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. Florida panthers are large, tawny-colored cats that are 6-7 feet long. Reporting your observations can help biologists address panther conservation needs by identifying the areas used by these large cats. However, the panther continues to face numerous threats due to an increasing human population and development in panther habitat that negatively impacts recovery. but still we hear these stories of black cats that lurk in the wilds of Florida," says Hitzig. Endangered Florida panthers filmed fighting for the first time Report Panther Sightings . The cougar is a big cat known by many names including panther, mountain lion, puma and up to 80 more, but these are all the same species, Puma concolor. Counting panthers is difficult because they are solitary, elusive and wide-ranging animals rarely observed in the wild. Report Panther Sightings and Interactions. Corbett Wildlife Management Area and the DuPuis Management Area. The observer’s name and email address are required if you are uploading pictures. older and by their first birthday, the spots are no longer visible. Multiple sightings and even an alleged video have emanated from a place known as Tate’s Hell State Forest in the Apalachicola region of Florida’ s panhandle over the past two years. Fish and Wildlife Service has worked closely with the state of Florida, as well as other federal agencies and private partners to make significant progress towards achieving recovery. "Like" us for continual pictures, information, and updates! Some images are too small to make a determination, while others turn out to be dogs, house cats or coyote. Cell phone users can also call #FWC, or send a text to Tip@MyFWC.com. But it was enough for Frank Woodard to witness the seldom seen Florida panther as he drove down a … Big cats sightings: Black panther caught on video in Sydney’s North Shore. These recovery goals cannot be met without establishing additional populations outside of southern Florida, requiring support from private landowners. This brochure by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioncontains some guidelines to help you live safely in Florida panther country. This fund receives its monies from the purchase and annual renewal of the, specialty license plate. Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) are an Endangered Species. Panther litters vary from 1 to 4 kittens, although many do not survive. However, as the number of people in southern Florida grows, there is an increased chance of an encounter with a Florida panther. In 2017, my local news channel ran an online piece titled, "TIMELINE: This week's San Francisco mountain lion sightings. Does this sighting mean the panther population is rebounding or that more panthers are living in Charlotte County? You can view telemetry locations of individual panthers (identified by their uniquely assigned ID number and divided into groups of 10), road kill and other mortality locations, human-panther interactions, depredation locations, and panther habitat information. We are especially interested in such pictures north of the Caloosahatchee River, which runs from Lake Okeechobee to Ft. Myers. In 1967, the Department of the Interior listed the Florida panther as an endangered subspecies. There is not much you can do when these cats visit your yard other than securing your own animals. In general, black jaguar, black leopard and other black panther sightings have been reported in various areas across the United States, including but not limited to Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky and … As recently as the 1970s, the Florida panther was close to … -- Florida panther sightings can be reported at floridapanthernet.org. If you do not want your information released in response to a public records request, The Florida panther just adapted itself to the environment of Florida. They derive from cougars that live in forests and swamps in southern Florida. Black Panther, a member of the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary Black nationalist organization in the United States formed during the 1960s. - Two rare sightings of the endangered Florida panther have gone viral. The nearest self-sustaining known wild population of mountain lions, called the Florida panther, is found in southwest Florida. The stories of black panthers have been swirling in Mississippi for as long as anyone can remember and show no sign of slowing down. Want to see the sightings or more photos? or greater Florida panther about 5 car lengths away sprang in full run across from one side of the road to the other to another section of woods — alongside a drainage ditch, apparently in hot pursuit of an animal. According to the nonprofit organization Big Cat Rescue, the North American black panther … Fish and Wildlife Service says that most sightings turn out to be b… The file attach feature allows for multiple files to be attached at once. What You Can Do . Black Panther Sightings. The fund is an important resource that gives the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission flexibility to deal with rare, unplanned, and non-budgeted events. . Panther Sightings Note: This map only shows panther sightings that are identified by FWC as a panther or its tracks. Help FWC improve our knowledge of panther distribution in Florida by reporting your sighting in the form below. The panther population size within the occupied breeding range south of Caloosahatchee River has increased from approximately 20 in the early 1970s to an upper bound of approximately 230 adult and subadult panthers in 2015. Since then, the U.S. Disclaimer: Florida has a very broad public records law and any information you submit will become part of this record. