of mortality for the Florida panthers are automobile injuries and aggression between panthers for territory. The primary threats to the population as a whole include habitat loss, habitat degradation, and habitat fragmentation. The development at Ave Maria near Naples, is controversial for its location in prime panther habitat.

Controversy

The Florida panther has been at the center of a controversy over the science used to manage the species. There has been very strong disagreement between scientists about the location and nature of critical habitat. This in turn is linked to a dispute over management which involves property developers and environmental organizations.

Dreher Park Zoo, Palm Beach, FL

Proceeds from the sale of this image will be donated to the Florida Panther Recovery Plan through the US Fish & Wildlife Service to help with their conservation efforts.

Nikon D70s
70-300mm @ 300mm
F5.6, 1/50
RAW
ISO 1600
8/24/09 – 594/323

All photos © Donna Adamski and may not be used, copied, reproduced, modified, transmitted, stored, printed, downloaded, or transferred in any way or form without written consent. Any exploitation of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without express written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. My images do NOT belong to the public domain.

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Comments

  • Rosalie Scanlon
    Rosalie Scanlonover 5 years ago

    Wonderful capture and history.

  • Thank you very much Rosalie…appreciate it :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • HEATHSE
    HEATHSEover 5 years ago

    A beautiful creature!

  • They are beautiful. Thanks so much Sandra :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • John Vriesekolk
    John Vriesekolkover 5 years ago

    Wonderfully taken Donna. For many animals the planet is getting too small or there are too many people developing their habitat.

  • Definitely over-development here. I don’t think they will stop until there’s no land left! Thanks so much John :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • janeymac
    janeymacover 5 years ago

    brilliant capture Donna

  • Thanks so much my friend :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • Carol Smith
    Carol Smithover 5 years ago

    Beautiful shot, he looks like he’s looking right at you ;))

  • I really tried to get his attention and get him up, but at least his eyes are open!! Thank you much Carol :)

    – Donna Adamski

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