Florida Panther found dead in Collier County, the 24th of 2012

By Naples Daily news Staff

November 27, 2012


A near record-tying 24th endangered Florida panther was found dead Monday on the side of a Collier County road, a week to the day after wildlife officials found two roadkill wildcats on the same day.


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists retrieved the remains of a 2- to 3-month-old female panther along Immokalee Road, about four miles north of Oil Well Road. The panther was not wearing a radio-tracking collar.


Last week, biologists found an uncollared 3-year-old male panther along State Road 29, south of Immokalee, and an uncollared 4- to 5-year-old male panther on U.S. 41 East, about a half-mile west of Manatee Road.


Monday's death brings to 24 the total number of documented panther deaths this year, one short of the annual record set in 2007 and 2009. Of the 24 deaths this year, 16 have been attributed to vehicle hits. The most panther roadkills were reported in 2009, with 17.


A growing panther population and a loss of habitat to development in Southwest Florida is putting the squeeze on Florida panthers, which are estimated to number between 100 and 160. That's up from fewer than 30 in the 1980s, before a genetic restoration project boosted the numbers.