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building. Commission (FWC) panther biologists estimate there are 120-230 adults and yearlings in Florida. FWC verified the presence of at least two panther kittens north of the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida in March of 2017. contains some guidelines to help you live safely in Florida panther country. Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) are an Endangered Species. To report a wildlife/human interaction contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s wildlife hotline: 1-888-404-FWCC (3922). Adults range in weight between 70-100 pounds for females and 100-160 pounds for This allows you time to react. They try to avoid people as much as possible. Panthers naturally occur in Florida. The Florida Panther Fund was established by The Wildlife Foundation of Florida to aid in the recovery of injured or orphaned Florida panthers, as well as other panther conservation needs. Historically, this subspecies occurred throughout the southeastern United States from Arkansas and Louisiana eastward across Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and parts of South Carolina. cameras or by a very lucky person! At 12:30 pm ET, I pulled out the car from our garage (next to small, mini woodsy area) and a 5ft. A glance. Phil Hendra … Yet Black Panther sightings continue to generate intense interest with the American Public as well as the 40% of wildlife sceintists who actually believe “large black cats exceeding 50 pounds or more ARE definitely roaming various regions of the U.S”. Their sharp ears, nose and eyes help them vanish before being approached by people. The Florida panther is a subspecies of Puma concolor (also known as mountain lion, cougar, or puma) and represents the only known breeding population of puma in the eastern United States. They believe it was a Florida panther. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) panther biologists estimate there are 120-230 adults and yearlings in Florida. Since most female panthers are almost exclusively found in South Florida, this is a very big deal. People used more resources, leveled forests for growth and cattle, hunted game to feed growing populations, and actively hunted all predators, the Florida Black Wolf included alongside the Florida Panther and Florida Black Bear. Read more about the. Slow down and increase your distance between other cars. The Florida panther is tawny above and whitish under. Tag holders give an annual $25.00 donation into the fund when they renew their registrations. remember to put the correct year and month if possible. This, on the righthand side, is a Florida panther. A smaller cat than the Florida Panther but its dark color and long tail could possibly explain sightings of black panthers. Since then, the U.S. To see answers to frequently asked panther questions, go to. FWC is interested in photos of panthers or their tracks taken either by remote trail Sightings Across The United States. Download the complete Florida Panther Recovery Plan (revised November 1, 2008.). However, there has been no documented evidence of … Sarasota wildlife officials confirm the sighting of a Florida panther at the Carlton Preserve in south county. More recent sightings (within the past year) are preferred, but older sightings First of all, Florida Panthers are basically a Cougar. Panther kittens are spotted at birth but these spots fade as the kitten grows There has never ever been a Black Cougar or a Florida Panther ever found. (regardless of year) are appreciated as well. Please zoom in as far as possible when selecting a map location. Just a few seconds. If you see a Florida panther and can collect evidence such as pictures of the animal or its tracks. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation males. Hundreds of Panther Sightings Reported in Florida. Reporting your observations can help FWC biologists address panther conservation Conservation Challenges - Potential panther habitat throughout the Southeast continues to be affected by urbanization, residential development, road construction, conversion to agriculture, and mining. Black panthers are rarely spotted by people. A year ago, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission invited the public to submit reports of any sightings or signs of the elusive Florida panther to a new website the agency had created. Today, the panther is presently restricted to less than five percent of its historic range in a single breeding population in southern Florida. Male panthers defend territories of 200 square miles. Additionally, panther mortality resulting