The Florida Panther is a true rarity to see as it’s one of Florida’s most endangered animals. Before you start searching one out, learn about why they are endangered, the work being done to protect them and the most likely spots you’ll find them!
What Happened to All the Panthers In Florida?
Florida Panthers used to live from Florida all the way to Louisiana and Arkansas! Today, the only place with wild Florida panthers is southwest Florida. In 1832, a bounty was put on Florida Panthers because people were scared that they would hurt them or their livestock. By the 1950s, the population was nearly extinct. Today, there are only about 120 to 130 Florida Panthers left in the wild and they are still threatened by humans encroaching on their territory.
What Can Be Done to Protect Florida Panthers?
Humans continue to be the largest threat to Florida Panthers because we build our homes in their habitats. Our roads and highways make it dangerous for panthers to cross and pollution degrades the areas they live in. But we can make changes to make Florida a better place for both panthers and people to co-exist together.
The Babcock Ranch Preserve provides a safe haven for Florida’s endangered and threatened species. Our preserve’s wetlands help maintain the health of the western Everglades ecosystem and our Florida wildlife tours educate the public about the natural world around us. Creating habitats for Florida’s wildlife and learning about the ecosystem in our area are both important steps to protect the Florida Panthers and other animals for generations to come.
Are There Still Places You Can See Florida Panthers in The Wild?
Florida Panthers are a rarity to see in the wild, but not completely impossible. Babcock Ranch is home to about 13 endangered and threatened species in Florida, including the Florida Panther. National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward Jr. captured some amazing photos of a female panther and her kittens in the Babcock Ranch preserve a few years ago.
Try your luck at capturing a photo of a Florida Panther on a Florida wildlife tour! We offer 90-minute Swamp Buggy Eco-Tours through the Florida Panther habitat on Babcock Ranch. You’ll be able to experience nature in Florida as you’ve never seen it before with tons of fun wildlife sightings and historical information from our tour guides. Book your tour today!