The Panthers of Florida The Florida Panther, Felis concolor coryi, is found in the swampier areas of the Everglades. They also reside in and near trees since they can climb them and sleep and hunt in them. Florida Panthers are critically endangered, with only a few hundred remaining in the wild. There are several factors that may be leading to the decline of the Florida Panther including deforestation, poaching for medicine or fur, competition with humans for food and habitat, and infectious diseases.
The Florida Panther sleeps about 25 percent of its time on the ground and 75 percent in trees. It usually sleeps in a high-canopy tree but will use any type of shelter if needed. These include undergrowth, thickets, and even human-made structures such as birdhouses and sheds. When not sleeping, the Florida Panther hunts for food. It eats mostly small animals such as rabbits, squirrels, gophers, and lizards. It also consumes fruits, seeds, and plants when available. Although rarely attacked by humans, the Florida Panther faces many threats from other predators and humans. It is hunted for its skin, which is used for clothing and leather products; meat is considered a great food source. Also, due to the increasing presence of people in the Panther's habitat, there is a higher chance of encountering traffic accidents. Finally, disease can also be a problem for the Florida Panther. It has been known to die after being trapped in steel traps set for other animals.
Panthers of Florida The panther (Felis concolor coryi), Florida's state animal, is the most endangered of all its emblems, having been chosen in 1982 by a vote of schoolchildren across the state. The Florida Panther is a big, long-tailed, light brown cat that can reach heights of six feet or more. Its weight can range from 11 to 20 pounds.
They are found only in west-central Florida in the United States, with an estimated population of 350 to 500 individuals. They are threatened by deforestation and development that removes their habitat, as well as illegal hunting for their pelts. Despite these dangers, there has been a resurgence in the number of panthers due to increased enforcement by conservation groups such as Panthera and the National Park Service.
Florida was originally part of a larger land mass called "North America". Over time, water poured into this land basin causing it to rise which moved North America northward. This event called "Ice Age" caused much change to occur within our world. Where there were no trees, plants developed to use energy from the sun such as grasses and sedges. Animals that lived at that time such as wooly mammoths, giant ground sloths, and saber-toothed cats used to eat those plants and then move on to find new food. Eventually, more trees grew back and these animals disappeared.
The Florida Panthers play their games in the Everglades. The Everglades is made up of thick forest sections, mixed swamp areas, oak pine forests, and several other wetlands (animal diversity web 2008). The Florida Panthers dwell here because the terrain is tropical. Also, there is no hunting in Florida protected areas like national parks or wildlife refuges. Therefore, the only way to destroy the Panthers would be to kill them- which isn't done because they are important to maintaining the balance of nature.
Here's how one scientist described the role of panthers in the Everglades: "Although cheetahs and lions are also found in Africa, cats were designed to hunt large animals such as antelopes and zebras which exist in great numbers in South America. Without these big predators, says Dr. Alan Rabinowitz of the Smithsonian Institution, "the ecosystem would be unbalanced and unfit for humans or any other species to survive. "" (Source)
In conclusion, the Florida Panther lives in the Everglades because there is no hunting here and it is important to keeping the ecosystem healthy.
Despite its narrow geographic distribution, it may be found in a variety of settings. The Florida panther lives in freshwater swamp forests, pinelands, and tropical hardwood hammocks. Florida panthers are mostly found in wooded regions. These habitats are set aside to preserve the Florida panther.
In addition to living in these specific types of environments, the Florida panther also needs large areas that are free from human activity. Human activity includes building development, farming, hunting, fishing, trapping, and logging. All of these activities harm the panther by causing them to use energy that they can't spare for other things such as eating or moving.
Swamps provide perfect hiding places for panthers. There are several species of water moccasin that prey on other animals in swamps, so panthers need to be careful not to move too much around these dangerous waters.
Pineland habitats are made up of longleaf pine trees that grow in deep soil with plenty of undergrowth. These conditions are similar to what you find in coastal states like North Carolina or South Carolina. Panthers need these types of habitats because it's where alligators live too. Gators attack cats when they feel threatened, so having another predator in your area can be beneficial.
Tropical hardwood hammocks are areas with a mixture of trees including palmetto, sweetgum, black cherry, and ironwood.