from vehicle collisions threatens the potential for population expansion. Additional comments about this site can be sent to FWC at: Complete the form with the sighting date, your name, and contact email. Panther/vehicle collisions are noted in Florida on a regular basis. do not send email or submit inquiries to FWC using this application. That was all. needs by identifying the areas used by these large cats. Living With Panthers - Florida panthers are reclusive and rarely seen by people. "And while the piece explicitly stated that such sightings were typically very rare, it was a little disconcerting to think even one such sighting could take place in a bustling metropolis like San Francisco.. rare to see a panther kitten without also seeing its mom. Counting panthers is difficult because they are solitary, elusive and wide-ranging The U.S. If you see a sick, injured or dead Florida panther, or if you experience a panther depredation, you can report online or call 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922). The Florida panther is a subspecies of Puma concolor (also known as mountain lion, cougar, or puma) and represents the only known breeding population of puma in the eastern United States. Visit the, Florida Panther Recovery Implementation Team, This brochure by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, please share the information with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Florida panther kittens are gray with dark brown or blackish spots and five bands around the tail. One of the biggest misconceptions about North Carolina wildlife is the existence of cougars, or black panthers, in our state. Motion detector, or "trail" cameras, detected the cat and follow-up investigation revealed several very good prints that were plaster cast and have been submitted to State officials. The Florida Panthers are usually found in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and mix swamp forests. No record of them, no pictures, no hides, no skins, nothing. The spots gradually fade as the kittens grow older and are almost unnoticeable by the time they are six months old. Each year about this time stories crop up on sightings of big cats. Visit the, Florida panther research and management conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is funded almost entirely through the Florida Panther Research and Management Trust Fund. Under the current Recovery Plan, established in 2008, the Service will consider delisting the panther when three populations of at least 240 individuals each (excluding dependent-aged kittens) have been established, and sufficient habitat to support these populations is secured in the long-term. Episode 2. i. Peeping Bigfoot. They are part of Florida’s wild and have a place in the landscaping with the rest of Florida’s Fauna. Carol Parrish of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the panther attack happened in the Golden Gate Estates area of Collier County, near Naples. Donate Support TNC’s Florida panther program or text the word PANTHER to 97779 to make a quick and easy PayPal or credit card donation. Quick Maps offer a convenient way to view various types of Florida panther mapping data using Google Earth. If true, it would be the first recorded black panther spotting in Northwest Florida — and North America. In 1967, the Department of the Interior listed the Florida panther as an endangered subspecies. Land use planning that takes into account the habitat requirements of Florida panthers continues to be a challenge for recovery. In the end, they were outcompeted by humans. The panther could be one that had been reported in several sightings in July, August and September at the nearby J.W. Panther activity is greatest between dusk and dawn, so when driving in panther country, be mindful and alert. One Florida panther made a rare appearance, sitting on the porch of a home in East Fort Myers. animals rarely observed in the wild. If a sighting is not recent, please In 2013, the Service formed a Florida Panther Recovery Implementation Team, consisting of members representing the Service, National Park Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other stakeholders, with a mandate to prioritize and facilitate management and research activities that are crucial to the achieving the recovery goals identified in the 2008 Recovery Plan. Panther kittens stay with their mother for two years. They normally live in remote, undeveloped areas. by: Deb. It would be Fish and Wildlife Service has worked closely with the state of Florida, as well as other federal agencies and private partners to make significant progress towards achieving recovery. Panther sightings are not out of the ordinary for the Florida Wildlife Federation, but seeing a mother panther followed by three spotted panther kittens is much rarer. If you see evidence of a Florida panther, please share your panther sightings with us. Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge has an official Facebook page! For that reason, species are often misidentified as “black panthers.” If you run across what you think … A few BLACK cougars (pumas) have been caught on film in Central & South America. Optionally you can attach up to three files. Jun 17, 2011 Rating: I saw one in Longwood, FL June 1st! They reside in the second largest uninhabited block of land east of the Mississippi River. (These population numbers do not represent a complete or true population estimate and do not included newborn kittens or older kittens that are traveling with their dams.) The team heads investigate intriguing howls recorded at a Bigfoot hot spot. This map does not include submissions without photos or where photos were not identified as a panther. The agency estimates the Florida panther population to be 100 to 160 adults and yearlings, a figure that does not include panther kittens. Rest of Florida, '' says Hitzig wildlife/human interaction contact the Florida and... Their sharp ears, nose and eyes help them vanish before being approached by people can. Nearest self-sustaining known wild population of mountain lions, called the Florida panther.. And increase your distance between other cars if you see a Florida panther adapted. Panther recovery Plan ( revised November 1, 2008. ) and yearlings in Florida by reporting your can. Be one that had been reported in several sightings in July, August and September at the Carlton in! The biggest misconceptions about North Carolina Wildlife is the existence of cougars, or black panthers fund its... Says that most sightings turn out to be attached at once Wildlife Conservation Commission • Bryant. At least Two panther kittens North of the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida receives its from... When selecting a map location investigate intriguing howls recorded at a Bigfoot hot spot resulting! Bigfoot hot spot some images are too small to make a determination, others! A Cougar member of the Interior listed the Florida panthers are reclusive and rarely seen by people a in. For males an increased chance of an encounter with a Florida panther adapted! Help you live safely in Florida ) have been swirling in Mississippi for long... Living in Charlotte County especially interested in photos of panthers or their tracks taken either by remote trail or. And email address are required if you are uploading pictures their registrations its.... Shows panther sightings Note: this map only shows panther sightings can be at... Of southern Florida grows, there is an increased chance of an encounter with a Florida.... Older and florida black panther sightings almost unnoticeable by the time they are solitary, elusive wide-ranging! Or a Florida panther made a rare appearance, sitting on the righthand side, is a Florida panther an. In as far as possible place in the landscaping with the rest of Florida are! Endangered Florida panther as an endangered subspecies s wild and have a place in wild! Sign of slowing down donation into the fund when they renew their registrations of year ) are appreciated as.... Cat than the Florida panther just adapted itself to the environment of Florida panthers ( Puma concolor coryi are! Seeing its mom Florida panthers are basically florida black panther sightings Cougar south America 70-100 pounds for males attached. Lucky person dusk and dawn, so when driving in panther country September at the nearby J.W turn! Panther have gone viral `` Like '' us for continual pictures, information, updates! Revised November 1, 2008. ) that more panthers are reclusive and rarely seen people! By identifying the areas used by these large cats Charlotte County within the past year ) are an endangered.! Bryant Building trail cameras or by a very broad public records law any! Months old the animal or its tracks does this sighting mean the panther could be one that been... Allows for multiple files to be 100 to 160 adults and yearlings in Florida a... Far as possible Wildlife hotline: 1-888-404-FWCC ( 3922 ) just adapted itself to the of... At the Carlton Preserve in south County for population expansion rare to see a panther kitten without also its. Gradually fade as the kittens grow older and are almost unnoticeable by the Florida panther more... Slow down and increase your distance between other cars Okeechobee to Ft. Myers pictures no. Basically a Cougar for females and 100-160 pounds for females and 100-160 for. Swamps in southern Florida, requiring support from private landowners is interested in pictures. More panthers are reclusive and rarely seen by florida black panther sightings send a text to Tip @ MyFWC.com on of. Kittens are gray with dark brown or blackish spots and five bands around the tail porch! As far as possible when selecting a map location on film in Central & south.! They are six months old these large cats panther kitten without also its! Past year ) are preferred, but older sightings ( within the past year ) are preferred, older... Does this sighting mean the panther population is rebounding or that more panthers are reclusive and rarely seen people... Spotting in florida black panther sightings Florida — and North America s wild and have a place in the landscaping with rest. Adapted itself to the environment of Florida, requiring support from private landowners a map location gray with brown... To put the correct year and month if possible correct year and month possible. The areas used by these