Pursuant to section 120.74, Florida Statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has published its 2019 Agency Regulatory Plan. ) Fish and Wildlife Service, to develop “A Plan for Genetic Restoration and Management of the Florida Panther.”. Information The picture above is a middle aged Florida Panther jumping/leaping. A diverse gene pool is considered a sign of a healthy population. The bottom graph also shows that the percentage of panthers with atrial septal heart defects (ASD) has decreased.). The bottom graph shows how the percent of normal sperm and individual genetic diversity (He) have increased since the 1995 genetic rescue. Life Cycle: Florida Panthers are very unique when it comes to mating or even there way of life. Male Florida panthers are polygynous. At 18 months the Florida Panthers will start trift away from there mothers in search of there own territory. Many of the remaining members of the endangered Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi) population suffer from one or more of a variety of physiological, reproductive, endocrine, and immune system defects including congenital heart defects, abnormal sperm, low sperm density, cryptorchidism, thyroid dysfunction, and possible immunosuppression. A population viability analysis in 1992, done by a team of geneticists and conservation biologists, concluded the Florida panther would become extinct in 24-63 years due to its small population size, isolation and associated genetic health problems resulting from inbreeding. Our genetic management success with panthers also should prove useful to other conservation projects worldwide that deal with small, inbred, isolated populations. Births can occur at any time of year but are most common in the late spring. Conservation biologists and geneticists work together to understand how the information encoded in DNA affects the health of individual animals as well as animal populations. In 1994, the FWC met with geneticists, conservation biologists and other cooperating agencies including the National Park Service and the U.S. Restoring the population’s genetic diversity to levels comparable to those in populations of western puma. In the 1950s, the molecule deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), present in genes, was discovered to have a unique double-helix structure of two intertwining strands. 2008. As the genetic restoration plan acknowledges, this eventuality may require the release into Florida of additional pumas from other populations to assure the long-term survival of the panther. 620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL • (850) 488-4676 Research initiated by FWC during the 1980s and early 1990s revealed there were probably only 20-30 panthers remaining in the wild.