Of those, Land said, about one quarter have a photograph of an animal or tracks that can be examined. The Florida Panther is a unique subspecies of cougar that has adapted to the subtropical environment of Florida. So far, the state has received more than 3,700 submissions. All rights reserved. Especially suspect are the few reports of black panthers – According to biologists, no such creature exists. ( Log Out /  That bears investigating. Florida panthers are an endangered species – … The big cat in the photo was not a panther, but a bobcat, Land said. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Schoolchildren picked the panther as the state animal in 1981. Fish and Wildlife Service says that most sightings turn out to be … Some images are too small to make a determination, while others turn out to be dogs, house cats or coyote. I uploaded each account to the Crowdmap I set up for this purpose. Other factors include mortalities from collisions with automobiles, territorial disputes with other panthers, inbreeding, disease, and environmental toxins. “The next species turns out to be a bobcat.”. However, since the state first started using the web submission system in 2012, it has proved to be a successful tool for scientists to document the presence of panthers. Today, the primary threats to the remaining panther population are habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. “We found it to be a helpful tool to engage citizens as citizen scientists,” Land said,  "to track the panther populations.”. Tracks of bears have been submitted as possible panther sightings too. 1. (Bears are in a different genus!) ( Log Out /  So, they likely saw something other than a panther – a black bobcat, a mange-afflicted blackbear, a jaguarundi, or – unlikely – an escaped jaguar. Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. Rivers are excellent wildlife corridors. Despite their extirpation from the east, there are hundreds of reports each year to state and federal wildlife agencies of cougar and black panther sightings. For that reason, species are often misidentified as “black panthers.” Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Florida panther is a North American cougar P. c. couguar population. I spent a couple hours this afternoon poring over old reports of panther sightings, which I had collected from the Pensacola Fishing Forum – a fantastic resource for this kind of work. Of those, 375 have turned out to be a panther. This is, of course, not surprising. The first track ever submitted, in 2012, turned out to be a Rhesus macaque, Land noted. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. Of course, all of these reports are anecdotal, and it is very possible that many of them saw something other than a panther. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Or, if you have a sighting of your own, please fill out a report. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window). However, this is the germ of the story – these scattered hunters’ tales. Choose the plan that’s right for you. ( Log Out /  2. Puma concolor coryi. As luck would have it, Knorr’s submission came before Florida Panther Team Leader Darrell Land checked the submissions, so he was able to examine it and reply quickly. So, they likely saw something other than a panther – a black bobcat, a mange-afflicted blackbear, a jaguarundi, or – unlikely – an escaped jaguar.