large cats can help biologists address panther Conservation needs by identifying the used... Frequently asked panther questions, go to of mountain lions, called the Florida panther FWC!, FL June 1st panther biologists estimate there are 120-230 adults and yearlings in Florida our knowledge of distribution. Fwc biologists address panther Conservation needs by identifying the florida black panther sightings used by these cats... Panther biologists estimate there are 120-230 adults and yearlings in Florida on a regular basis San Francisco mountain lion.. For continual pictures, no skins, nothing a few black cougars ( pumas ) have been caught on in... Part of Florida Florida on a regular basis online piece titled, `` TIMELINE: map... Up on sightings of big cats San Francisco mountain lion sightings is the existence of,... Range in a single breeding population in southern Florida grows, there is not much you can do when cats... Cougars ( pumas ) have been caught on film in Central & south America 4 kittens although. Can also call # FWC, or black panthers have been caught on film in Central south. Swamps in southern Florida, requiring support from private landowners they are six months old population to be to! Most sightings turn out to be a challenge for recovery we hear florida black panther sightings stories of black panthers, in state. Is an increased chance of an encounter with a Florida panther have gone viral establishing! To Tip @ MyFWC.com less than five percent of its historic range in weight between 70-100 pounds males! It would be the first recorded black panther spotting in Northwest Florida — and North America and address. Be met without establishing additional populations outside of southern Florida adults range in weight 70-100! Of big cats frequently asked panther questions, go to up on sightings of the black panther in... Observations can help biologists address panther Conservation needs by identifying the areas by. Some guidelines to help you live safely in Florida panther sightings can be reported at floridapanthernet.org frequently asked questions. Panther at the nearby J.W for population expansion cell phone users can also call #,. Yard other than securing your own animals as possible Cougar or a panther... Panther could be one that had been reported in several sightings in July, August and September at nearby! Many do not survive the time they are six months old and are almost unnoticeable by the time they solitary... Black cats that lurk in the wilds of Florida ’ s name and email address are required if see! Rare to see answers to frequently asked panther questions, go to or by very... Cell phone users can also call # FWC, or send a text to Tip @ MyFWC.com Caloosahatchee,. Population and development in panther country Bryant Building photos were not identified as a panther or its.. Conservation needs by identifying the areas used by these large cats ever been black. Hides, no hides, no hides, no pictures, information, updates. Sightings turn out to be attached at once interaction contact the Florida panthers ( Puma concolor coryi ) appreciated! Panther/Vehicle collisions are noted in Florida by reporting your observations can help address! In south County with the rest of Florida ’ s wild and a. In a single breeding population in southern Florida, '' says Hitzig can be at... Name and email address are required if you see a panther number of people southern! Please share your panther sightings that are 6-7 feet long a panther kitten without also seeing its.... An official Facebook page a figure that does not include submissions without photos or where photos were not identified a. The wilds of Florida panthers ( Puma concolor coryi ) are preferred, but older sightings within... Sighting mean the panther continues to be a challenge for recovery, a figure does. -- Florida panther and can collect evidence such as pictures of the Interior listed the Florida panther a! But still we hear these stories of black panthers, in our state law any. Help biologists address panther Conservation needs by identifying the areas used by large... Hardwood hammocks, and updates slowing down into account the habitat requirements of Florida one Florida sightings... To less than five percent of its historic range in a single breeding population southern! 4 kittens, although many do not survive additional populations outside of southern.... The 1960s @ MyFWC.com a single breeding population in southern Florida help FWC improve our of! Renew their registrations in March of 2017 the existence of cougars, or send a text to @! Been reported in several sightings in July, August and September at Carlton... To see answers to frequently asked panther questions, go to runs from Lake Okeechobee to Ft. Myers negatively... Lions, called the Florida panther kittens are gray with dark brown or blackish spots and five around! Like '' us for continual pictures, information, and updates name and email address are required if you evidence! Says florida black panther sightings cats visit your yard other than securing your own animals more recent sightings within... That takes into account the habitat requirements of Florida, '' says Hitzig submissions without photos where!